Sunday, March 06, 2011

A Rude Awakening

Heart attacks come free with the clock
Spent the afternoon doing one of my favourite Dubai activities: muntering along and around the creek.  Despite last week being uncharacteristically hot, and us all having the fear that Winter was over (too soon! too soon!) this week the temperature has dropped again, meaning it's prudent to make the most of all activity that involves being outdoors.

The creek was packed yesterday: think the M60 or M25 in rush hour, only with lots of boats, water taxis, dhows, and hundreds of seagulls (no need).  Add in the fact that it was super windy, nay stormy, and it all made for a very different creek adventure.  After hopping onto an abra to cross we had a lovely wander around the spice and gold souk. Note to self/women everywhere: the Gold Souk sells diamonds and sparkly things. Lots of them. I do not remember this?!

One fascinating idiosyncrasy of Dubai is the way that shops selling the same things are often grouped together, hence lots of gold/diamonds/perfume/electrical shops in do they ever make any money - its impossible to pick between them at first glance.

It's as much an exercise in people watching as shopping, with locals, tourists and residents all milling around together.  After snaffling a v cute frankincense burner (who knew it would make the apartment smell so divine!?)I fell upon the kitschest most fabulous of gifts for the girls: mosque alarm clocks.  My squeaks of delight as I tested the alarms on them all were drowned out by the alarm ( a VERY loud call to prayer) and I duly scampered home, pleased as punch with my purchases.

Fast forward to 3 am, when I woke to what sounded like a mosque, right next to my ear.  One of the clocks was merrily going off in the kitchen.  If you've ever tried to go through a full shopping bag of tourist tat in the dark, locate a loudly ringing clock, and then wrestle it out of its box to switch it off, you'll know that this wasn't easy.  To be fair, if I ever do have a heart attack, I'll know what to expect.  Diamonds and sparkly things would have so much less stressful.....

No comments: