Adventures in Old Dubai

Mar 6, 2010

This morning I awoke to find that it was only Saturday. I still had a full day off, with nothing to do. Not wanting to spend the day alone, I called up my friend Fran, who I haven't seen in far too long. By some strange stroke of luck, we were both in the sandy land of Dubai on the same day! (Speaking of sandy... it's been ridiculously hazy over the past few days, the result of a sandstorm, or so I'm told.) Both of us extremely bored, we decided to meet up and head to the cinema to catch whatever was playing. I went to meet her in the lobby of her apartment, where she emerged from the elevator proudly holding a "Lonely Planet" guide to Dubai. "Do you want to go explore the city", she asked? There are few things that I enjoy more than wandering aimlessly around a city, discovering new things. We flipped through the book and decided that we would venture out to the Gold Souk... a market full of all things gold. It took 3 tries, but we finally found a taxi driver who knew the way and was willing to take us. We were thrilled to find ourselves in Old Dubai, quite the contrast from the massive skyscrapers and shopping malls that seem to define the city. We happily wandered the busy streets, filled with tourists and locals alike. Shopkeepers rushed up to us offering a selection of designer handbags and pashminas. It was chaotic, crowded, and great. An entirely different side of Dubai than we typically see, which was quite refreshing. After admiring beautiful silk scarves, staring in awe at extremely large diamonds and marvelling over shimmering gold necklaces, we found a small hole-in-the-wall type restaurant and ate the best falafel schwarma I've ever tasted. We asked a local man which direction the creek was, and after a few moments of confusion he pointed in a direction that we chose to trust. We wandered into a few shops to inquire about and bargain prices of perfumes, fake I-Phones, and carpets, and left with a bag full of random Arabic candies. We didn't know what to expect, but they were in such pretty wrappers that we just couldn't resist. Some were good, some tasted like chalk. Turns out the man had pointed us in the right direction, and we found ourselves at the creek. We walked alongside it for awhile, until we reached the abra (water taxi) pickup point. We tried to ask where the small wooden abra would take us, but the man at the dock didn't seem to understand and just shuffled us onto the boat. We couldn't argue, it was a bargain at only 1 dirham... approximately 30 cents Canadian! We ended up across the creek in a market that was an electronics lover's paradise. Cameras, televisions, I-pods, you name it. Rather than risk spending our paycheques, we caught a taxi and headed home, satisfied with our Dubai adventure! Back to work tomorrow... just 3 dreaded turnarounds before my layovers begin this month!


Clint said...

When you go to Nigeria, try to find that jerk who has been writing me all these e-mails promising me money.

Krysta said...

Hmmm, I'd love to, but I don't think I'll be leaving that hotel... a bit of a sketchy place.

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