I write this post from Dubai where I have stopped off for one night on my way to Afghanistan, a trip that takes around 21 hours. I decided to stay in Dubai for a day to rest and work on getting over the time difference.
My day here started with an elaborate breakfast buffet in my hotel. There were at least eight kinds of cereal, a Chinese food buffet, several egg options, and every kind of bread you can imagine. All the items looked familiar, except for a cheese labeled "Arabic Cheese" and a variety of dates with which I am unfamiliar.
After pondering what will happen to all the leftovers, and not finding an answer, I decided to go in search of "local" food. So, I hit the City Center Mall. That is one of three large malls in Dubai, a city well known for its mall culture.
The City Center mall is located in the older part of town so I thought it might be a little more authentic than other shopping centers. Yet apart from a few hijab-clad women and ethnically-attired men, I could have easily been in the U.S. There amongst the luxury stores was a Baskin Robbins, Chili's, Potbelly Sandwiches and even a Cinnabon.
Still hopeful, I headed to Carrefour, a mega store within the Mega mall. Carrefour is like WalMart: it has everything. I went up and down every aisle, hoping to find some indication that I am in an Arabic country. Finally, in a corner, I found a little island of nuts, dates, and beautifully arranged spices. It wasn't nearly as elaborate as the soft drink aisle, but I was happy to have accomplished my mission.
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