Tuesday, January 16, 2007

Day 6 - Gold Souk

Today we journeyed into the heart of Dubai. We took a cab into the city center to the Gold Souk. It is a large area, similar to a mall, where there are hundreds and hundreds of shops to buy gold jewelry. My task was to buy two bracelets for my mom's friend, Brenda.

I had been told to haggle a bit with the salesmen. So I put on my negotiator's cap and got busy haggling! After going to several shops, I finally found one that would give me what seemed to be a good deal. Mission accomplished.

It was while we were in the city center that I really got more of an "authentic" feel for Dubai. The hotel and resort is a bit of a bubble with tons of other people who look like us. Most of the time I have stayed close to the hotel, venturing out to the beach and shopping center occasionally. They really make it easy to stay close!

On the way home, I think we stumbled on the CRAZIEST taxi driver ever. I have seen the way people in Europe and Mexico drive, but this guy takes the cake. He reminded me of Andre the Giant a bit, and he had serious halitosis issues. I was just praying for us to get to the hotel safely. He narrowly missed rear-ending someone at upwards of 40mph, only to swerve into the next lane and SLAM on the breaks to avoid running the red light. At one point he was driving so fast, that his meter began beeping loudly and a blinking hand appeared. It was horrifying! All the taxi drivers here drive a little crazy and I feel as though I should get on my knees and thank the good Lord for getting me to my destination safely. It's like they'll give anyone a license.

The good news is that we got to the hotel safely and I enjoyed a relaxing evening. I think I am past the jet lag, thankfully, which seem to help the homesickness. Lisa emailed me something that said Rest=Rational. Couldn't say it better myself!

19 comments:

Anonymous said...

Loved seeing you on the video. Frieda

Frieda said...

Ah, ha! I've discovered out how to leave a comment. Had tried several times in the past with no luck. We are having very cold weather here, glad you are on the beach. Susan sent the sonogram of Jaymie's twins. It is great to see it. Have you heard... a boy and a girl? I love you. F

Lisa said...

I remember the bus drivers in Mexico being particularly terrifying. They had a bus lane that they were legally required to stay in. However, laws meant less to them than fares and they raced each other to the stops. I just put my hands over my eyes and hoped for the best!

Angie said...

Sarah, looks like you were a day late and a dollar short on the "underdressed" post. Just today on CNN there was a spot about the new "berkini" being introduced for a modest beach alternative! Hot!

And I just wanna say congrats to Frieda for figuring out how to post! The rest of you lurkers still have about 80 days to figure it out! It's been just as fun for me to read people's comments. Sarah, you draw a pretty good crowd! :-)

Jenny Nye said...

Okay, I am a couple days late but I want to share mine. Picture it...Ecuador...1994. I went to the supermarket for the first time by myself. I looked in the refridgerated section to find the eggs (I know most of you know where this is going)but they weren't there. I asked a guy in my best spanish ever(I practiced the whole time I was looking for someone to ask), "Donde estan tus huevos?"(T: Where are your eggs?) He just looked at me funny and said nothing, then I thought about it and said to myself...I have to uses the formal you so I need to say "sus huevos". The guy's stares were followed with grins now. Determined to get an answer from him I finally said where are "los huevos". He smiled and laughed at me and said, "alla"(over there)in spanish. So I went on not thinking anything about it. As I countinued to walk through the store I saw him again talking to a man and they were pointing and laughing at me. It wasn't until I got back to the house completely perplexed that I talked to a teammate and she told me what I said the first two times I asked the question. Who would have known that huevos could be so dirty? I was an innocent AIMer until that day. I learned my first bad word in Spanish. I will read today's blog so I can comment on that.

tim rush said...

My first foriegn experience was the train ride to Mexico City as an AIMer in 1991. The train was an eye-opening experience but couldn't compare to the taxi ride that followed.

I thought it was the greatest thing I'd ever seen in my life. When we arrived, J.T. Wilkerson, Bruce Baird and I were giving each other high fives and then noticed that Michele Mattos, who had been in the taxi with us, was trying to hide the fact that she had tears in her eyes. Not so much fun for her I guess.

