Whenever I go to Dubai from here, I leave from the Sharjah bus station. It is not only far less expensive than a taxi, I get to ride in the upper deck of a big bus (even though like the song says, there is no driver on the top) and the view from there is entertaining. One seeks entertainment while on the road here, the traffic is desperately bad 24/7. Besides, my wife has made me a believer in public transportation. That is quite a feat seems how I am from LA where a person must box the compass to get anywhere on a bus. But back to Sharjah.
Near the bus station I kept noticing a sign that says “Bird and Animal Market”. Now that could mean anything. The two possibilities I considered were birds and animals to eat, or as pets. In fact, it was both.
There were about 50 stores inside the market that sold birds, cats, and fish for pets. There were another 20 or so that sold edible chickens and turkeys. These you could choose while they were alive and they would slay them for you as you watched. But I spent most of my time in the pets section. If you know me, you know I love birds. There were very many types of parakeets and finches for sale. But what caught my attention were of course the parrots. However, I was most impressed by the Falcons! Thats right. You can purchase a falcon at at pet store here!
A falcon in a hotel room just does not work, so no sale. But they are so beautiful.
I do not know the first thing about falconry. There is a falconry center in the desert. It is a sport of types, the falcons compete to bring down rodents I think. I seriously doubt I will ever buy one. I would rather have this.
This is a picture of an an adult. Behind him you can see a 4 month old baby. It was extremely difficult to walk away. My favorite pet in my life was a Blue and Gold McCaw I had in Bolivia. That bird was clever and a great friend. If I could actually raise one, I am sure he would be a great pal, but for now, well, the hotel might have problems with the idea, so I did not bring one home.
Over all impressions about the market are good. They kept it clean, the animals seemed well cared for. They also sold baby Peacocks, in pairs. I could bore you with more details, I wont. If you want to see pictures of birds you never saw before, just ask.
But now, onto another kind of bird.
From the bus station I went to the University that is so generously supporting us here. Yesterday was World Day. This university has students from something like 65 countries. The purpose of World Day is for each country to have a booth showcasing their culture. It was quite the event. Food from everywhere. I got to campus early and spent the time in the library and the student center. The campus does not lack for much at all. Maybe I have been away from campus environments too long, well yes I have, but that aside…This University is not inexpensive. Consequently what you see walking around is the children of wealthy men from all over the middle east, India and Europe. There is no lack of beautiful girls. I could not bring one of them home either….