^^ Well, I couldn't sum it up any better, so I took that from their website :-) We, as a group of exchange students, went to Global Village this past Wednesday evening. It was tons of fun and incredible to see all of the culture of this area. It really made me think about America's culture; or lack there of. What does America have? Really? The native Americans? Most American's don't even claim that, nor should we, because all we did was kick them off of their own land! But anyway back to the middle east - this place was so cool to see what each country has to offer. I had my first date in Saudi Arabia, they were awesome! I tried at least 10 different kinds. Some friends I was with at the time bough a combined 10 kilos of them! I sure hope they don't get sick... Other countries had things such as honey, silks, textiles, shoes, fragrances, incense, food, nuts, spices, anything and everything (mostly) authentic. However, because the bus was late picking us up, we only got to stay for a few hours before it had to take us home.
So Caitlin and I decided to go back yesterday. Anna gave us a ride to Mirdif mall, which was a big help (especially to avoid the extra "you crossed an emirate border, that'll be an extra 20 dirham" charge) and we caught a taxi from there. Normally, it would have been only a 15 minute ride. Not today. We spend around 2 1/2 hours in that taxi.. that's how crowded it was. Traffic was backed up for miles to get off at the exit. We also felt bad because the taxi driver wasn't making any money from just sitting there. When we (thought, anyway) that we could see the entrance, we got out and walked, along with tons of other impatient people on their way. This is about how we felt a half a mile later... vv
This is my "I am not amused" face. The walk wasn't actually that bad. It was a nice evening, too. But finally we got there. Walked around a bit more. Spend some more money. I had the BEST ice cream! The previous day, I had bought book ends from Africa, but when I got home, I realized I got the head of the lion (which I wanted) and the ass of a rhino... So I brought them back. Luckily, the guy remembered me. However, when I was standing in his little shop, waiting, another guy asked me a question about something he wanted to buy. I kinda looked around with that "are you really asking me?" look. I skeptically told him I didn't work there and was just waiting.. That was interesting. But the guy quickly fixed the problem, and I now have both halves of the lion! I also got really cute shoes! :-)
This is where our adventure really begins. We leave at 11:30 thinking we have plenty of time to get back for our 1am curfew (since it should only take about 45 minutes to get back). Well, we get to the bus stop and there is a line of people several hundred feet long... vv
Thinking "we'll miss curfew before we even get on a bus!", we went to talk to a guy who seemed to work there. He was a big muslim man, the kind you don't mess with. I guess we looked worried, so when the next bus came, he waved us over, held up the line, and told us to get on! 11:45 - We felt kind of bad for cutting line, but who cares? So this bus ended up taking about 45 minutes only to get us deep into Dubai. 12:30 - we arrive at the bus terminal and get on a Sharjah bus (the one the first guy told us would take us straight to AUS). It doesn't. 1:05 - we got off at the closest mall and jump straight into a taxi. Tell him to step on it! 1:25 - we arrive at our respective dorms. Late. Strike 1.
Not a huge deal to be late, just don't let it happen often. I think at 3, you get into some type of trouble.
Some guy selling tea
As always, there are many more picture on my facebook, so don't hesitate to check them out! Anyway - Beach tomorrow! :-)