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  • April 2008
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Lunch at . . .

After a couple of Days in Dubai I traveled about 1.5 hours by car along the desert highway south to the city of Al-Ain.  It is on the UAE/Oman border.  “Al-Ain” means the oasis and that is exactly what it is.  There are beautiful palm trees everywhere, and although still very westernized, the pace of life is just a little slower.  I’m staying with a bunch of ex-pats who have been here for years.  Its funny, I felt a little awkward playing tourist and taking photos around them.  So have no decent pictures of the city.  What a pity.  But here is a link to the wikipedia article.  I had lunch on my own a couple of days because people were at work.  I went to the mall (kinda sounds like the States, eh?)  Check out the Al-Ain Mall website here

 Here’s a view from Starbucks.  Note the couple in the middle of the pic.  He in a long flowing white robe, with traditional head wrap, she in a jet black abbaya and hijab a few feet behind.   They were twenty-somethings or teens.  Probably brother and sister.

When I walked into the mall one of the giant glass doors had a advertisement for the new “Wrapstar Combo” available in the food court.  The other door advertised the new Indiana Jones movie coming soon.  I was greeted by all the amenities and stores you would expect in an American Mall.  Well kind of.  There was the ice rink, oh and the car dealership, and the Ponderosa Steakhouse as an anchor restaurant.  Those things were a little different.  Arabic food was twice as expensive as Western fastfood at the food court, so I opted for the Wrapstar combo (below).  Any guesses on which American fast food chain?

The Combo cost 18 dirhams or $5.  It came with pretty decent french fries, Heinz Ketchup, a small Pepsi, and the amazing new Warpstar Sandwhich!  I’m still trying to figure that one out.  It is kind of like a wrap – but not.  It’s a wheat tortilla that is folded over the ingredients in kind of a star shaped pattern.  I’m not sure if the name is playing on the “wrap” theme, or the “Rap Star” theme or both.  Inside is some crispy fried chicken, tortilla strips, lettuce, tomatoe, and what passed for spicy Ranch dressing.  Actually pretty decent.  Did you guess the fast food place?

Yup Colonel Sanders is alive and well in Middle East.  Maybe you could open a franchise today!



One Response

  1. Brian, I’m really enjoying reading all your posts. I’m thinking of you often.

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