November 22nd, 2008 – by: toddster184
I gave him some Dirhams, 1000, 200, a 50 and a 10, I think.
So after a day of catching up with sleep, Henry and I decided to go out and see a little bit of Dubai
. We soon learned that we are actually quite a distance locale-wise to any hip places in Dubai except for Festival City which was recommended by our hotel's reception. Since there are no bus systems that go in our direction, Henry suggested we take a taxi. He must have been bored all day waiting for me to get up and get my bearings. Old gnomes tend to get up early or do not need as much sleep as I young bloke like me. Mind you, he will argue that I am no spring chicken. So off to the races we go. 20 Dirhams later, we made it to Festival City.
Feels like I am home here with the plants.
Excited to see our first mall in this land of malls, we hopped to it and found ourselves a map of the mall. We wandered aimlessly and pass some surely expensive department store - Paris something or other. We headed upstairs where the action seems to be. Everywhere we turned was a feast to the eye. Henry was googley-eyed at everything he was seeing. I think he was getting a little overwhelmed. The windows of shops looked all very new to Henry. He has never seen much expensive shops in his old age. He has only seen cheap travel shoppers and bargain hunter type spenders on his web site so he is not quite used to it. He asked if we could sit down for a bit so that he can take it all in. We plopped ourselves on some nice leather couches in the mall and decided to go people watching instead.
He decided he didn't want to sit on the chair instead he wanted to be with the plants. He said it feels like home to him and he could comfortably watch people where he was. We observed many as the mall seems to be packed with shoppers this late in the evening. Henry was fascinated with the men wearing the Thobe. He has never seen that before he said. I told Henry that in this region, it is common to wear the thobe. He noticed that not only old people wearing it, but the young ones too. Then he noticed about the others wearing baseball caps instead of the ghutra which he thought was more respectful and more official(the ghutra not the baseball cap). He thinks I should get one. I said I think I will as long as it is not disrespectful to the culture if I wore it.
In front of Festival City
But I told him I definitely want the scarf or get the ghutra but wear it as a scarf. After a while we decided to continue walking and found ourselves in the food court where there was a McDonald's
. Well, you all now what my thoughts are on the McDonald's and let me tell you, Henry thought it was very interesting as well. Henry was growing tired, so I said that I will just go to the grocey store and then we will be on our way. This was when I realized Henry and I were a match. I freaked out when I saw the crowd...no sorry...the zoo of people in the grocery store and the shambles they leave behind as they strip the shelves of its products. My jaw must have dropped subconsciously as Henry quickly dove into my backpack to hide.
By the Festival City Pavillions
I quickly made my way through the crowd of people shoulder to shoulder of each other, banging carts together as products were flung in the air (10 Dirhams for a giant box of cereal must have been a good deal), and found 1.5 litres bottled water. I grabbed two and quickly made it to the checkout counter. After I had paid, I checked on Henry inside my backpack and told him I was out of the grocery store. He peeked his little head out of the bag and took a deep breath. Our ordeal we thought was over. I told him we are getting a cab soon to get home. After getting into the cab, we told the driver where we wanted to go. An annoyed grin appeared when the driver said he didn't know where we wanted to go. OY! Henry rolled his eyes and dove back in the bag. The driver called up a friend on his mobile and handed it to me. His friend asked me to describe the area where I think I reside and he will tell his friend. I said "we are in a gated community near the airport, in an Academy...new development...nothing around...not even street lights...a lot of things under construction". Then he said "Everything in Dubai is under construction". It is to laugh. In any event, the guy figured out where it is and told me to hand the phone over to the driver. Henry didn't want to even come up for air until we got back into our room. He quicly got washed for bed and said good night. He thanked me for taking him window shopping. He said he can't wait for our next adventure....as long as it doesn't involve going to the grocery store or dealing with the taxi man. He said he will let me do that alone.