To answer the questions in the preceding post:
Did I try the sisha?
I had a couple of chances to taste it, during the Dhow Cruise last year and after the Desert Safari few weeks ago. But no, I did not try the sisha. Not because that I do not smoke. Maybe because it is not too appealing for me yet thinking that I have plenty and nearby chances to try it.
Did I belly dance?
That we will find out soon. 🙂
We moved to the belly dance area 30 minutes after the buffet dinner. The airing of sort of tribal-Arabian music cued the belly dancer’s entrance. She’s tall, walked gracefully, and looking closely I concluded she’s an Egyptian.
As we probably all know, this type of dancing originated from the Middle East, the Mediterranean, and the Africa. I was never that excited to witness this one as I have seen enough from the movies and photo features. But when the exotic music played, it became different. The dancer’s moves are very polished and hypnotic, which I should not be surprised at all since Egyptians, male or female, are known to be very good belly dancers.
The songs were changed at least four times. And starting with the second song, guests were charmingly invited (you can belly dance anytime, by the way) by the dancer or by the camp (Arab) personnel to belly dance, too. Seeing her playful moves and costume made me realize how more open is UAE compared to other countries in the Middle East. In other areas in the Gulf, belly dancing in public is prohibited. Some districts in other countries even banned this.
I mentioned this dancing that I witnessed to an Emirati (a local) and saw how uncomfortable she is with this exotic and traditional dance which is part of her culture. It proves that openness to embrace the change in the culture will always vary. Not all Arabs are conservative, not all Westerners are that too liberated. Where do I stand? I don’t know exactly. But I am proud of my race and flexibility.
Available in the souvenir stalls are belly dancing paraphernalia.
I have not really realized how these shiny little things can make a big difference in the dance floor.
Until the effect became glaring when these two guests (we queued together for the henna tattoo) went on to dance. This piece of cloth added more wiggling and made her look sexier. Also, I realized how different is the movement of the authentic belly dancer, that even a graceful non-belly dancer would look plain. How is that? The torso of the Egyptian dancer was making all the work to make her tummy dance, while the others leverage on their hips.
So I was invited twice to dance, but politely begged off. Thanks to my friend who took the turn. Don’t worry, it will be me next time. 🙂 By the way, the black kids are a fast learner. They can wiggle like a pro that night.
I remember the belly dance sessions being offered at the gym back home. I agree that aside from yoga, it is one of the better means to keep you fit.
And yay, I had my first tattoo. I always plan to get a henna tattoo whenever we would visit Boracay. And I always fail to get marked, too. It smelled like mint when it was being drawn on my skin. A little aching after a few minutes. I washed the mud away before midnight that left only the black and brown “artwork”. I thought it would stick only for a few days. But after almost two weeks, it is still here.
Traditional dresses are also available for the guests to try and be taken photos while wearing such.
Honestly, I found it creepy the first time I saw a woman wearing abaya (full black dress) in a mall in the Philippines. But after few interactions with them when I came here, I noticed that that actually makes them look more elegant, especially when they wear those with intricate designs, beads and crystals. Would you know who is among the top designers of abaya in Abu Dhabi? Yes, a Filipino gay.
I am looking forward to having another Desert Safari, with dune bashing as main consideration. Perhaps, we will try an overnight safari next time. Let us see how it is like to spend a night in camp at the middle of the desert.