A Day at the Souk

January 22, 2011

A day at the souk and my soul is satiated.  I’m heady from the smell of cardamon and incense.

Incense and spices

I have come away with balls of yarn from Bedouin crafts women – itchy but perfect for my first attempt at fair isle knitting – a bag me thinks.

Bedouin Crafts

I have allum for mordanting – I will dye with turmeric for starters if I can find some white fleece.  I bought frankincense and a silk top and scarf, no more than £10 for the two.  Meandering through the lanes I was disorientated several times, circling past the same vendors time and time again.  Unlike the grand bazaar in Istanbul here you are not hassled – the occasional call to try a pashmina or look at fabric, but nothing like the hard sell in other places.


I keep getting my timings wrong, I arrived just after midday as stalls were closing for lunch so I killed time until four by having some food, a very slow coffee and a wander around the empty lane-ways.  I watched an Indian man make a bracelet, burning resin over coals and a Bedouin women cooking pancakes on a small flat burner in the street.

Making Bracelets

A gem merchant picked I was Australian from my opal ring – I explained how my father had stolen it from a thief.  I visited the animal section and saw parrots, rabbits and manky kittens and pups.  Tiny terrapins and turtles.

Tiny Turtles

Then I just sat and watched the market winding up – men with wheel barrows, women with home make pastries.


At the posher end of the souk Arabs and westerners eat alfresco, smoking shiska and drinking juices – fish restaurants, mezze, thai, italian.

  • Fabric Souk
  • I had found a backwater dinner and had a cheap plate of lamb and humous – I don’t feel comfortable sitting on my own in the main strip of the souk – I feel rather self conscious.  This was cheap and easy and a more of a locals’ choice than the main drag.

    My lunch spot

    I had started the day wandering around the harbour – my instinct taking me to a perfect view of the bay across to West Bay and all the sky scrapers.

    My Perfect View

    I sat and stared at an ocean – a happy camper.

    As I was sat taking in the view and the water a security man came and asked me to move.  I had positioned myself smack bang in the middle of Aljareeza Sports’ background to their Asian Cup studio, I has mistaken the studio for a posh cafe.

    Museum of Islamic Art

    It really doesn’t take much to make me happy and today was a good day.


    One Response to “A Day at the Souk”

    1. kelly Says:

      Fabulous Pete. Great pics and great prose. Keep it coming mate. x

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