Woke up too early today - 4.m to be exact ; which would be 1a.m back home. The body clock still not adjusted. Got breakfast around 9am then came back to sleep for another 3 hours . Woke up to a decision to give the Gold Souq a closer look. Found most of the gaudy jewelry quite in bad taste , and took a few photos of them to later broadcast my disgust .
I find that my guide's neglect has turn out an advantage. He had found me an hotel in a completely commercial part of town. Here every house was either a shop or a hotel and you never really had to walk far to do any shopping. Nevertheless I decided to go to the Dubai Mall instead.
Now this is how you will know a dumb tourist or a rich tourist- they always call the taxi when going to a popular destination ; and they always tell the driver that they are new in town. The taxi driver exploits this to the fullest ;kept fiddling with his meter. Okay, I knew I was being cheated but what could I do but grin and silently bear it. Roamed the Dubai mall for about 3 hours or so and until my poor legs and waist told me it was time to quit. This mall is the most astounding commercial structure I've ever seen planted in the ground. Indeed I would late learn that this is true of the entire Dubai emirate.
The taxi driver again repeated the chicanery on my way back. I must be strongly reeking of the musk that stupid tourist carry around.Returned to the hotel quite beat. I am sure I have over-walked myself and not even yet fully recovered from the flight . I had a shower and strolled up to the Afghan restaurant. This time I safely ordered half a charcoal-grilled chicken . The manager looked disappointed, but the truth really was that my stomach could not take anything larger. Even this was a big meal since each meal package always came with a large piece of delicious naan bread.
A more careful hunt through the TV/SAT showed that there were actually English channels. Listened to the news on Al Jazeera and then watched a goofy film called Bullworth or something like that on Fox. Sleep came easier tonight.
(Excerpt from the book 'Salam!' )