The Viagra Salesmen of the Dubai Spice Market

Spice Market Dubai

“I was hoping you could put together a nice mixture for a chicken recipe,” I said to one of the vendors of the Dubai spice market, hoping to use the mixture to prepare a romantic dinner for my wife when I returned to the States.
 

This spice salesman didn’t look like his modest competitors, all of whom stood beside their barrels of pulverized cardamom, dried jasmine petals, reef-like pieces of turmeric and ginger, and appeared dressed for the mosque, whenever that call to prayer would echo through the city and pull them from the souk. Everything this young man wore–designer jeans, fashionable belt, black leather shoes, hair gel, and cologne–indicated that the combination of night and house music would be the only thing to get him to close up shop.

“This guy has the best spices,” an expatriate said to me.

 

The spice vendor grabbed a tablespoon and heaped into a bag inexact spoonfuls of ginger, chili, turmeric, paprika, masala, hot paprika, cinnamon, and tandoori, creating a mixture not unlike the red and gold colors of the surrounding desert.

 

“How about dates?” he asked, kissing the tips of all of his pressed together fingers, his eyes looking a bit glazed as if he were not preparing for the nightclub, but in fact recuperating from one. “Beautiful. Here. Try.”

 

The date tasted like a gob of honey. I purchased a container of them, too.

 

Camel chocolate?” he asked.

 

I shook my head.

 

“Saffron?” he asked me, cuing his colleague, who wore dark sunglasses indoors and sat like some shady dealer beside weights and various bins of the red thread, to reveal the merchandise.

 

“I’m good,” I said.

 

And Then the Dubai Spice Market Gets Strange

 

“I know what you want,” said spice vendor, offering up a creepy smile for the first time. “Natural Viagara. You should try.” He walked over to a shelf and returned with a brown nut that looked a little meatier, but more flattened than a chestnut. “You crack open nut, mix with milk and honey”–he stopped, raised a pair of perverse eyebrows, and then held his arm upright–“Like Burj Khalifa,” he said, alluding to the world’s tallest tower in the heart of Dubai. Then he whistled and his eyes went from his hand to the ceiling as if something mythical, like a beanstalk, had grown from the nut. “You understand.”

 

 
Spice Market Dubai

 

“I understand,” I said. Then I insisted that I didn’t want the nut. He showed me a bottle that contained the already pulverized contents of the seed.

 

“Maybe you like this?” Natural Viagara the bottle read.

 

“No thanks.”

 

“Mix together,” he said, pointing to the bottle and the nut. “Atomic bomb.” He made the explosion sound and laughed.

 

I laughed too and made my way for the door with my spices and dates.

 

“How about I give you seed,” he said, smiling hugely, like a drug dealer trying to wean a new client onto the product. “Here’s my email. After you take nut, send me video.”

 

He fell into hysterics and I walked away from his shop, putting a distance between me and his persistent cackle.

 

 

The Viagra Salesman of Dubai in the Spice Market

 

When I reached the end of the Dubai spice market, I entered another spice shop that sold flavored hookah tobacco. Inside, an old man nodded modestly, wearing clothes that had deteriorated through the decades. He looked like somebody’s grandfather.

 

“How much?” I asked, pointing to the boxes of tobacco.

 

“Five dirham,” he said.

 

I paid for two and went to leave the shop, but I felt a tap on my shoulder. I turned and found the old man smiling at me. In his hand he held the magical erection nut.

 

“Mix with milk, honey, and saffron,” he said, making the recipe a tad more expensive.

 

“I don’t want it.”

 

He shrugged and said, “I give you. For father.” He laughed, too old-fashioned to request that I send him a video.

 

***

 

Posted on by Noah Lederman in Middle East, Somewhere

One Response to The Viagra Salesmen of the Dubai Spice Market

  1. haseen

    wow3

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