Saturday, April 5, 2008
Souqs and Dinner
What a fun time we had shopping at the souqs. Houkas, spices, rugs, souveniers, you name it. And GOLD, lots of gold. Haggling is expected and so I was ready to go after experiencing China. But I was put to shame! Sam is Iranian American and speaks Farsi, which allowed him to haggle with those shop owners and/or workers who also spoke Farsi (the most widely spoken Persian language). Boy was that great to watch. Sam was not about to let any of us pay more than we should, and we didn't. He had some of those guys getting pretty ticked off, but that's when Sam said he knew he was getting the best price. We were some of the only non-Arabic folks in the souqs since these are the more local shops. It was a blast. As you can see the mannequins proved to be a little interesting in some shops. And note the Texas store. The streets reminded me of Vegas in some parts....lots of lights!
By 11:00 or so we were starving so we hunted down a little local eatery. Hmmm....interesting place. Really good food and pretty cheap. A couple of the guys ventured into the restroom, however, and from what we heard it was pretty bad. The rest of us refused to even go in to see, but we now understand why you would never shake someone's left hand after they'd been in there....ew.
Getting home proved to be a challenge...we could not find a taxi. We ended up walking to a hotel to try to call one from there. Said it would be 30 minutes but then one showed up. Betsy, me, Julie and Sam took that one and Hall and Chris waited for another one. Such cavaliers...
Well, another one never showed up so they ended up accepting a ride from someone -- danger, danger, warning -- ended up being a nice guy and he brought them home safely.