Yet again, we spent the day working as hard as we could to bring the presentation closer to the finish line. It was also another day of spending lunch at the pool. I am definitely getting used to that. A surprising part of the trip is that we only went to the beach on the first full day the team was here, and it’s across the street. I may have to go one more time.
After work, the team headed back to the souq area to find gifts for family and friends. As I have alluded to, there hasn’t been much to get in the way of gifts since it would be like going to a store at a westernized (or western) store at the mall. With that being said, the souqs had “more” authentic stuff, or so we believed. We also wanted to grab dinner at our favorite shawarma and falafel joint and go to the Dubai Museum.
So when we arrived in the souq area, we went right over to the shawarma place, Lavash. This was now our third time there in the last week and the owner and cut man welcomed us back with smiles and handshakes. Again, my meal of a shawarma, falafel and bottle of water was 10 dirham ($2.25). As we left, we took a picture with our new friends.
Next, we walked over to the Dubai Museum and it was like Alfred Hitchcock’s “The Birds”. Thousands of birds were swooping around at crazy speeds, some narrowly missing people’s heads. When we found out it was outside with the birds AND you had to pay, we decided to run to the friendly confines (the narrow corridors) of the textile souq. It was incredibly strange, but we didn’t feel like we missed out as nobody wanted to birds nosediving at their heads.
Before we knew it, we were back at the area where the scarves were and the whole team was ready to buy. After an hour and a half of negotiating, yes, 90 minutes, the team secured their scarves and gifts. We then got on a boat, paid our 1 dirham, and went across the river to the Deira old souq area.
From there, we sprinted over to the tailor to pick up our shirts. To do this, we had to wind and navigate through the narrow streets which were full of shops.
For much of the team, they had not seen the tailors store, found in a small, mostly dark alley, where their tiny store is located. But, while their store is small, we soon confirmed that they are ridiculously good at what they do. Our shirts were ready for pickup and when they pulled our shirts off the shelf, I could not have been more excited about it. This may seem irrational, but I think it was the fact that we had been involved in the whole process: selecting the fabric at another store, carrying it over to the tailor, getting measured, leaving a sheet of fabric on the desk and hoping and praying that it would turn out. When you finally see the finished product, you are left wondering how it could have been turned into a shirt. Craziness. Well, for $13 each, I had two shirts made, and I couldn’t be happier with them. Perfect fit.
After seeing our shirts, Matt, Joey and Kate all wanted shirts and Travis and I wanted another. This time, I decided to go big, I selected a fabric for the shirt and a different fabric for the inside of the cuff and underneath the collar. We will see, but I trust my guys to do an amazing job on it. We’ll see Thursday night when we try to pick them up.
I leave at 4:45am Friday morning and time is running short here before the journey resumes on another continent.