What I was really after at the camel and goat souk was some proper goat yodeling – or more accurately, those that yell like humans. My favourite YouTube – the one that gets my goat every time – is Goats Yelling Like Humans – the one I have seen over and over and just can’t stop laughing. Thanks to Ben (shout-out time!) for showing me this gem and letting me roll around on his kitchen floor in laughter. I listened long and hard at the goat pens but alas, only average goats here.
As we were surveying the goat scene, one of the workers reached into the pen for a baby for us to hold. It was a way to make money off tourists, yes, but hey, why not. Who could say no to this adorable little sweetheart, with soft brown fur like a stuffed animal, its gentle demeanour and small frame so very endearing. Oh was she sweet! We wanted to take her home but didn’t have our goat license. When we thanked the man and reached for our money, he smiled and refused. Yes, he was sure. I was so moved at his gentle kindness – it was such an easy way to pocket a few dirhams. Over on the camel side they were pestering us to play with the camels so they could pocket some cash, yet this nice man simply did it for the smiles and delight of a tourist. It was such a kind and pure moment.
TIP: Hold a goat! And watch Goats Yelling Like Humans.
I told Bevan I wanted to see camels, so he gave me camels. Hundreds of them.
A trip to the camel and goat market (souk), where workers of Afghani and Pakistani descent sell their camels to locals for their farms, for breeding, racing and for meat. The dusty expanse in Al Ain, a city in Abu Dhabi, was just buzzing.
The workers kept urging us to get right in there. I was happy to stay on dry land. They wanted money to get us up close and personal, and we obliged, as Bevan loved my camel delight and wanted me to get right in there. I was definitely all camel starstruck. They are sooo cute.
We witnessed a camel sold, as alerted by it screaming its hump off. A bunch of men struggled to lift it into the new owner’s hatchback. I felt sad for the camel, which obviously didn’t want to leave its friends, but perhaps it was moving on to a better, un-caged life. It was a rush spotting a camel roaming on a desert farm from the highway.
TIP: You could easily fall in love with a camel or baby goat, so get your license beforehand so you can bring him or her home with you.
Published journalist, world traveller, big thinker, fun haver