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Published: September 8th 2012
Disclaimer: Eff you travelblog. I'm attempting this blog for the THIRD time, then I'm done. Tired of repeatedly uploading my pictures. Photos are in random order but at least they're there. Not bitter.... 😊
I woke up fairly early this morning and decided to do what I had been planning for a while: Go to the Souks. It is no easy trip. I had to take the metro and figure out where I wanted to get off. People had recommended that I take the water taxis if I get the chance, so I wound up taking the metro to Al Ghubaiba, which is located on this side of the creek. I also had to change lines for the first time, which was much easier than I thought. When I got off at Al Ghubaiba, which was hands down the prettiest station I'd been in so far, I was a little disoriented, but started heading towards what I thought was the creek.
A young indian man led me along the creek, through the touristy souk, and to the water taxi station. I was convinced he was taking me a long way and he would not stop talking even
though his english was minimal. He was very nice though. So, when we finally sat on the dhows, water taxis, I paid the whole one dirham for his trip. We got off and he led me to the Gold Souk area, which I was convinced was another long way to go. I kind of wanted to lose him but he kept telling me that was where he was going anyway (I actually said I wanted to go to the "Old Souk" but the gold souk too, so I went with it). Eventually, we got there and I told him I was just going to wander, so I shook his hand and said goodbye. Phew. That's the second time this has happened to me - these Indian guys are overly friendly! It kind of ruined my experience a little because he kept trying to talk to me and I just wanted to see the sights and take photos.
I took my time wandering down the Gold Souk and looked at the windows. My coworker keeps informing how the price of gold goes up and I have no idea how much it costs anyway. I'm not a big jewelry person, but
there were some nice things that caught my eye. I was a little disappointed though in the appearance. It was nothing more than regular shops with a trellis overhead. I eventually went inside one cute store and got the idea of how much things cost here: it's not cheap. The one shop owner told me how to get to the spice market, which was "very near". I detoured a little, up and down little souk type alleys where people tried so hard to get me to buy things: "Handbags, pashminas, dresses. We have what you want miss. Follow me - I show you!" Yeah, no. I did have my first successful haggling experience, partially because I just wanted to know the price and when he said what it was I gasped. I left the store, truly not caring if I got it, and he came down to a quarter of his original to something I thought was pretty fair. Yay me. I next went to the Spice Souk. Again, a little disappointed. The guide books all talk about the smell and how great it is - I was just not overly impressed. But there was a lot of selection and
some different spices than I'm used to. I went into one shop and the owner was very knowledgeable with a good grasp of english, very friendly but not overly so, and I believe he actually did give me good prices. If I go back, I will be going to him.
I was very happy to have bought a lot of gifts for my family and some things for me as well. 😊
I found the water taxi, which was about 100m from the Spice Souk. I was a little annoyed about the young Indian guy from earlier and mentally imagined if I ever saw him again.... I saw on the taxi and waited until it was full, paying my second dirham. The taxi is quite nice actually and I like its proximity to that particular metro station. I took some good photos along the creek, with many older boats and ships along the sides - it almost looked like a graveyard, but some of them were obviously occupied. There was an Indian guy next to me who also tried to get me to talk and I was nice, but ignored him mostly. I focused on my photos -
he was nice enough to point out good photo ops at least.
I got on the metro and headed back, stopping at my favorite mall to watch a movie and relax. I almost left and asked for my money back because I think all of the rude people came today. There were phones going off the whole first hour and people actually answering them. UGH!!!!!
Well, I guess I'm mostly updated on my blog. Sorry it took so long, but enjoy!
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