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Monday, March 28, 2011

Tourists… minus the fanny packs!

With only 4 weeks until I pop this bun out of the oven, Jon and I figured we needed to get our tourist on (or at least while I can still walk around without my feet turning into sausages).   Since we aren’t Dubai savvy yet we decided to ride along with the Big Bus Tour.  We chose to follow their old line and see the original Dubai and not the new malls and attractions that have popped up in the last 10 years.  I’ll only share a little of what we saw… hope you enjoy!

Dubai Creek- this creek leads right up to the mouth of the ocean and was the “lifeline” to Dubai.  It is still a main passage way for imported and exported goods.  There are traditional Dhow boats up and down the creek, unloading and loading goods all day long that came from and are going to places like India, Africa, Europe and China.  The boats are very traditional and a majority are still made from wood… it is amazing how many are along the creek’s edges!

oh... and there are a bunch of yachts everywhere too!

Water Taxis-  it is much faster and cheaper (only 1 Dirham, like 30 US cents) to take the water taxis across the creek then to get a traditional taxi service around the creek.  They are mainly filled with workers making their way from work to home but there is the occasional tourist mixed in to the crowd.  Make sure you have your Dirham in hand after you sit down or the taxi driver will hit the bench and start yelling at you… thank goodness Jon was prepared!

Lunch- We went off the beaten path to try and find some yummy food and we were successful!   I have been apprehensive to try food from tiny local restaurants since I am prego and dealing with a tummy issue would not be fun.  However, when we walked into this Indian/Pakistani place there was a huge sign that said, “Clean and Hygienic” so I figured, if they say so it must be true, right?!?  I don’t think they get many white people off the streets but it did not disappoint.  We ordered Chicken Handi and Vegetable noodles…  we asked for the chicken to be spicy… and you guessed it… the waiter asked, "are you sure" and then proceeded to come back to the table on two separate occasions to ask if we wanted normal or spicy chicken… too funny!  These types of local places rock because Jon and I ate for like $12 and we needed a freaking wheelbarrow to leave the restaurant!

Notice the silverware to the left on the table that they bring all white people to eat with.  Too bad Jon and I were super authentic and only used the naan!  

Spice Souq- we didn’t look long, just walked through but it smelled amazing and the shop owners were harassing but hilarious!  I was told to say that I lived in Dubai when asked where I was from… I did that but they pushed and Jon told some shop guys we were from the States and they stated saying, “oh, what’s up Dude?!? Want some spices, Dude? Come on Dude!”  very very funny!

Gold Souq-  There are streets and streets filled with jewelry shops.  The closest thing I have ever experienced to it is the Diamond District of New York City… but I will not mention who owns those shops or my blog might be censored!  There is a lot of tacky, gaudy, outrageous and ugly pieces of jewelry everywhere… but there are some very nice, classy, simple pieces mixed in.  Jon and I spent a while walking up and down the streets, window shopping and trying to find something that caught our fancy… or should I say my fancy!  Totally found a ring I loved but I’ll save that story for another post.   Let’s just say you have to be ready to haggle…

Our day ended with the most uncomfortable situation ever!  We had to wait about 15-20 minutes for the bus to pick us up from the last stop of our tour.  So, Jon and I went to a little shop to get some fresh juice.  Here is the place and I was sitting at one of the tables to the right.

It serves me right… I knew not to wear shortish shorts since we were going to a traditional part of Dubai… but man, I am prego and I don’t fit into my normal clothes and they don’t sell maternity shorts over here even though it is like 100 degrees outside…  so, I said screw it and wore my shorts anyways.  Well, Jon walked inside the shop to get us something to drink and I was sitting outside by myself… not a wise choice.  All the Pakistani and Indian men would just stare at my legs and hit their friends to look at me.  I even had an old Emirati man walk up to me, stop, shake his head and scoff.  Yall know me… I don’t own hoochie clothes so just image what they would say walking around the states!   I took the chair next to me, turned it around and tried to make a barricade between my whorish legs and the Middle Eastern world.  Needless to say, when Jon got back we sucked our drinks down and skedaddled!  It was good timing too because a sand storm started to roll through.
Notice how you can't see the sun... and it was 4pm.

and After!

All in all, we learned a lot, ate a lot, walked a lot and totally enjoyed our day of being Tourists!

Until later….

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