Thursday, March 12, 2009

Desert Safari

Our driver Abdel Karim was recently replaced by a new guy from Somalia. Mousa is in his mid-fifties and not very bright and yesterday, I realized that he doesn't really understand English (or Arabic)

I've been craving pastry, the light, flaky, melt-in-your-mouth kind (along the lines of apple pie/turnover, fruit tart, almond criossant, danish... mmmmmm) for the last couple of weeks, so on the way back from work I asked him to stop by a bakery. I said very clearly, "Mousa, Ureedu an azhab ila bakery where they make cakes and pastry". He nodded vigorously and drove off into the horizon (we live in the middle of the desert so that sort of holds true). Thirty minutes later, we stopped outside a seedy-looking shop with brown paper adorning the windows. I guess it's there to protect against the sun but it looked kinda creepy.

I stepped inside and it turned out to be a shop selling khubz (flat Arabic bread) made by sweaty men in wifebeaters and lungis with flies flying around. My hopes for decadent, delicate, hygienically prepared pastry were dashed... 

Not wanting to appear rude, I bought a packet of bread and got back into the bus and Mousa lost his way home. Instead of staying on the road, he decided to take a "shortcut" across the desert and the bus got stuck in the sand. It was around 6:30 pm, darkness was setting in and my imagination started working overtime. Stories of men kidnapping young women, ravishing them and burying their bodies in the desert flashed across my brain and I started praying. If the worst happened, I could run but I couldn't hide or ask for help. There was nothing/noone around for miles as far as I could see. 

Meanwhile, Mousa was outside digging to get the wheels free. He came back and revved up the engine and voila! we were free! He turned around, smiled triumphantly and proceeded to get back on the road and drive at break-neck speed all the way back to the villas.  


  1. My hopes for decadent, delicate, hygienically prepared pastry were dashed...

    I am so sorry :P

  2. omg... this would b a scare if there could be one !!! glad u survived !

  3. Ahmar, lol... yup it was sad...