21 December 2005


These last days have been filled with SHOPPING! Let's hope my husband doesn't read this post... Seriously, I cannot come home without some hidjabs for my friends and some for me, some abayas (oh, I found some really beautiful ones!) and some other things that you wont find in Sweden. It was also nice, now that I manage the art of going with a taxi in Gaza, to see some more of Gaza City on my own (well, of course I had my little man with me) and let me say I've had some interesting taxi-travels. One man insisted to know the name of the area I wanted to go to and all I knew was to say "I want to go to the end of this street", so then he gave me a whole lecture of the names of all the areas and as I went out of the taxi he explained what to say when going back, very thoughtful of him! I also manage by now the art of pressing prices, an art not easily obtained by europeans, let me tell you. First you start by asking how much it is, in you very best arabic. With hidjab and all I have been able to fool a few arabs. But then some make it all complicated and answer "basita" which is like "oh, it's nothing". It actually means "it's free" but they mean sort of "it's not that much", so even though you insist to know the price they want you to try it on first (if you're for example shopping for an abaya), knowing very well that once you've tried it on and it suits, you're stuck. Even though they do try to play me because I'm "ajnabyia" (foreigner) I've also tried to play them with the same fact; "Pleeeeaaase, give me a good price, I came all the way from Sweden!" An eye for an eye... Here's me shopping hidjabs.

Some images from Gaza streets.

After some serious shopping me and my son had a nice cup of green tea at Laila's house, talking about life in Gaza and of just being a mother. So nice to finally meet her! Here's our sons playing together.


[Mat] said...

Sounds like fun!

Abu Sinan said...

Masha'Allah, cute kids.

adloyada@btinternet.com said...

Hi Imaan
Wow, that picture of the children... they are superstars!
I love the pictures of Gaza too. Especially the banana stall. Oh, and I see from those very bulging bags that you really did work very hard at shopping. And I loved the story of your bargaining techniques.

Elizabeth said...

I actually bought some hijabs in the W. Bank when I was there--I wear them as scarfs in the winter. I actually bought a lot of stuff because compared to New York City, everything was rock-bottom cheap!

Nejma said...

I just love shopping! I think I'm getting quite good at shopping in Arabic and I enjoy trying to get a good price. Sometimes people try to foul be because I'm a forreigner but nowadays that doesn't happen much. Maybe because I dress very Moroccan with jellaba. ;-)

farfuglinn said...

I only spent five months in Israel and Palestine, and knew I was useless at bargaining, so I didn't even try. I either paid full price or got someone else to bargain for me in Arabic.

It's great that you enjoy it. Just wanted you to know that I love reading your blog and hope you have safe trip. I only came to Gaza once and found it very beautiful but somewhat oppressive.

Best holiday wishes from a stranger on the internet. :)