The highlight of today has been a trip to Ibn Battuta. To an outsider, a natural question that may arise is: how can you visit a person? To a person living in Dubai, the only question that arises is: which pavilion did you visit?
This is not a joke, but a fact. It’s a humorous fact, which I’m hoping everyone can appreciate with the below context.
Ibn Battuta was a wild Moroccan explorer, who went on all sorts of crazy pilgrimages. Dubai is a wild city, which builds all sorts of crazy things. This is a perfect match. Thus, in homage to Ibn Battuta, the city built a mall – a gigantic mall, which is the world’s largest themed shopping mall. The mall has a Court/Pavilion based on places Ibn Battuta visited. This is not to say that these pavilions exclusively feature shops from that region, but rather that the architectural style and design is based on that region in its entirety. There’s an Andalusia Court, China Court, Egypt Court, India Court, Persia Court, and Tunisia Court.
It’s actually insane.
The reason today’s trip was a highlight was because, of course, my grandparents were there. And we ate McDonalds. Eating McD with them made me so aware of how childlike the two of them are. Both of them enjoyed the burger, of course, but my grandmother was super curious about the items on the menu and the kind of quality control McD and other multinational food chains maintained across their branches. My grandfather destroyed his burger – literally eating the top bun, then the burger patty, and then the bottom bun, but he was happy eating it, which made me happy – and I laughed at how uniquely he consumed the thing. Then we ate doughnuts, which also amused them both (look, its so soft!), and I bought my grandmother a McSwirl cone. That cone is the cheapest thrill in the world (aside from free objects), so her happiness knew no bounds.
Naturally the questions were aplenty: how often do you go to McD, how much do you usually spend there, and such.
But spending close to an hour eating at McD with them was fully worth those questions. I also got to drink two glasses of Coca-Cola because nobody else wanted it, so it’s been a pretty great day.
In the evening my grandfather and I went for a walk to the grocery store. This is a new neighbourhood for me, so he’s helping me get acquainted with the place and showing me around a little, which I appreciate. It was only when I got to the store that I realized he also wanted to visit so he could pick up some chocolates without my grandmother noticing.
We are both nefarious individuals, my grandfather and I.
They’re off tomorrow morning, and the house is going to be quieter when they leave. I’m going to cherish this McDonalds memory forever, and I’m hoping I’ll be able to take them to a McDonalds when I visit Bangalore next. What I’m going to miss is poking fun at my grandmother and giving her a hard time in good jest, and those walks with my grandfather. I’m always wiser in his company.