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21 November, 2005

Al Cartmanland

In the above-titled episode of South Park, Eric Cartman inherits a million dollars and buys himself his own amusement park: to enjoy rides at his leisure, without the endless queues and ghastly hordes of general public that usually impede ones fun.

Such was the Global Village last night. Being the only person riding the entire Ferris Wheel, and soaring through the air on the Bomber as it flipped the land and sky the wrong way round, was a rare kind of joy. No parking hell. No crowds. No waiting in line. No getting stuck in pavilion-people-gridlock.

If a regular fairground is cattle class in the back of a Boeing, and a private funfair is something along the lines of a LearJet: this nearly empty showground was the full-on VVVIP-configured A380 of leisure destinations.

A question: what do Iraq, Syria, Iran and Yemen have in common? (Hint: it's not that they're probably not inviting Bush round for Christmas lunch).

The answer is that they have the best pavilions of all the nations on display at the Global Village. Sanctions and diplomatic aggression may not bring about democracy or nuclear disarmament, but without the floods of American crap polluting a culture, traditional crafts, foods and wares remain unspoilt.

North Korea's participation is eagerly awaited.

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16 Comments:

Blogger BuJ said...

Oh I'm homesick again.. I might add that out of these pavilions, the Iranian one is my favorite.. you can get amazing falooda and dirt cheap saffron (top quality stuff)..

(this was last year though)

was the Global Pillage empty because of the new dhs 3 charge?

21 November, 2005 04:20  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

saw that episode, hillarious. how i miss the days of south park. and thanks for your global awarness. will get thou to the village soon.

21 November, 2005 08:25  
Blogger secretdubai said...

The village is definitely worth a visit - it's way better this year than (earlier this year).

Except the Iraqi pavilion has no rugs :(

buj: I get confused with saffron. I have read that real saffron is ultra ultra expensive (ie the tiny packets you can buy in the supermarkets here) but that there is some similar, but not technically saffron, product you can buy in more bulk sizes.

So what are the huge cheap packets at the Iranina stand and elsewhere? Is that just low-grade real saffron, or a substitute (eg from a different flower?)

21 November, 2005 08:32  
Anonymous Red Pen said...

Doesn't the character in the Air Arabia ads look like someone from "South Park"?

21 November, 2005 10:04  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

The South Park rip off for the Air Arabia could only happen here - the blatant disregard for ownership of anything let alone copryright shows how the legal system here is immature and a constant source of jokes and worry.

21 November, 2005 10:23  
Blogger John B. Chilton said...

Perhaps Air Show days (daze?) are good days to attend Global Village.
gulfnews.com: Business

Or perhaps they should start charging for the air show.

21 November, 2005 10:46  
Blogger moryarti said...

they do charge for the air show .. its a dirhams 100 for a visitor ticket :)

21 November, 2005 11:50  
Anonymous TuffGong said...

I've just been given some seriously high quality saffron along with the advice that Alexander The Great enjoyed saffron infused red wine. Thought I might give it a go this evening.

21 November, 2005 12:03  
Blogger luckyfatima said...

red pen: yep, i noticed that, too


I know I will be heading off for an obligitory annual stop at the global village this year. My observation each time I go:

Wow, I didn't know that goods from ________(fill in the blank with any GV pavillion country's name) were so similar to Chinese goods. Well, waddaya know, Kenyan stuff looks Chinese! So does Romanian stuff. People in the world really are more alike than we ever knew.

21 November, 2005 12:55  
Blogger muhaafiz said...

regarding saffron, the real deal is indeed expensive. in fact, i came across a cheaper variety in an iranian shop in deira. it was darker in colour. how about the stuff u saw in gv? what hue of saffron was it?

21 November, 2005 16:04  
Blogger Garthicus said...

I think the Kenyan pavilion is the best imho as they stay as 'true' to their country as possible (after being to Kenya 4 times) and would you believe, the carvings and ornaments etc are actually cheaper in GV than in Kenya!! Plus the dancing and food is great too!

21 November, 2005 16:23  
Anonymous Iconoclast said...

What's surprising and a bit alarming is that there is an entire segment of Wikipedia dedicated to South Park. Rather nicely done, too. Perhaps in a thousand years, monks will use them as inspirational texts.

21 November, 2005 17:09  
Blogger secretdubai said...

muhaafiz - the saffron they have in the big packs is kind of bigger and coarser than the stuff you find in tiny expensive boxes.

The expensive stuff seems to be made from much shorter, tinier stamens than the cheap stuff, making me question whether the cheap stuff comes from exactly the same kind of flower.

21 November, 2005 18:14  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Last year Giordano lost a fortune. hey paid almost Dhs. 300,000 for a coffee shop and often took less than Dhs. 100 per day. Last year indian labourers were bussed in to make the place look full, this year you won't even have the pleasure of their body odour as it's Dhs. 3 to get in and Dhs. 2 to use the loo.

21 November, 2005 18:25  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

talking about south park i found it funny when i saw an ad called - Jumeirah Village - South Park - a project by Nakheel.

22 November, 2005 02:02  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I cant wait till they make a "South Park comes to Dubai" episode.

Kyle: Lets ask directions from that Arab lady

Stan: Yiiikesssss, its not a woman, its Mr.Jefferson! whats that freak doing in the ladies room?

MJ: No No, you are ignorant, thats just ignorance, (shake hip, you know the routine...)

22 November, 2005 21:14  

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