I stocked the fridge today. I just went to a mid-sized market, run by Indians (the type from India) and they had everything I needed. Again, many fruits and vegetables I will undoubtably try later, but for now I am keeping them as surprises for the future.
But the interesting occurence today was with my new found friends in the lounge downstairs. There are four Emirates who don’t stay in the hotel, but they use the lounge to read the papers and smoke. They also chat up foreigners like me. One is a 66 year old retired policeman. Another is maybe about the same age and retired air force. The two younger ones don’t mention what they do, they are maybe 30. Very Omar Sharrif looking dudes. We talk about the UAE. We talk about America. We talk about Panama. They really roll their eyes in disbelief when I tall them things about Panama. We laugh a lot.
The first day, I pulled out a pack of Marlboros, and one of the younger guys waved it off and handed me what in my younger crazier days I would call a “one-hitter”. He loaded it up with what looked like I would have loaded it up with in my younger crazier days. I hesitated. He laughed and said “only Tabac”. But it was very strong Tabac. I told him I felt like a dervish. Everyone laughed. I asked him where I could buy one of these and all he said was “Do not worry”. Well, today, I walked in and he presented me with a complete set. The pipe,a jar of Tabac and a carrying case. I was so happy.
I am not sure if custom calls for me to give him a gift now, and I have nothing to give him. So I am at a loss.