Down By The River

Trip Start May 09, 2007
1
4
23
Trip End Jul 03, 2007


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Flag of United Arab Emirates  ,
Sunday, May 13, 2007

HAHA First things first, Kev I just read your comment from earlier and that is soo typical Bry to buy mom a book she's already read for Mother's Day. And this part is directed primarily at Iraida because she's the only one who will fully understand what I'm saying. A big food item here is called Shawarma, its essentially chicken, lettuce, tomato, sauce, and onions in a pita. I had it a couple of times back in the States in preparation. There I paid $6 for my shawarma, here it ran me only 4dirhams ($1.25) and the taste doesn't even compare. This thing was DELICIOUS if I wasn't so full I would have gotten another. It's hard to describe, but it was the best tasting thing I've had in a long time.

So my adventure continued today, I'm trying to do as much travel now as possible before it gets unbearably hot. We're heading into the off-season here, most of the rich people start leaving because its so ridiculously hot. I took the bus down to the downtown today. The bus is quite an experience in itself, me and about 50 Indians fresh out of work all packed into a bus like sardines. Another interesting thing about the bus systems is that 12 of the seats in the front are solely for woman. I found this out the first time I got on the bus, when I was sitting in the front and the driver was yelling at all of the men to go to the back. Oddly enough, he let me stay in the front, most likely because I was the only white person (it kind of makes you realize why the whole segregation thing went on for so long, you can really get used to it). The bus took forever because of some late rush hr traffic, but I finally got there around 8pm. I stumbled into this incredibly nice souq (outdoor market), it was like a recreation of what it would have been like hundreds of years ago. Here there is very little "real" Middle East, most of it is manufactured to entice the tourists. Then I rode the abra (a small wooden boat that carries about 20 people) over to the other side of the river. It was a ton of fun and I got some great pics, and ended up riding for free because he just forgot to ask me for the money (it only would have cost like 10cents). On the other side is the famed Gold Souq, where you can find some of the cheapest prices for gold in the world. The entire area is just a ridiculous amounts of twisting road and alleys, all packed with people shopping or trying to sell you stuff. And the Gold Souq itself was amazing, I have never seen so much jewerly and other expensive items. This entire area is so large I actually got lost, and you know me, I never get lost. I finally made my way back to the abra station and took the bus home. Classes start tomorrow and I hope my alarm goes off in the morning, because missing my first day would definitely not give a good impression.

Now I would like to take a moment to address the safety issues of this area. There are none, I'm not sugar coating this in anyway, this place is easily safer then Toms River. To add to that, there are security guards everywhere, its hard to explain, but because there is such an influx of foreign workers here they give them the most bs jobs. Theres usually 5 security guards at any given area, a guy whos job is to scrub that section of floor and only that section, guys who pack your bags, and basically every other odd job you can think of. Furthermore, the foreigners here are so desperate to work and happy to be given these opportunities that they dare not risk the penalties that come with the crime. The best example I can give is my roommate has been in the same dorm for 4 yrs, and he never locks the door, its hard getting used to but its just the way things are here. This place is basically a rich persons playground and they try and keep it that way, because the know the second something bad happens here, there goes there wealth, and most of the people think this way as well.
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Comments

laundryqueen44
laundryqueen44 on

Down by the river
Jay I'm glad you think it is so safe, but you still have to watch your back. Have a great first day at your classes. Love Mom. PS we gave the book to Grandma so it would get read.

icn06
icn06 on

love,
I can't wait to try the Shawarma!!!

I LOVE u

auntrobin
auntrobin on

School
Hey Jay - what classes are you taking over there? So exciting - all you kids doing all this traveling and learning! Glad you feel safe there!

maureen-nana
maureen-nana on

Your Travel Blog is traveling!!
Hi Jay (aka Jason),
Your mom sent me your travel blog to pass on to Kathleen, Joe and Brad and now my husband (John-grandpa) and I have been reading every word and find the detailed information fascinating. I have since passed it on to Joe and Brad's Uncle Michael and he has become a reader as well. Could you provide more detail on 'Mr. Clinton's money'- is it a fellowship established during his term? Love, Maureen

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