Thursday, July 3, 2008
Dubai Big Bus Tour - No Man's Land and the Gold Souk
We started off strong with some really culturally valuable information from our guide and a trip to the Dubai Museum, however things were about to take a turn for the worst. Upon trying to pick the bus back up at the museum to continue the tour (the buses run every 30 mins), we realized the some novice guide on our first bus had collected our tickets and not given them back to us. So even though we could procure the credit card receipt which showed that we had bought the tickets just an hour ago, they said that the original ticket was the only valid way to continue on our tour. Well, we had just spent 575Dhs on the tickets and therefore there was no way that we were going anywhere!
Matt sprang to action, which in Dubai, means arguing. Many calls later to the manager of the company and we were told that we were going to be let back on, and that at the next stop we would be issued fresh tickets. However, Matt knows better than to have someone tell him "it's no problem, sir", because that most likely means that their will definitely be a problem. The altercation concluded with Matt giving the bus driver a piece of paper and saying "if it isn't going to be a problem to get on the next bus, then I want you to write: I, Shah, (the guy's name that Matt read on his badge) confirm that it will be no problem to get on the next bus." He manages to write the statement but he hesitant to sign and Matt starts urging "sign your name, sign your name!" It was pretty funny and genius move, as in Dubai, most people will just deny whatever it is they told you. With Shah's autograph in hand, we were able to hop off the bus to enjoy "Heritage Village". Long story short, 15 minutes was wasted on arguing with the tour company and the other 15 we were lost trying to find the attraction. So, we are going to have to try that one again.
With everyone in a cranky mood now, we were lucky that the next stops included things both sparkly and distracting. We checked out the Gold Souk which is the city's jewelry district and checked out the outrageous jewelry. Most of it is crafted for Arab or Indian weddings where adorning the bride symbolizes your family's wealth. Lisa also took some time to try on a few 'modest' pieces.