Since then, I've experienced worse taxis (read: Moscow) but nothing can compare to the first.

Anonymous said...

maybe if frieda can do this so can i

leslee said...

well i tried it and it worked.... we too enjoyed the video and the photos... where are the others? we too are cold, and it is hard to believe you are so warm.... yea for you.... cabbies are crazy everywhere that i have been and that is not very far....we miss you but love telling everyone we know about your adventures... we too love you, love lf

leslee said...

byw, we missed your post from yesterday... we were a little worried....glad to have your comments each day... it helps us to know you are indeed ok....lf

jenny nye said...

I think in order to get a taxi license you have to check whether or not you aggree to the following statement:
"I am willing to mull someone over, run stop signs and drive like a maniac, just so that I can find the longest way to get a passenger to their destination."

It is so nice to read your blog and I am enjoying just as much everyones responses. I am listening to your voices in my head of everyone that I haven't seen or talked to in what seems forever.

Angie said...

Me too Jenny! And it's equally fabulous to find YOU here, dear friend! It's a reunion of sorts that Sarah has unwittingly organized! You are loved, Jenny! :-)

tim rush said...

Speaking of voices in your head... after Stuart McG's time in Lubbock, he stuck around a month before going to Mexico City. He lived with me during that time. Though I've never been good with accents, after he left the little voice inside my head had an Irish accent. Thankfully though, it didn't cuss too much (Claire).

Jenny Nye said...

I loved it when Claire cussed. No matter what I said, Claire would always say something worse. That was the life!

Speaking of Claire and Stuart, I will never forgive them for convincing me that there are no TVs in Ireland. I was ready to give Claire mine. That is what a nice person I am. Stupid but nice!

Claire said...

Jenny! Ah, you have the best embarrassing stories :)

I was hoping you'd tell the one involving you and a certain toilet on a certain long-distance bus.

Connie Palmer said...

O.K. here goes my first attempt at blogging! We're freezing here in Oklahoma City. Sarah you do know how to tell a funny story, but I want to hear Jenny's story that Clair mentioned!

Susan said...

Really love checking on you every day!! Thanks for taking the time to keep us posted on your daily doings. Love you, Susan

MommaFlee said...

Jenny Nye Jenny Nye....I do believe I remember that one.....thanks Claire for reminding!

So many memories of that trip...seemed like the longest trip of our lives.

Angie said...

I'm with Connie... Jenny should share with the rest of us. I'm a sucker for bathroom humor! As long as I'm not the "butt" of the joke! :-)

Isn't it fun Sarah, to see so many of your peeps coming along for the blog ride!

I AM STILL PRAYING FOR YOU, SWEET FRIEND!

Love,
Ang

jenny nye said...

Men: You may not want to read this embarrassing moment. The only horrible bathroom story that I can think of was on the way to Chile. We were on a 32 hour bus ride and, as some of you may know, I have bathroom issues. I held it for most of that time but I finally couldn't hold it any longer. I was sitting with Geoff Dunn but I was on the aisle. There was this nasty man who kept staring at me. When if finally got towards night Geoff wanted to switch places because he did not want me to sit next to that guy. At around midnight or so, I finally went to the bathroom. I have a ritual when I go to the bathroom on the bus where I tuck my shirt in my bra, drop my trousers and clean the toilet then sit down while holding the seat down. It usually is a very effective system. This time I failed to do one thing. After I had exposed myself the bus hit a bump or dodged a person (I am not sure what happened), I slammed into the door and it flew open. Who could be standing their but the nasty man with a big smile on his face. I yelled and tried to shut the door and lock it, which I had failed to do before, as fast as I could. And no matter how nasty that bathroom was, I stayed in there for about 20 min hoping that man would no longer be there. I got back to my seat and he still had that horrible smile on his face. I obviously did not look at anyone for the rest of the bus ride.
There, that is my story, I am still mortified to hear it. I hope that you guys are as entertained as I was embarrassed. At least it was a complete nasty stranger, emphasis on stranger, unlike some of Sarah's embarrassing moments that other got to enjoy as well.