Friday, September 08, 2006

street scenes in dubai

a ups moped. i didn't see any ups vans here just mopeds in the style of pizza delivery bikes. still with the brown uniform though.

shop full of western style (=tacky) clothes

pretty blue gate

mosque - i really, really love the call to prayer the muezzin makes. it is so haunting and beautiful. they make it 5 times a day - the 5am one is toned down a little bit. it's interesting when there are 2 mosques in the same vicinity as each other because of the sound clash. most interesting and intense of all was when i was in jerusalem - i was woken in the morning to the most heavenly sounds - it was very surreal and dreamlike - i wish i had a recording of it.

people (men) hanging around in the streets. there is a more of 'street culture' here where are socializing and hanging out with each other. i think it happens more in america than in england. but the streets are very much the domain of men whether here or in the west. if a woman is hanging out by herself in the streets leaning against the wall or a post she is considered easy or a prostitute and is likely to be harrassed by men even in england/us. people might view the west as more civilized - but not as far as basic women's rights are concerned. we do not have the social freedoms men do. i wonder if the human race will ever evolve where gender is no longer an issue?

footnote: it is easy to misintepret what other people are doing in other countries and cultures - so i use the term 'hanging around' loosely - they could have been waiting for a ride to work, they looked like perhaps construction workers? but it is hard to tell. i still stand by what i said though - that men have more social freedom everywhere in the world - at least where i have been.

these are perhaps the nicest (visually) pictures i took in dubai - of the boats in the harbour. the boats were stunning - old and wooden in a lovely blue colour. dubai is a big shipping port. this boat (i was told) probably came from iran and unloading it were iranian indians wearing the traditional costume of lunghis. they laughed when i took a photograph of them. i did ask before i took it. sometimes i don't though... i question my ethics sometimes. besides being a shipping port - it is also a shopper's paradise. if you like shops (especially designer ones) and beaches it is a good place to come. i was only there on a stop over on my way to bangkok... i wanted to see what it is like.

it also has a big gold bazaar or souq. this is a shop window in the souq. it is 'yellow' gold apparently. .. different from gold in the west but i'm not sure how. it was cheaper than in the west but still very expensive. i didn't buy any. i'm more of a silver person myself.

the best thing i got in dubai was my henna painting. it is very popular there to have henna paintings when you get married. i was not getting married though...but thought i'd have one. you can get them done at 'beauty parlours' there. they have books with illustrations of hands and feet and you pick a design you like. the lady that did mine was indian, from kerala. i asked for one that went all the way up my right arm and wrapped around it like a vine... i had a choice of black or red ink. the lady in the parlour recommended black... my big dilemma now is whether to have a tattoo made of it. i like it so much - i will miss it when it fades.

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