Sunday, August 9, 2009

They paved paradise to put up a newer, shinier paradise

In my first few months here, I have spent quite a bit of time just wandering about the city. Sometimes it was because I was mildly lost. Other times I had an actual destination and an actual good idea of how to get there. It has led me to some interesting places, quite by accident, that I can then go back and look at a map and figure out what they were. The Giant Teapot Park (actually called, I think, the Public Gardens) is a great example.

Neither short nor stout.

Recently, I tried to do things in reverse. I looked at the map, said "Hey, a fish and vegetable souk--let's roll" and hailed a cab. The thing was supposed to be about a block Gulf-ward of the Al Hosn Palace, which is about the only bit of historical architecture left in Abu Dhabi, and which is inaccessible because it is being restored.

You know what else is under construction? The souk. Check that, it was razed and they're building a new one. It will, I assume, be glassed in and air conditioned. Why is it so hard to preserve historical character around here? I like narrow alleys and tiny storefronts and people trying to sell me things I don't need.

In the meantime, I'm told, I can go to the docks and buy fish. Maybe I'll give that a try--assuming it hasn't been replaced by a floating mall.


cadiz12 said...

Hey Gerry, I was looking through some old comments and decided to see what you're up to these days. Abu Dhabi! That's amazing. It looks like the new locale is treating you pretty well.


Pete said...

how old is the city, anyways? i thought it was all just desert up until 50 years ago or so.