Monday, December 13, 2010

The Souk, camel tuk tuk and more

For our walk, Hani wanted to head to the souk, but I had in mind to try the camel tuk tuk today. So we first found the camel man and then, after we laughed our butts off, we walked to find the souk. This photo was me being thrown forward as the camel was directed to lie down. Way off kilter.
Now, the souk is a maze of alleyways, streets and dead ends. Thankfully, Hani speaks Arabic because there is NO chance I could have walked in, gawked, shopped and actually found my way back to a main street. As it turned out, we had a clerk walk with us...more on that below. I saw this little munchkin leaning against a souk wall and thought I should take her photo. The little kids here are gorgeous and are dressed like little princes and princesses.
After training today, Hani and I took a walk aiming for the souk, the traditional marketplace so we could people watch. While there, I found some beads for a friend who likes to make necklaces and bracelets and I bought a few baubles. After purchasing a few more items, I found a vendor who had some very nice stones of some sort but by then, I did not have enough money with me. NOT a problem said the young man with a wad of Qat in his cheek. He would go with me to my hotel, wait while I changed my US dollars into Rials and he would return to the shop....and this is what we did. I had my bag of stones I was buying in hand and I tore off alone to the hotel because Hani and the clerk are rather short legged...but I had the goods, and off I strode. I had the money changed and ready by the time the clerk arrived at Taj Sheba, our hotel and I gave him a little tip. He walked a good 15 minutes each way to collect what amounted to about $12 for the sale. Customer service, no? Can you picture that happening anywhere in the US?

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