February 22nd, 2004 – by: vances
Squid Balls! Notice Arabic signage and attire of fellow patrons.
Mark got me up around 8:30AM and we consumed breakfast on their back porch to enjoy his garden. Shortly thereafter we were bound for Oman! We drove through three Emirates en route. First was Ajman, immediately beyond Sharjah as we proceeded north up the coast. Struck me as rather junky and Mark reinforced that due to the vast expanse of desert immediately outside your door, the locals consider it an enormous garbage can. After this we encountered Umm-Al-Qwain, the tiniest Emirate, who’s claim to fame is that their sheikh permits the sale of alcohol for personal consumption. Then we entered Ras-Al-Kaymah…an interesting emirate that borders Oman. I was tickled to learn that this was home to RAK Tiles, which I’ve actually heard of…and now I know where the RAK derives!
We stopped in the capitol city and lunched at a mall.
It was an air-conditioned, very modern affair and exceptionally clean. Many 'ghosts’ here <***this is Mark’s term for Arabic woman fully veiled…those with slits revealing their eyes are ‘Ninjas’>, though I had seen several as we passed through both Ajman & Sharjah. Mark tells me they are somewhat common outside of Dubai. Need to comment that I’ve seen plenty of unaccompanied women, which casts doubt upon the dread of being female in this Muslim culture (in this very mall there were two Anglo’s in shorts…I assume Brits, but nice to see they appear unconcerned).
At the mall we dined where else but McDonald’s, so I could sample a McArab sandwhich (a chicken concoction on pita…very tasty!)! After consumption we roamed the mall to find a money exchanger so we could score Omani Riyals & Emirati Dhirams.
Mark subsequently pointed out a humorous sign advertising “Squid Balls” and anticipating a hike in the afternoon I decided to opt for bonus calories. Alas…no octopi, but merely some bread rolled into a ball and deep fried (an Arabian misnomer akin to our ‘elephant ears’ here in the States???….lol!).