Our Humble Night Souk Experience
First published on multiply.com
Feb 4, ’09 4:07 PM
My wife and I opted not to watch a movie last Thursday night (night before our weekend here in Dubai); we went to the “Night Souk” at the creek, instead. Heading toward the place, which is a walking distance only, the very common ferry’s wheel can be seen already a few meters from our apartment. From afar, we can hear screams and shouts of excitement from the people riding on the so called “hammer ride”.
We’ve noticed many others who were just stepping out of their respective apartments wearing their thick & cold-resistant coats since it is still winter here; they are heading for the place too. We saw others who were going the opposite way, heading home with arms full of plastic bags containing shopped items from the night souk, definitely in a much lesser value since the souk is part of the famous annual “Dubai Shopping Festival”. We
started to feel like shopping too, seeing them enjoying the yearly event. Be it kabayans, Indians, locals, Britons, etc.
Upon reaching the place, we had this sudden resolution – to not spend money anymore. But while we were walking along with the crowd, we we’re tempted to buy these fresh Thai raw mango and guava fruits. We were literally salivating, seeing those fresh fruits being munched by almost everyone who happens to pass by that Thai kiosk. So? We gave in and fed our watering mouths. How to describe it? It was “crispyjuicylicious!”
A few meters away, Celeste and I both laughed when we saw this pink coloured soft thing on stick, hehehe, the “cotton candies”. Honestly, I really can’t remember when, (during my childhood?), I last tasted that cotton candy. My word for it was, very sweeeet… an impending sore throat, that we hurriedly looked for bottled water to soothe it.
Next in line were the stalls displaying so many discounted dry goods, garments, but we we’re not shaken and tempted by those “lowest price” tags. We wanted to stick to the idea of not spending money since pay day is yet weeks to go, although technically, we have spent money already for those Thai fresh fruits and cotton candies. Heheh…
Onward, we bumped onto this some-kind-of-a-new-to-us food. It was called, “cheapstix”. I was attracted immediately with its spiraling shape on a stick. The preparation took only 3-5 minutes. The whole peeled potato on a stick is inserted into an electronic machine, comes out in cut spiraled shape then deep fried into the boiling oil.
When cooked, it will be garnished with a flavor of your choice. So despite being
full already with the Thai fruits, we gave in again. Thick cheese, salt & pepper for Celeste, mine was dressed with Mexican chili flavour. Wow! Until now, I could still have that tangy potato taste… well, only on my mind now, not in my taste buds. Hehehe. It really was, worth it. Something new and healthy too! You should try it if you see one.
Meters from the cheapstix kiosk, I heard clapping and the sound of a banduria instrument. When I took a peek, I was wrong seeing that this instrument is somewhat like a guitar but obviously not. It’s just another new thing to me. Curious, I asked this Arabic guy beside me if it’s an Arabic instrument and he said yes. Lute is the name. Well, according to Wikipedia, lute is one of the ancestors of the modern guitar. I was still close. Heheh…
The player was good and the lute sounded good, (that comes from a music lover and “musician?”, myself).
Kidding aside, I appreciate different kinds of music, from classical to contemporary. I remember the time when we used to practise Pilipino classic & folk songs for our rondalla band. I missed the sound of those bandurias and that of “bajo de arco”. Whew! That was the time when I really enjoyed music, the time when I was a full-time member of the Silliman University Men’s Glee Club.
After a moment of deep recollection of a time long gone, my wife begged for us to go back home. My watch struck 12:00 midnight already but while heading back home, we we’re enticed to stop by for a while and watch a dance going on, the so-called “Haryanvi dance”. From the Indian lady I asked, she said it was like a court dance in one of the provinces of India, Haryana. It was quite similar to the court dances that we have, from the natives of the Philippines, but the Haryanvi dance has more on choreography. Well, I could see how the Indians love and preserve their culture. Impressive!
Finally, 12:30 am on the clock, we arrived home, spent only less dirhams, but tasted new food, acquainted to a new musical instrument and enjoyed a well preserved Indian culture. We thanked Dubai Shopping Festival and to the night souk for the experience and festivity.
You can also go to this link: http://filsanl.multiply.com/journal/item/6/Our_humble_Night_Souk_or_Night_Market_Experience