Over the course of this trip, I came across more new terms – “jilbaab” and “jalabiya”. What are those? As usual, Google to the rescue. Said this website:
Abaya = A long sleeved loose dress down to below ankles. No buttons. (I believe it can have one button or a zipper, otherwise it will be difficult to wear.)Now that we basically know the difference, let’s shop for some!
Jilbaab = Same as an abaya but with a slit through middle. With buttons. (Maybe something like an overcoat.)
Khimar = Hijab that goes down to the waist. Indonesians and Malaysians tend to wear them a lot in Saudi Arabia. (No doubt, this refers to what Malays call “telekung”.)
Niqaab = Face veil.
Burkha = Khimar with a niqaab. Afghan women wear them.
Jalabiya = A bit like an abaya. (Perhaps a modern style “abaya” with fancy design?)
|Our lady mutawwif took us to this underground mall.|
In the mall were lots of small shops. They sold everything from clothes to souvenirs to electrical items and more. The funny thing was the moment we entered, they promoters started screaming, “Malaysia! Murah-murah! Siti Nurhaliza!” :-D
Since we came with the lady mutawwif, it was a targeted shopping spree – we would only go to the shops she suggested so that we could get a good selection with a bargain.
|Shop #1: And the shopping began!|
It was strange to see that the shop was lit in gloomy blue. I initially wondered why they had such bad lighting. Shouldn’t they make it easy for customers to browse the items? Then I figured that it might be in order to protect the dresses and studs from getting faded.
|Elegant in black?|
|Fresh in white?|
The ladies of our group started buying a lot. I thought it was too early to buy anything as it was only the first shop. I still wanted to have a look around. Furthermore, I wasn’t comfortable with the way one of the salesmen looked at us and said “mashaAllah.. mashaAllah..” repeatedly. So much so that a little girl in our group called it “kedai mashaAllah”. Okay, next shop please.
|Shop #2: Malaysian invasion!|
I personally preferred the second shop because it had wider selection of black jalabiyas in modern designs. The prices were very reasonable. The owner Haji Rashid was a friendly chap and spoke fluent Malay. And his salesmen were not creepy.
|More gorgeous garments to choose from.|
|Haji Rashid (the guy in white) offered tired shoppers seats and drinks.|
However Shop #2 was lacking in white jalabiyas, which I was specifically looking for. I was told that it was good to wear white while performing umrah because Rasulullah SAW loved the color white. So it was my personal mission to wear all white on the day I go to Makkah and do the first umrah.
So we headed back to the Shop #1, which had white jalabiyas in many designs. After several rounds of bargaining ala Petaling Street, I managed to get one that I really like at a very good discount. Several ladies (who already bought things here earlier) took the chance to have another look and buy even more!
|Two shops were too few? Fret not, there were many more shops inside..|
|..as well as outside. The goods were pretty much the same though.|
|Happily walking back to the hotel with the catch of the day!|