My freakishly large feet made me eat too much!

13 Sep

So, the jet lag caught up with me. I slept until noon today. I guess I needed it. 

I decided to visit Al Wahda Mall , and it’s equally large extension. I have to tell you, if you’re gonna build it here, it better be big…and your feet better be small…more later.


You KNOW I don’t do shopping well. My favorite part of any store is the lounge section or the parking lot. All I needed was some socks and some casual walking shoes (Oh, and Breaking Bad season 3—yeah, yeah I’m way behind). In fact, I only brought my work/dress shoes, a pair of running shoes, and my STILL uncomfortable, but totally necessary Birkenstocks!

 So, the mall is quite large. I had a plan to cover it efficiently…then, I got lost. Hard to admit, but true. There are about 40 shoe stores and it comprises 2.3 million square meters—you do the math, not my strong suit. I hit all 40 of those darn shoe stores, including Payless, yes Payless! In the middle of that that search, I came across this sign…


Yes, there’s a Prayer Room for men. Out of respect, I didn’t take a picture of the room, itself. I am not a tourist, I am a resident and I have a deep respect their way of life. My dry sense of humor imagines this room in America filled with guys like me praying they find what they need quickly, or that their significant others don’t spend the farm. I was praying I find some shoes quickly.

I arrived at the Mall at around 1. When I left this is what I saw…New York busy!



Yeah, it was about 7:30. You also know I don’t mind walking. I’ll walk 8-10 miles, no problem, but the mall is different, and in Birkenstocks it’s barely tolerable. So, as I grew weary in my search for a simple pair of shoes, I stopped at one of the three, yes three, Gloria Jean’s Coffees shop. This shop had this view…


It was about 5pm and 100 degrees out and what looked like the national U19 UAE Soccer team at practice at Al Nahyan Stadium. Pretty Cool…I bet they have comfy shoes.

After a long sit and some serious caffeine, I decided to try the remaining 15 stores. Look, I’m not picky, but I was running into a serious problem. In European sizes I wear a 47 or 48. That’s a 13 to you and me. When I told the salespeople that, I got a look like was in a nuclear accident or I stepped out of a fairy tale. Here is the only pairs of shoes available…


Guess who owns a pair of cobalt blue slip on casual shoes? NOT ME, no way! The only other 13s among the 2.3 million square meters of stores was a pair of moccasin/boat shoes at Payless. Pass!

Shopping trip not a total fail. I have socks for the cold tile and Breaking Bad season 3 so I don’t have to cry my way through another 90’s movie like I am Sam or Fast and the Furious (1).

All that walking lead to a major feast when I returned home. I’ll let the pics do the talking…


Greek Salad w/ Feta and the strongest drink coke. Then…


Fatouch and tabouleh (back left to right). Front plate, clockwise from 6, Hummus, Baba Ghanouj, grape leaves, and labneh. Came with a stack of warm Syrian flatbread. Then…


Grilled chicken with Za’atar…some call it sumac. Those other things are negligible. Did I eat it all? I tried…here’s the damage…


…oh, and Turkish coffee…which is why I’m still awake!…and Breaking Bad.


Love the quote at the bottom. Even better, it’s quoted to Walk Kelly, rather than Walt Kelly.

One more pic before I go…


During the day, those buildings look like pineapples. You can see the diamond pattern despite the 90 mile an hour taxi ride…weeeeee! The creepy hand thing is just luck and a reflection. What? Open the window? Ever seen those jet heaters on a football sideline in January? Put your face in front of one, then ask me why I don’t open the window.

Food for thought (for you, I’m stuffed!)…I have met people from about 10 different countries. All of them speak English. How many of them can I speak to in their language? None. (Except for the Canadians and the Irish, well barely)  We should do better on a global level. There is an amazing culture here that seems scary until you get here. Everyone is friendly and accommodating…even the government workers. Why? The language barrier is down, and communication occurs. Interesting, no?

Have a great day!





14 Responses to “My freakishly large feet made me eat too much!”

  1. Dana Dabagia September 13, 2013 at 10:43 pm #

    Oh, but Lee! Those beautiful BIG cobalt blue shoes would be perfect! For what? Umm, not sure but maybe with a clown suit? I’m laughing so hard I can barely type! The food looks amazing! I’m salivating. Would love to know prices on all of that food! And so glad you got some rest. Love you, Mom

    • ldabagia September 13, 2013 at 10:46 pm #

      About $35 including tip, and he delivered the leftovers to my apartment.

      • Dana Dabagia September 13, 2013 at 10:52 pm #

        OMG! Are you serious? They really delivered leftovers. You’re kidding, I know!

  2. Dana Dabagia September 13, 2013 at 10:51 pm #

    Forgot my main point! The way to break in Birkies? Wet them thoroughly (really!) especially the parts that hurt and then wear them wet until they dry. Shouldn’t take long at 100 degrees.

    • ldabagia September 13, 2013 at 10:53 pm #

      No, not kidding. Thanks for the advice about the sandals.

  3. Dad September 13, 2013 at 11:04 pm #

    You are doing a great job of quickly picking up the culture and what I learned from my travels in the Middle East.

  4. Candace Bretl September 13, 2013 at 11:38 pm #

    Oh man, you are taking me along for the ride! Thank you
    Candy B

  5. Donna Barenie September 14, 2013 at 12:43 am #

    I would love to check that mall out…….Can you have your shoes shipped to you if you cant find any…..Your supper wow yummie………Donna B

  6. Mary Zarantonello September 14, 2013 at 1:05 am #

    Love this!!

    • ldabagia September 14, 2013 at 9:58 am #

      Thanks, Mary!

      Sent from my iPhone

  7. Jodi September 15, 2013 at 4:43 pm #

    I can’t believe you turned down the blue suede shoes, must not be an Elvis fan. Lol

  8. kerry September 18, 2013 at 7:21 pm #

    thank you for sharing your life and day with us. it kinda feels as tho you are not that far away. love and miss you brother lee!

  9. Milt Dabagia September 27, 2013 at 7:53 pm #

    Junior how is the dringking water?

    • ldabagia September 28, 2013 at 8:09 am #

      The water is potable. The bottled water has a lot of sodium in it, so you have to look for low sodium water in the store. I use tap water in my tea/coffee pot. Tastes fine.

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