Thursday, 20 August 2009

Ticked off another box by visiting the islamic museum of science and technology, not a bad place to visit although the fact that the entire collection consists of stuff from between 1000 and 1500 (thereabouts) does say a bit about the stagnation the culture's progress.  Lots of astrolabes, mathematical equations and the physics section is something that will certainly be amazing when its finished (dozens of working models of engineering marvels that unfortunately don't work just yet).  There were a bunch of models that were obviously meant to be hands on (everything else was covered in glass) but when I tried to set the perpetual motion machine into perpetual motion a surly guard told me to stay away.  I've already decided that I don't want to get on the midnight express so I readily complied.  Thinking it might be nice to get away from the heavily spruiked bazaars we tried a few of the gigantic malls on the urbanised side of town and they were just as soulless as anything in the west.  The keens ripoffs sourced in dubai have proved to be exceptionally painful to the feet (my dogs are barking!) and both of us were suitably wrecked upon our return.  There's a second hand buy/sell/swap bookstore a few blocks away from where we're staying, I checked it out a few days ago and made a second determined attempt this afternoon - I just finished rereading Dune (after watching the two major adaptations in relatively quick succession) which is a superb book in any event (although I recall the sequels being less so) but perfectly suited for reading over here with the desert fremen and arrakis drawing heavily from islamic culture but was I able to find dune messiah anywhere? Not even close.  The bookstore is full of english books but the collection seems to consist of nothing but the absolute worst of airport fiction and more barbara taylor bradford's than you'd see at 2am on channel 9.  I had to whip my companion like a MBA certified 1 minute manager to finish the 'cathedral @ the sea' so i'd have something to tide me over until I can find another bookstore but its not looking hopeful (I forgot how reliant my travels have been on the MS Reader app in the trusty iPAQ).  My negotiating skills got a workout in the evening, whilst I wasn't able to negotiate myself out of the leather store I did manage to scrape some sheckels off the price which I'm hoping I won't regret.

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