Monday, January 19, 2009

Travel: Spice Souk by The Arabian Gulf

dubai spice

Every year in October, while booking all the holiday functions for my catering company, Saffron 59, I start getting restless at the same time to book a flight to Asia to visit the orphanage I sponsor in Burma. As a certified travel agent, I have to figure out routes to avoid crowded flights with different destinations to Asia during this time of the year. 

This trip, I experienced from the sublime to the ridiculous; by stopping over in the Middle East, in a country with the tallest towers in the world being built - Dubai, who are planning to air condition their beach when the temp hits 50 degrees Celsius in the summer. However, this is also a country with old-style values; the bustling ancient markets start at dusk with fish arriving from the gulf and spices trading with the neighboring countries of Iran, Oman and even India.

Visiting the aromatic spice souk, with canvas bags full of saffron colored turmeric, from roots to black
salt; strolling by the creek puts me back a few centuries. I imagine witnessing the traders auctioning off
their commodities and now the ridiculous part of this trip would be to Myanmar, where I will be spending the next two weeks, a country that turns on the electricity only from 6-9 pm daily and the internet is almost non existent.