06 October 2005

Revealed at Last: Karama's Real Fakes!

Shopping for real fake designer goods is a popular pastime for visitors and residents alike. You can get Gucci bags, RayBan sunglasses, Von Dutch t-shirts and Rado watches, all at prices closer to Woolworth than Rodeo Drive.

These sales are done extremely surreptitiously, as the local authorities frown upon counterfeit stuff, and there are frequent raids. Usually we are asked if we are interested in buying watches or bags, and then are shunted into the back of a shop, into a small room upstairs or a cubby hole hidden behind some convincing looking shelving. In this case we were in a tiny shop in the middle of Karama shopping centre, where the proprietor conjured watches from the most unlikely hiding places: fake drawers in display cabinets, innocent looking bags hung up along the walls for sale, at one point he even pulled them from inside a tissue box.


Usually we are not allowed to take any photos, for obvious reasons, but at one point all the shop keepers had gone off to find more watches to satisfy Naime's discerning taste, and I was able to take a shot.

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