Today is an eventful day, even though we are in the Middle East. It's Federal Election Day in Australia, the outcome of which could change dramatically the future of our great country; it's our grandson Tory's sixth birthday, and Christina is back from India.
As would be expected (for anyone who knows Chris), she has brought a lot of "loot" back with her. (See photo)
The loot consists mainly of silk and cotton clothing, materials, a few metal bowls, incense, sandal wood scent, a silk tie for me, pashminas, and some small miscellaneous odds and ends. Some of the clothing is for Chris, some other items are for gifts and the rest is stock for us to sell after we return to Alice Springs.
We've decided that, because of the exchange rate between the UAE Dirham and the AUD, we are going to spend as much as we can here rather than bring money home where its relative value will be much less. The cost of living here is very much lower than in Australia. So anything we want, we'll buy before we leave eg, like a flat screen television.
Part of our plan is for us to stock up with some stuff to sell at the Todd Mall Market which runs every second Sunday in the cooler season. We'll have some Arabian and Iranian carpets, Indian clothes, some photo prints of places in the Middle East etc. If it works well, we may even import some of the products or visit annually and buy up ourselves.
Chris says she had a great experience in India and can understand how the many Indian expats living in the UAE, despite very low pay (in comparison with what I earn) and often poor accommodation, consider themselves well off. She saw some examples of extreme poverty in India and said that most of the toilets, showers, kitchens etc, were primitive.
Staying with an Indian family enriched the experience as she got a taste of life in an Indian family, how individuals relate to each other, and other insights that wouldn't have been available had she stayed in a tourist area hotel.
Next week we have National Day holidays and will by flying off to take a look at Damascus in Syria. We'll be there almost four days. It's a tough life, but someone has to live it.