Sunday, October 29, 2006

Sarah and Lee were off home that day to prep the palace for us - after our stay at the Movenpick with flowers and chocolates on our pillow they were quite concerned that this would be a hard act to follow. After all - we did find out that we were the hottest passports at the Movenpick - like there would be any question. Look at those passport photos - sports illustrated has been harassing us non-stop to pose for their cover ever since our passport photos have been released.

So the last day in Dubai we were left to fend for ourselves. After a bit of a lazy sleep in we headed up to the pool where we relaxed and had a fabulous lunch. Saw enough speedos to make us want to move to Europe (I really don't understand why the men there think that the banana hammocks are in high fashion - Brian even these would put your golden speedos to shame. Not to mention the back hair that was frollicking about - - - !! More back hair then you would find on a camel.)

After quickly showering up we were off to the souks. The taxi driver wasn't too sure where to go so with our limited knowledge of the city we ended up in a totally different spot then what we were expecting. Good thing we were meant to be CIA operatives as with map in hand we quickly found our way to the old souks. And again - thanks to Eid - they were closed :( Oh boo for us!! It was off to the gold souks!

Now for those of you who have never experienced this I must tell you it was quite the adventure. Less people and more tourists than the night before which was nice but still busy and hopping. As we are walking along men are continually walking up beside us and in low voices asking if we would like to buy a watch. They don't have them hanging on the inside of their jackets in Dubai - probably merely because it is too hot to wear anything more then a light shirt. But they do have them!! If the watch wasn't enough to hook us they would then mention handbags and in their thick accent offer us Louis Vuitton, Chanel, Gucci and more. Well a girl can only resist Louis Vuitton for so long before with Nicole's little request ringing in our ears - we asked if they had Coach. Of course they do!! And we were off - winding through these little back alleys and wondering where we might end up. At one point we asked the guide how much further and he said just up here. So up a back stair case to an upper locked room which opened to reveal every poor girls heaven. Shelves upon shelves of designer knock off handbags, more watches than one can count, wallets, sunglasses, cuff links - you can't imagine the treasures this place held. After convincing them we really weren't into the watches and were truly only looking for a Coach handbag - which they did not have Nicole!!!! Fran and I both left with great deals on Chanel bags though!!! Then it was back to our quest for the gold souks.

We finally came upon this infamous area. With more gold then the eye can see and enough crazy shop keepers to give Trent enough material to last him a life time. These men all watch out the window hoping you will pause long enough for them to catch your eye and beckon you in to this heaven - or hell - and like a moth to a flame, we could only pass by so many before we ventured inside. However, they were quick to pop our bubbles with their ridiculous prices and we were back outside. We could write on this for hours but we will only recount Fran's favorite story just to give you a hint of what was going on . . .

Here we are in this little shop with a short pudgy, four eyed, sporting braces which probably contained more metal then the entire shop 13 year old kid. We are looking at the bracelets and of course he pulls one out to show us and that is when we notice he has this wicked crack pinky - oh are we in for a treat!! He is doing his best to barter with us - offering the bracelet at a mere 520 durhams (again use the 1/3 rule to get you canadian dollars). We shake our head no. Now the war is on as he knows that we are interested yet not quite enough . He continues to lower his price which every time we say no. Now we are down to 450 and counting. At this point we start to walk away. After repeatedly telling us that we will not find a better place anywhere else - these deals or heightened prices are because of Eid!! Of course they are. Now his sister is starting to repeat everything after him. Our only escape is the door which was blocked by the dad. Oh dear!! The panic sets in for our little crack boy and it is much like trying to tear away a mother from her little child!!!! He knows we are losing interest faster then ostriches can run in a desert!! We suddenly hear him cry out as though he has been mortally shot - 'Only 320 durhams! Please Ma'am - what are you willing to pay!! Please, make me an offer!!' It is all we can do to escape the shop before busting out into laughter. Good thing we had plenty of practice in this department on our trip as we actually made it to the next window - 5' over before losing it. As the door is closing we here him still calling out to us.

Oh we wish you could have been here to view this event. After a yummy little street meat at the local schwarma stand and some people watching that was pure gold we grabbed a cab and headed back to our hotel. The driver was in quite the hurry to get in as many runs as possible and so with slamming brakes, Frannie's teeth in the back of his head rest and the rear seat bouncing about and slamming down we finally arrived safe and sound. We dropped our bags and headed out for some dessert to finish off the evening. This led us to a little restaurant in our hotel where we were greeted by the manager and before the night was over found ourselves in a rousing dart match. The boys told us they were no good - but later confessed they play for money. Guess you can figure out how those matches went although Fran and I were pretty stellar before the night was over. Wes, even you would have been impreseed with our natural athletic aptitude on the dart line!!

Finally it was off to bed as the airport was calling us to take us away on our golden chariot to Doha. Okay - not quite so golden. We were next to the most rancid smelling man we have met yet. Thankgoodness for the hot washcloths and pillows as even Fran was able to catch some strong wiffs of that stench. We were so excited to arrive in Doha!! Certainly the longest 45 minute flight we have even been on!!


missyinlondon said...

Oh girls! I'm so glad you're having so much fun! I cannot wait to see more photos! Hi to everyone there for me. I emailed Jules some photos...

abbott said...

Man, you got my hopes all up with your shady back alley deals. Now I am going to go cry b/c there is no coach. But thanks for trying *sniff sniff* :-)