Thursday, September 20, 2012

Dubai Mall and the Dancing Fountain

I'm not very good at spending money and am not easily comfortable in big crowds, so I avoid malls whenever possible. Since malls here offer the largest air conditioned entertainment in the desert, that pretty much means I'm avoiding a good bit of where city life happens in Abu Dhabi. This does not bother me. However, when we were already in Dubai and with friends who knew their way around, it wasn't so intimidating. And a bit surprising...

While we were waiting to get in the restaurant I got to explore the first natural/organic food store that I've found here. I finally found good coconut oil. The coconut oil found in the markets is super processed and smells like lard... Coconut oil should smell like coconut!

We ate at the Texas Road House where, for the first time since moving here I heard the familiar sounds of harmonicas, fiddles and country twang coming over the speakers. Even if country music isn't your thing, if you are raised in the southern U.S. it reminds you of home. It was interesting to see the variety of nationalities enjoying food that was from my home country. The waiters were mostly Philippino, while the customers were mostly a mix of western expats, local Emirates and people from surrounding Arabic-speaking countries. It was amusing then, to see the people's reactions to the waiters and waitresses bursting into enthusiastic line dancing. I can't get the lady's expression who was across from our table out of my mind: it was a combination of shocked and amused and a little bit worried all at the same time!

We got to see the "dancing fountain," which was water synchronized with music and lights in a beautiful display that plays every 30 minutes and changes songs each time. Elias was trying to grab the phone part of the time, but here's a sample:

Talia liked looking at the fish as we were outside the huge in-mall aquarium. It supposedly has a tunnel that you can walk through, but we didn't have time this visit to do that. We did see a shark from the outside. The ceiling outside of the aquarium was twinkling with "stars."

She also really liked the butterfly ceiling decorations where what looked like a million shiny, white butterflies linked on strings were hung mobile style from a huge block of ceiling. Their wings fluttered with the wind, making it even more realistic.

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