TRAVEL THERE: WELCOME TO THE FOOD COURT
As it so happens, as we entered the mall, which was supposed to feature The Fish Market Restaurant, we chose the door closest to the Food Court. There was Pizza Hut, McDonald’s and a variety of other recognizable restaurants, but we were looking for The Fish Market.
I want you to know this a was a great mall – even by American standards. Everything was pristine. The many modern shops had gorgeous merchandise. There was lovely indoor landscaping to add color to the ecru stone everywhere you looked. Well maintained escalators carried shoppers in several directions. All thoughts of potential terrorism were erased.
We were on a mission. We scouted every corner of the mall for the restaurant we wanted. Finally, after asking a few people for directions we ended up in front of a market restaurant, but not THE market restaurant. The very upscale market featured all kinds of fresh produce, specialty items and chef made entrees, like the popular Eatzi’s here in Dallas, but it was not The Fish Market. The front of the shop was devoted to cafe tables where you could eat the items you’d just purchased if you didn’t want to take them home.
The Frantic Search Ended
We’d put all our fish in this basket and now we were starving. We hated to have to admit it, but Alex had beaten us. We would not be having fresh seafood for our late lunch. In fact, we’d be having fast food.
Bill found a great little place offering up fresh entrees with an Arabic twist, but the Pizza had been calling out to me since the moment we’d opened the door to the mall. Yes, I know it was very touristy of me to gravitate to something I could get back home, but right that moment I needed some comfort food and what’s more comforting than pizza?
Revived, Rejuvenated and Reluctant
It’s amazing what a little food will do for you. We’d been at our wit’s end about half an hour before, but the mere ordering of food gave us hope. We had to do a little fancy footwork to score a table, but we managed to do so and fed our very hungry faces. Soon it was time to head back to the hotel.
I was reluctant to get back on public transportation. The Hantoor Tour had ended with a wild goose chase and the ride in the taxi had just about done me in. I pulled out a map and showed Bill how our hotel was just down the Corniche from us. I extolled the virtues of a nice long walk and promised we’d have a good time.
I didn’t realize we were five miles from The Cecil. Had anyone told me, I would have been horrified. I told Bill we could just walk until we got tired and then we could grab a taxi, but I didn’t plan on getting back into a taxi on this day.
Somehow I convinced Bill it was a sound plan and we set off. In truth it was a very pleasant walk. There was a lot of construction going on which made it a little dicey from time to time, but we were never actually in any danger.
I loved walking along elbow to elbow with the Alexandrites. Most of the women wore scarfs around their head in the style of a hajib. There were many pairs of blue jeans. Our fellow strollers ranged from toddlers to senior citizens.
A Few Miles Down the Road
Eventually we did actually get pretty tired of walking. It had been a long day. We’d walked a lot inside the Library and clocked some distance inside the mall. As reluctant as I was to get back into any taxi I finally agreed to ride along IF we found a cab.
We continued to trudge along watching for a ride. In a city in which we’d seen cabs all day long, suddenly there wasn’t a single one in sight. I’d started this trek and felt compelled to keep things on a high note, so a began to tease Bill with promises of something he would like close to the hotel.
We began to see hints that we were reaching our destination and we were much encouraged. Soon the hotel was in sight, but we had one stop to make. Come back next week and discover what I had planned for Bill.