"Not all those who wander are lost"

Orienteering (minus the map and compass)

Wandering re-establishes the original harmony which once existed between man and the universe.

Anatole France

 

12/26

I woke up and flipped my computer open as has become my morning habit.  An email from Ian only a minute old asked “you up?” so I opened up Skype.  It was midnight at home and they had just finished playing the new game we go for Christmas.  We chatted again and I said hi to Frankie and Erica.  They departed, Mom and Ian went to bed, I got up.  The time difference is still funny to me.

Unable to find anyone to climb with I resorted to exploring the city some more.  Based on a suggestion from Sam I set out to find a vegetarian restaurant near the textile souk.  The only directions that I remembered were rather simplified and lacked detail:  go behind the Dubai Museum, through the textile souk, there will be a vegetarian restaurant on each side of the road, go to the one on the right.  I set off with Andy, Stan, and Omar in tow.  We got off at the nearest metro stop knowing it would be a bit of a walk.  There was a bit of confusion trying to find the museum, but without any wrong turns and only a bit of second guessing we found it.  The by this time I was kicking myself for not remember the directions better (I knew there was something about turns in there before getting to the textile souk) and for not trying to get them again from Sam earlier.  With just my recollection of the conversation we traversed the streets in search of the souk and the restaurant.  Souks are an interesting thing, I never quite know when something is or isn’t a souk.  They usually have areas around them that are, for all actual purposes, the exact same yet are not considered part of the souk.  This was the case as we wandered through street after street of textiles thinking we were in the souk.  Eventually we got to the end and I knew we had gone to far.  We zig zagged up and down a couple times until we were about ready to find anywhere to get food.  Just as we decided we just wanted food we made it to the water taxi port and the wooden roof of the actual textile souk.  I knew it had to be here.  I walked down the street and to my pleasure there was a large sign saying “Vegetarian.”  We walked in.  The place was nice, but didn’t seem like a place that sees lots of tourists.  The people spoke very limited English.  The menu was extensive and uninformative, only having names with no descriptions.  But the food was great and cheap.  I’m really not even sure what I ate, but we shared food a bit and it was all very good.  I can’t wait to go back and try more.

After dinner we headed out and wandered through the actual textile souk.  Eventually we looped around to take a water taxi across the creek.  We boarded the abra and set off chugging up the creek.  It was a small vessel with a bench in the middle for people to sit facing either side and a small roof overhead, but nothing else besides the small motor and pulley driven rudder.  About 20 other people joined us on the for the trip across the creek, and for only 1dhs who wouldn’t want to take the ride?

The great part about the ride was that it didn’t just bring us to the other side but it brought us up the creek toward our destination.  We found ourselves standing in front of the spice souk.  We headed in to practice our bartering and investigate frankincense and myrrh.  We both wanted to buy more spices but need to investigate prices first so we don’t get taken.  It was entertaining haggling with the shop keepers, but we didn’t stay too long before making the trek back to the metro.  We heard the announcement saying the train had arrived at the platform.  Hurrying to get down the the platform we jumped in the elevator.  It descended to the platform and we all stood, uncertainly as the door didn’t open.  “Over here” a voice chimed in from behind us.  We turned around and notice a second door on the opposite side.  We got out of the elevator and took two steps before the doors shut and the train sped off.  We sat and waited for the next train.

One Response

  1. Really appreciate you sharing this article. Much obliged.

    October 17, 2016 at 8:46 am

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