Wafi City Mall

October 11, 2008

This is inside the Khan Murjan. It is a recently constructed souk (marketplace) in which they pulled out all the stops to include traditional architecture and artistry. It is two floors and both are underground. There is beautiful carved wood everywhere and this picture shows the stained glass window ceiling. The souk was divided into different areas by regional areas – Egypt, Africa, Lebanon, etc. All the shops are supposed to sell traditional goods — carpets, Arabic garments, Middle Eastern style tea pots, jewellery, etc. There was a spice store, but it was closed 😦 The items were kinda spendy, so not exactly a real souk. I don’t know if they would have bartered and sold for a lower price. This is sort of a rich tourists souk.
The traditional souk is connected to a much larger modern mall — Wafi City — which is done in Egyptian style architecture (including a pyramid). These pictures are of the Eye of Ra, a stained glass dome in the mall. It was impossible to get the whole thing in one shot. The Eye is in the dome and then a tornado shaped spiral of glass extends to the floor.
Before we went to this mall, someone had mentioned that it is never crowded. Once we got there we discovered why. The shops are all high end (maybe with the exception of Marks and Spencer who are my friends where I can buy clothes and shoes in my size). We discovered Japengo, a multicultural restaurant that has SUSHI. Yeah! I’ve been missing my sushi! I also had the most decadent hot cocoa at one of the shops here. Yummy.

Luckily, Paul is a spatial genius. Otherwise I would get completely lost in these malls. We found the chocolate shop just after having eaten all that sushi, so we decided to come back later. Luckily, Paul knew how to get back to it. I would have had to locate a mall map and spend 10 minutes trying to figure out where to go.

Shopping here is like an extreme sport. Imagine the Clackamas Town Center mall (or any big mall in your area) the week before Christmas. That is what every Saturday is like. Madhouse. Very few of the stores have anything I would even consider buying, so I have a hard time understanding what everyone is shopping for every week.

Last night we walked down to the Lulu Hypermarket in our neighborhood. It was crowded with people. I was at the counter trying to pay for our items and a little guy (less than 5 ft tall) pushes up shoving his money and the item he wanted to buy toward the clerk, pushing me out of the way as I am trying to sign the debit card slip to finish my transaction. I am so amazed by the complete inability of people to wait their turn. They don’t know how to line up or wait. If there isn’t a physical lane leading to the counter that forces people to line up, there is a jostling crowd. And, unfortunately, the rude person is the one that gets served. I spent all my life learning to be polite, now I have to relearn to be rude.


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