Friday, April 15, 2011

A visit to the Plant Souk

As I mentioned in other posts, there are a few souks (or markets) in town that specialize in a certain type of item. So far, we've been to the carpet souk, the fruit and vegetable souk and last weekend, we ventured out to the plant souk. The plant souk is a large area near the ports with a number of different small shops/stalls that sell both indoor and outdoor plants.

The plant souk is much more mellow than the carpet souk and no one paid any attention as we drove up. There were quite a few folks milling around and a number of trucks. We didn't need it, but I had heard that people with trucks are on hand to deliver your plants for a small fee. We were looking for indoor plants for the apartment this time around, but couldn't help but get sidetracked by all the amazing outdoor plants. The place is very crowded with plants so you have to look carefully to see everything. Unfortunately, I didn't get any photos because I didn't even think to take the camera - next time, I promise.

The indoor plants are in the back in the actual shops so we made our way through the maze of plants to the back. The shops are little greenhouses with lots of indoor plants. What we found most surprising was that many of them are the same plants you can get back home. I guess we were expecting something totally different and exotic, but when you think of it, indoor plants are probably pretty similar all over the world. We did end up finding two plants that we hadn't had back in the states and we thought would look nice in our place. With the first shop, I tried to bargain a little, but the shop owner wasn't playing. He didn't even flinch as we started to walk away! I figured either 1) that really was the best price he could give me, or 2) he had just made a big sale and didn't really care about this one.

We found another shop with the same plants and sure enough, he gave me the same prices as the last guy. I tried to bargain and he explained that he was only making 5 dhiram on the sale already and couldn't reduce the price. He was a really nice guy and since we'd just had a similar experience, I believed him. And so instead tried to negotiate on the price of repotting the plants and getting a nicer planter. That worked a little, but it wasn't quite the bargaining fun we had with the carpet guys. :)

Here are some photos of our new plants. Now let's see if I can keep them alive and healthy!!

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