. It is a rechargeable music system with speakers (like a mini-boom box). You can plug your MP3 player, USB card, or Scandisk, and it will play your music. While she did that I walked to another shop where I did find some shirts (and for a very good price). After our shopping we went to the boat taxi dock at Dubai Creek and crossed (each person is 28 cents). Across the creek we met Manoj in his car. He dropped us off at the Delta office to work on tickets. I tried to change my seat (the girl told me to do it at the gate) and Pooja was trying to change her ticket to get back to America next week instead of in three weeks. Pooja's ticket did not go so well. They wanted $600 to change the ticket (ouch!!). And on top of that, the Dubai to Atlanta flight was always very full so it was hard to get a ticket at the last second (so Delta could charge whatever). So Pooja was very upset. She really only wanted to stay one more week in Dubai (to spend time with the family) but she really missed home and wanted to get back. Maybe there will be another way, but not today. After the bad news at Delta we drove around to meet Geetu, Malvika, & Vikram to go out for a Lebanese lunch. However, after much driving around, Manoj figured out that the building of the restaurant he liked was no longer there (the norm for Dubai – always changing). So on to the Plan B restaurant which I have to say was one of the best on the trip. Manoj’s brother met us there and we had a feast. Lebanese bread, hummus, taboule, olives, fruit juice, & a mixed grill of kebabs
. I was feeling a little rotund after that. From here, Manoj drove us to the Emir’s palace gardens. Now we could not go into the palace but outside was famous for the thousands of peacocks wandering the place. The Emir of Dubai really likes them and feeds them well. I had never seen so many in one place. From here it was back to the house for the last time. I spent most of this time balancing my two main bags and got them to 49 pounds each (I leave one pound just in case my scale or the airports scale is a little off). I could not take everything that Pooja wanted so she would now have to watch her bag weight at a later time. Slowly I brought the bags down the stairs to take to the airport. 49 pound bags are not the easiest to take down stairs. Manoj got me a very nice shirt as a going away gift which I did not mind as it was not heavy. Vikram took me to the Dubai airport which was not too far away with Pooja and Geetu. At the airport, Vikram drove around and Geetu and Pooja came in. Pooja was still very sad that she could not come back next week. I really hope she can soon. My bags were prefect as they came in one pound under and I was done with them until Atlanta. I went back out of the airport to say my final goodbyes. In the airport, it was a long walk to the gate. I was a few hours early so I had time to shop in the famous Dubai duty free shops. Even after dropping the two monster bags off I still had a backpack full of heavy breakables and my laptop bag with a few heavy books. I looked around some of the shops but the prices were not that cheap. The terminal itself was impressive at about four stories high (where as Atlanta is just one story at the gates). At the gate I checked the Wi Fi (I still had a few pics to upload) and found that it was very fast just like home. Everything uploaded in no time. Most people on this flight were Americans (the most I have seen since leaving America). I did get to change my ticket from a window seat to a side seat at the back of the plane (to make it easy for me to get up and hang out at the back of the plane). Now off I go on a 14 hour trip back to the States.
Kind of sad knowing that I was leaving this place in the evening, although I had been ready to go back to the States for a few days now. In the morning, Vikram dropped us off at the Deira section of Dubai which is where my kind of shopping is – the souks. This was a great way to end the trip – walking around the outdoor souks in the hot air of Dubai with every one wanting to be your friend and bargaining to the last cent. Our main place was the spice souk – we wanted to get a shisha for the house (a nice Arabic looking gift). We went into a few places and got a baseline for the price and started haggling from there. The irony is the one we bought was made in Europe! I also got a few more (light weight) souvenirs. It was now noon and very hot. We walked a long way as I was trying to find some Dubai shirts. Yes it was over 105 degrees but I was having fun and trying to soak in the experience during my last day. It is not every day that you can walk around in a souk. In one store Pooja spent a long time trying out this new electronic device that we had never seen in the States