Sunday, February 6, 2011

Window on the world

“Welcome to Oman! Nothing like you saw in Egypt will ever happen here.”
There are also some other differences. This is the gulf, not the Levant or Egypt that I am used to. It is significantly warmer. The men all dress the same wearing dishdasha (white robe) and white cover. The women all wear black robes with hijab and a significantly larger amount wear nikab (eyes only.) This all means that when me and most host father (Ahmed) go into the supermarket with me wearing a red polo I stick out. A lot. I am almost a foot taller than the average Omani.
People drive, everywhere. Egypt was rather foot accessible (hiking all of Zamelek,) whereas Muscat is quite spread out. This means the “Faces of Egypt/Oman” photo project I was working on may have to stop at the Nile. I have taken one picture while be here, of the Sultan’s boat.
When we heard (we really knew nothing, at all, of this country) it was a sultanate, one thing immediately comes to mind: Disney’s Aladdin. In true orientation form, we watched the movie as a group for our first class to discuss culture. The moment we landed and saw the architecture though I serenaded my fellow bulldog with a rousing rendition of “Prince Ali.” She was definitely impressed, I think after this I may do a Middle East tour.
On the way down, when I was trying to figure out what I had gotten myself into another particular song came to mind:
“A cup of coffee and a shaky hand/waking up in a foreign land/trying to act like I got something planned/that’s my window on the world/”-JB
Right now my classroom window opens up to the Indian Ocean, which seems like a good place to build my sand castle for the next few months.

Woken up 7am Monday Feb 7th by host siblings: “Are you a packers fan or a steelers fan?” groggy response: Packers. “You won!” OMGGGGGGGGGGGGG ALHUMDILALLAH!

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