Friday, November 03, 2006

Buy a Diamond, Get a Free Pepsi!

As noted in the last post, my five days in Dubai were mind blowing. I've travelled to a lot of places around the world, and I think Dubai is possibly the most unique city of the bunch. The mix of traditional Arabian life next to staggering wealth and more skyscraper construction sites than I have ever seen, a huge desert still inhabited by Bedouin next to a gorgeous turquoise ocean and a bustling sea port.

Some highlights were visiting the Spice Souq, a safari out into the desert, haggling over prices for the cheapest designer bags that made me wish I had brought a bigger suitcase, lunch on a pier several hundred metres into the Persian Gulf with stunning views of the Burj Al Arab, and the infamous Gold Souq.

The Gold Souq was something else - we went at night and hundreds of stores selling pearls, diamonds, and every kind of gold you can think of that is weighed right in front of you was on offer. Indian brides were shopping for wedding and dowry jewellery, women clothed in the niqab were buying handfuls of diamonds, and little me was bargaining over a simple, yet gorgeous, white gold and diamond ring. When we eventually agreed to a price (ridiculously cheap...just amazing) the storekeeper insisted on finding me a pepsi. Not entirely sure why...because I was North American and he assumed I would want a pepsi? But it turned into this complete farce as he was yelling at his colleague to find me a pepsi, which I didn't even want, but have now actually brought all the way back to London. It turned into the slogan of the evening (photo above): Buy a Diamond, Get a Free Pepsi!

The desert safari was spectacular. We went dune bashing, which generally would not be my thing, but turned out to be a blast. We went to a camel souq where I met the little fellow below, and later in the evening I rode one. I also smoked a sheesha, but that's another story.

3 comments:

Hilaire said...

What a trip - hard to imagine that amazing place. Yay for you, for getting there!

Marc said...

So cool, Sarah! And I wish I knew I could have ordered diamonds :-0 Can't wait to see more pictures.

Anonymous said...

That is the happiest looking camel I have ever seen. Not that I have seen any in real life...