Wyona and I wanted to go to the gold souk. At least I did. I have been looking forward to seeing this market since I heard about it at a destinations lecture. Moiya declared that she was not in the market for gold, but she wanted to look in the shops if we were going to explore them. David is less anxious if he goes somewhere else. He continues his site seeing. Hanging out in shops, shifting his weight from one leg to another while Moiya is looking at merchandise, is his idea of hell on earth. He is happy to have her buy; he just wants to be looking at the bigger picture of the community while she shops. “
Wyona asked Greg to come along with us – this was one of the times when she needed the safety of his presence. A man whispered something to Greg as we walked along. I wanted to know what the conversation was about. “Oh, he was just inviting me to come along to a back street for some Gucci watches,” Greg laughed. The women darted in and out of shops. Greg bought pop to keep Wyona hydrated. “No really cold,” he said. “It looks cold because of the beads of water on the outside, but it is not cold.” I wore out faster than Moiya and Wyona and I would go sit beside Greg who would put himself on one of the benches that lined the middle of the mall, and watch us. “Watches? Scarves? Bags?”, men would walk by and say to Greg.
“How many times does this happen,” I asked him.
“About once every 15 minutes,” Greg replied. “So many times that the tourist standing kitty-corner over there has been watching and has begun to laugh each time I am approached again,” he continued.
After a slight rest, I would continue to pop into the shops with Moiya and Wyona. I am not used to the tinsel gleam on the 18 and 24 karat gold merchandise in spot after spot – both outside of the souk and then inside along its covered walkway. I liked to study the walls above the tops of the shops. I could see laundry hanging above one, but back in the recesses of the ceiling where no one would ever see it.
“What are you looking to purchase?”, the merchants will ask me. I haven’t even thought about the categories long enough to have selected a general theme to jewellery buying. I am overwhelmed with plastic bags of gold under counters brought out if the merchants think I can’t find anything on the shelves or in the glass cases that I like. The truth is, I like it all.
And the idea of buying gold by picking out a piece of jewellery and then having someone put it on the scale? That is anathema to me. Wyona has told me many times that is how it was done. Still, the surprise of that act was there for me.