dennis s. hurddennis s. hurd

Thursday, December 09, 2021

Banana Leaves as Natural Tin Foil

Al Fahidi Market

Day 23 - This was another rest day after our second evening at the Dubai Expo 2020 last night.  Tomorrow is Friday and we will not visit as so many people will be off on the first day of the weekend here.  The weekends are an interesting topic as several days ago, some changes in the UAE were recently announced for the beginning of next year.  

Let me go back a bit.  When we first came to the Gulf in the 1980s the weekends used to be Thursdays and Fridays.  The holy day for Moslems is Friday so that made it similar to a western weekend, just on different days.  Next, around 15 years ago things were changed in Gulf countries beginning with the UAE.  Weekends became Fridays and Saturdays.  That meant the first day was for the religious observance of Friday prayers.  Saturdays became a free day of rest for many workers.  One benefit has been that the common days of the workweek with the majority of the world increased by a day.   Soon, starting in January, the UAE will be among the first in the world to move to an official workweek of less than five days.  In the new year, Friday mornings will be for work and afternoons off for prayer time.  Then, government and some businesses will have free Saturdays and Sundays.  The 4.5-day workweek announcement says the change is to give a better work/life balance.

Our days are always free.  In the evening we walked to a huge Aster Clinic, near the former A-Fahadi Metro Station now called, Sharaf DG.  Our hotel provides a service that will come to our hotel to provide COVID-19 PCR tests for a fee.  Many countries require travellers to show negative results.  As we'll be leaving here in the early hours of the morning of next Thursday, we need to have some tests taken on Monday.  We asked at the front desk if there were a walk-in clinic close.  Tonight's walk to the clinic was to check whether we needed to make reservations.  It is a huge complex and is open 24 hours per day.  We found that it's probably speedier to make a reservation by telephone as, otherwise, it's on a first-come-first-serve basis.

We walked around a bit in the old Indian section of Dubai called the Meena Bazaar.  We decided it was time to eat as we passed all the restaurants and the great smell of food.  We stopped at a place with outside dining very close to the Sharaf DG Station intersection.   The Green Land Restaurant had an amazing assortment of food. I had Kerala-type, chicken biryani which came out of the oven in banana leaf rather than a clay bowl.  Jay had the chicken shwarma plate that had so much chicken he didn't bother opening the flatbread.  We drank bottles of water.  The total bill was about US$11.  So now I'm getting excited about Sri Lankan food at prices even cheaper but with cuisine with an even greater selection of exotic spices.

Chicken Pothi Biryani

Chicken Shawarma Platter


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