I was visiting a friend’s house last night and admired a few of her home décor items. She told me that she purchased them at a wonderful little store called the “Red Sea Antique Store” located near Al Noor hospital. I tucked that bit of information into the back of my head to try exploring later.
Today I was out at the Hiltonia Beach Club, enjoying my tiny bit of paradise, when I thought about stopping by the store to check things out. At the time I couldn’t remember what the heck it was called but I was pretty sure it had the word “tea” in it and it was near a hospital. So…..as you can figure, this is not enough information to put into GPS. I couldn’t even begin to find the place. I texted my girlfriend and by the time I heard back it was time for me to get to the kid’s school for an assembly.
Later that evening I had to run Alexander to soccer practice at school. My friend, Mia, was taking her daughter to the same place so I gave her a call to see if she wanted to check out a great (so I heard) home décor shop with me while the kids had soccer. She was up for it.
I now knew that the name of the place was “Red Sea Antique Store” and it was near Al Noor. The store wasn’t in the GPS but Al Noor was. Great! I drove towards Al Noor only to find out that it took me to Al Noor restaurant and not a hospital. Fail!
Next, I made sure to put Al Noor hospital in the GPS. It took us to where it said Al Noor hospital was. Now then, when I drive with a GPS – I tend to be a blind-GPS-follower. You know the kind – don’t pay attention to what’s logical and just listen to the voice tell me where to go. Turn here – okay. Turn here – okay. It told me to turn and I did….right into an active construction zone. There was a security guard coming at me looking not-so-pleased and I’m sure yelling at me about being a stupid ex-pat or something and there was a giant bus backing into me and people wandering around staring at me. So – I started laughing and couldn’t stop and Mia was laughing and I was trying to back-up and mouthing “sorry, sorry, sorry” to the security guy and then a Backhoe started coming at me from the other direction and all I could do was laugh at the ridiculousness of the situation. Damn GPS and Damn Abu Dhabi lack of construction and no-entry signs. I got out unscathed and kept on heading in what I thought was the right direction. I still couldn’t find it. Fail!
But – I was determined.
Then I remembered she said it was on 5th street so we headed over to 5th and decided to drive up and down it until we could find it. Just when I thought all was lost, we turned into a parking area and saw Al Noor hospital up ahead. Score! Then we looked and looked and came across the Antique Show. Success!
We headed in and the place was amazing. I wish I had my camera with me. It had large ornate furniture pieces, lots of little knick-knack things. Items from Turkey and Morrocco and Oman and India. Soooo many cool items. It of course had a few random bits of things that didn’t look like they belonged either and a few touristy-crap painted mugs. But mostly – awesome stuff jam-packed in there.
Now then, I don’t know what air I have about me but it must be the one of “I’m out for a hot deal”. (Did you see my watch from the last post?)
One of the shop workers asked where I was visiting from and I told him that I just moved here from the States. Then he whispered and beckoned me into a dark corner. So….I followed him. He had that shifty-eye look and whispered things like….”my boss is over there….shhhh…I give you good deal…..shhhh….only buy small things here….shhhhh….buy big things from me…I give you good prices. Here’s my mobile number…..call me before you come…..and then he told me where to go. You understand? shhhhh…..buy from me….good deal…..”.
Needless to say, his mobile number is in my phone and I’m going to check it out tomorrow. But – I did purchased a few items that I couldn’t resist all for a haggled-down price of 80 dirhams ($22). I’m totally Christmas shopping there. There are good deals in Abu Dhabi – you just have to be willing to haggle and go in the dark corners with whispering strangers……
My Arabic Salt & Pepper Shakers