This is my final post about our Dubai Adventure.
Soon I will be back my my regular postings, such as:
"How I Gained Seven Pounds, and Why is it All in my Waistline?"
"Hot Flashes and Electric Blankets, a Match Made in Hell."
"Losing Control, The Cadbury Mini-Egg Season."
So bear with me, okay?
There is this place in Dubai that is the Mother Ship to all cheap shoppers.
It is only open in Dubai winter, cause it is an open market.
With summers soaring upwards of 120 degrees, I am sure the vendors would be baked to death then.
This mystical shopping extravaganza is called "Global Village."
We were plum tuckered out before we got to the end.
Global Village is a conglomeration of shopping centers, each based on a different country.
For instance, this whole huge pavillion is "Yemen."
So you walk into "Yemen" and inside the store you would find products indigenous to Yemen. All the tourist-y crap, genuine imports that are unique to Yemen, and anything else they see fit to ship into Dubai and sell in the store.
Like this honey.
They had dozens of different types of honey for sale.
They were giving out free samples.
Sam and I tried the "Adult Honey."
Can't say that it did anything spectacular.
Some stores were bigger than others, but I am telling you, there was a lot of stuff there.
The best part about it?
The prices were the same prices you would pay if you visited that country.
The day we went, we happened to get high divers:
Mikayla, Shianne and Andrea's daughter rode this ghetto Merry Go Round.
She is almost 12.
I was dying laughing.
The Merry Go Round was constructed out of tape-wrapped OFFICE CHAIRS.
Look for yourself.
Shianne was clearly thrilled.
Here is a cute shop in "India" where I bought some hand-beaded pillows for like three bucks a piece. We are talking Pier One Imports looking pillows.
Think how much crap is made in China.
Andrea had a hook-up with a guy that had a store in China, and sold real pearls.
Granted, they were fresh-water pearls, but they weren't the normal elongated, squished, lumpy looking fresh water pearls, they looked like genuine high end pearls.
They were gorgeous.
Then, on a large table, there were strings of pearls you could dig through, scrutinize the quality and color, pick what you wanted, and then have that strand made into anything you wanted.
If it was long enough, you could get a necklace, and a bracelet out of one strand.
Necklace and earrings?
You got it, sister.
However you wanted to work it.
They let you pick the clasps and everything.
They had a few different colors of natural pearls, and some that were dyed.
The price depended on the size of the pearls.
The larger ones were really heavy.
I got my girls smaller pearls. They ended up being $2.80.
We spent a fair amount of time there.
Mikayla fell asleep standing up.
She had a long day.
My boys entertained themselves with the surrounding stores in China.
This is the part of the blog post that I will call "Lost in Translation."
As a rule, our family has an off-the-wall sense of humor.
China did not disappoint.
They had stores and stores full of clothing, that they attempted to make look cool, by plastering with English phrases.
Or Spiderhman. <---that covers a lot of bases.
You may have to click on them to read them.
It said "cheeky."
But obviously the Chinese Spongebob is far hotter, as it can sport the title of "SMILF."
I don't think so.
And China is reputed to have high priority placed on quality schooling.
They had plenty of reference materials for us ignorant Americans.
We need all the help we can get!
In short, Global Village was awesome.
This is the part of the travelogue where I bear my testimony of how lucky we are, and the generosity of others.
Remember in addition to Sam and I, and our five kids, we brought Jack and Bonnie, my in-laws.
I don't think it gets any better than that.
A little insight into me.
I hate to put people out.
And the thought of crashing on Andrea and her family for almost a week was almost more than I could stand.
We e-mailed back and forth, and Andrea was always very positive, and accommodating.
I still felt weird.
"Can I bring towels?"
"No way. They are too bulky to pack, we have plenty."
Andrea and her family were beyond nice, and on top of that, they were really fun to be around.
This is the house they are living in:
The houses in the neighborhood are fenced in by high thick adobe walls, and contain a garden courtyard of sorts.
Andrea had a plumeria tree outside her front door.
All marble floors, a sweeping staircase, wide wooden door encasements and baseboards.
Sam and I stayed in Andrea's girls' room.
Our girls stayed with us.
Andrea's girls slept in their parents room for the duration, and our boys were bunked up with Andrea's boys.
I am embarrassed for the imposition.
Not only did we take over their sleeping quarters, but we took complete advantage of their taxi service.
Whenever we went somewhere, Andrea or her husband drove us. And gave us a tour on the way to the destination. Pointing out interesting things, stopping for photo ops. And Andrea's husband took the camera from me occasionally so I would be in the shot! Who thinks of that?
Proof of what crappy guests we were:
That is how I felt with Andrea.
She has a knack for making you feel like close family...not just relatives.
I learned a lot from her.
A lot about being a good hostess.
Anytime I asked her if I could help her do something, she always said "sure!"
Do you know how much better it is to feel helpful to someone, then have that someone say "nah, I am good, just relax."
She would probably rather just take care of things herself, but instead, let me have some pride.
Delegated out some small things for me to do, to feel helpful.
A good lesson.
I also learned that you can never have enough cold cereal.
Warm cookies and late nights are the best.
And you can always fit one more into an already packed car.
We miss those guys.
And we are so grateful to them for sharing Dubai with us.
I don't know if Andrea has found my blog...if you have, thank you again.
Our last night, Sam was checking flights home.
He made the statement that if we didn't make the Dubai to Atlanta, Atlanta to Salt Lake City flight, we could always catch the Dubai to Charles De Gaulle, Charles De Gaulle to Salt Lake City.
Did you say Charles De Gaulle?
Isn't that in Paris?!!
Is Paris on the way home?