“Finally some culture,” Daniel said.

“This is definitely some culture,” I added.

Unsurprisingly, it was another hot and humid day. I could only hope it wasn’t going to be hot but, what can you do? It’s Dubai! It was this day, the second last day, that we decided to dedicate some culture to. The ‘souk’ was plenty and prominent in any and many Arabian countries. A spice souk, a gold souk, a whatever-your-fancy souk, it was all here. We walked around to find what was called the gold souk and found a tunnel long, shop after shop, jewellery heaven. The glitter was enough to blind!

I ran into shop after shop, looking for my taste and discovering new ones. Rings with tigers on them appealed to me just as much as rubies were my favourite gem. I found a ring that had diamonds in the shape of petals encircling a ruby, with a small diamond flower right next to it. The US equivalent was probably around $4000. About two zeroes out of my price range.

As I walked onwards, I started noticing that a lot of the shops had some jewels repeated. It was competition, nothing less. Whoever had the best price for the same jewellery was guaranteed a sale.

Then we entered an incense type of souk. Where scents like ‘oud’ was prominent. I must say, it definitely smelled appealing, though I knew I wouldn’t want it inside of my house. I didn’t know how to explain it, but for some reason, I loved that kind of smell outside of anywhere that involves the Western culture. It’s kind of interesting because I have friends who grew up in this type of culture, who they themselves don’t like these kinds of ‘oud’ scents just as much as me, but love it outside of their home. Did it have something to do with the freshness of its existence? They acquired these substances through means of their own, and only had to transport a short distance away. Daniel and I spoke to a man of religion and his associate that sold floor to ceiling batches of incense, and he told us that some of these incenses were transported from India. A shorter reach than the US for sure; although, not that far considering Tom Ford’s line of fragrances.

Daniel and I continued walking until the very end and we found ourselves faced with the sunset as well as the call to prayer at a nearby mosque. People began gathering and washing themselves at a fountain near the mosque to prepare for prayer. Daniel and I held hands as we watched the people gathering, the call continuing and the prayer beginning.

“Are you religious?” Daniel asked me. It would have been considered out of the blue if it weren’t for the current circumstances.

I grinned shyly. “I believe in a higher power. Does that count?”

Daniel chuckled. “No really, are you?”

I shrugged and then shook my head. “No, although I do believe in something, I just need to educate myself on what that something is. Do you?”

Daniel sighed. “When my mother got sick, I thought that that higher power was hating on me so badly. I decided the easiest thing to do was hate Him back. It’s so easy to place blame on something you can’t see or touch or, I don’t know, whatever.”

“What about now?”


“Do you still hate that higher power now?”

Daniel shrugged. “I don’t know. Is that weird?”

“That you don’t know?”

Daniel nodded.

I shook my head, thinking of Jade and us, and the possible parallels our relationships draw. “It just means you’re in the middle of a fight. You’ll get through it though. I mean, you and I always do.”

Daniel smiled. And although we were sweating excessively from the heat, the breeze not doing much to help, we pulled in closer for a hug as the prayer finished.

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