Need a camel, anyone?

9 Nov

In the event that you may be in search of a good, healthy, strong camel, I know just the place. It may, in fact, be one of the best places in the world to procure such a glorious creature. It will involve a trip to The Land of Sand but I can tell you it will be worth all the effort as these guys breed some beauties. Camel breeding is a BIG deal in Arabia. The fact that a ‘top of the range’ camel can fetch upwards of a million US dollars is proof of just how big the camel trade is here.

We popped into the camel souk on our way back from our recent camping trip to the Edge of the World. It is situated on the outskirts of Riyadh along the side of the highway so one just needs to pull over on the side of the road and pick out a camel that captures your heart and budget. You’ll be spoilt for choice, there are thousands to choose from.

I cannot promise that it will be the most glamorous shopping trip that you have ever been on. It’s dusty, smelly and hot. The men may chuckle at you walking around checking out their camels if you are female. You will also dirty your abaya which can be a little inconvenient plus it’s best to wear a pair of sneakers which don’t look great with abaya’s. All in all, very unglamorous. And that’s what I love about it.

Once you have made your purchase, your camel will have it’s back legs tied up and it will be loaded into the back of your pick-up with a crane. Be prepared for a very unhappy camel, there is something about being tied up and suspended above your previous dwelling that they just don’t appreciate. They can be incredibly noisy during the entire saga.

You may be able to score a 2 for the price of 1 deal if you visit the maternity section. This section can be identified by the obviously big-bellied mother camels but you can also just look out for the only enclosure where all the camels are lying down.

If I were in the market for a new camel on the day we visited, I would have chosen this guy (or girl).

Judging by his (or her) size, he seemed to be around the teenage years. And the big bonus… he seemed to be the responsible sort as it looked like he had been placed in charge of a group of young ‘uns. A babysitter of sorts. Now a camel that can double up as a babysitter seemed a good buy to me. We could go out in the evenings knowing that Luka was well taken care of at home and not even have to pay anyone to do it! Olaf was not so sure about the idea, something about the cost of keeping it fed in a country with very little grass. I dunno, I think it may be worth a try.

Should you need any other camel paraphernalia once you have made your purchase there is even a camel accessories shop right at the souk so you can leave with everything that you need. It’s a one-stop-shop so to speak with everything from the essentials to the bling.

In my quest for our very own teenage camel, I even suggested to Olaf that I could use the camel for getting around Riyadh during the week. We would just need to buy one of these saddle bags…

and I could do the grocery shopping on Saturday mornings without the use of a driver. Imagine Luka and I cruising down the streets of Riyadh with our teenage camel packed to the hilt with the weekly grocery requirements. The only thing I need to inquire about is the camel parking policy at Tamimi, our grocery store of choice, before we make a final decision.



2 Responses to “Need a camel, anyone?”

  1. Rahiema November 9, 2010 at 10:58 am #

    Is that allowed? If it is, I am definitely going to get one too!!

  2. dustbusting November 9, 2010 at 11:17 am #

    I’m not sure Rahiema but it can’t be classified as driving, right?
    Imagine all the girls from the compound heading to the mall on their camels. We may cause a traffic jam but there’s nothing new in that.
    Let’s get one each next week?

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