Saturday, January 21, 2012

Dubai: Spice, Women, and a Girl in a Bubble

Frankincense from Oman

Interior, RTA water taxi, Dubai
Went back over the Creek to the Deira side to find the Spice Souk. To do that, I took a different kind of water taxi, the one operated by Dubai's RTA, the public transportation system. I tagged my refillable metro card before boarding this taxi, which is enclosed, has comfortable seats, and has the capacity for perhaps 30 passengers. It is a sleek vessel, iron grey.

I smelled the Spice Souk before I entered it. Luscious to breathe in the marvelous scents, see the intense colors, touch the surfaces.

A form of cinnamon bark

Crystal that has deodorant properties

Indigo for dyeing fabrics


I bought a bar of sandalwood soap.

I wandered in the neighborhood. This scene below, with the sensual figures of a woman adjacent to a mosque, is typical of Dubai, a place in which women's dress ranges from the black abaya with full head covering (except for the eye slit) to Daisy Dukes and tank tops.

(One might argue that the abaya with almost total head covering sexualizes women rather than de-sexualize them. They suggest that by women just being women, they invite harm to men's souls. In other words, if a man has impure thoughts, it is a woman's fault, not his. Interesting article on the subject here from an Orthodox rabbi.)

A couple of other scenes:

Finished here, I again went over to the Bur Dubai side.


In the evening, there was a festival along the Creek walk. One of the activities a child could do was be placed into a partially-collapsed plastic bubble, which teetered on the side of a pool. An attendant blew air into the bubble until it expanded into a perfect transparent globe. The child, within the bubble, dived against one side of the bubble to get it onto the water, where she commenced to being hamster-like.


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