Sunday, May 1, 2011

Down By the Bay

I am down in Mutrah, which is on the other side of the city, has a wonderful souk, and a cool corniche (walking area by the sea.) The days are limited and I am already planning my assimilation back into society via a Brewers home game with my father. I am not excited for two 9 hour flights home I have to take. (Long ago, in a land far away called high school, I took a 9 hour to Alaska, and thought that was the longest transportation I would ever take. Now I take 8 hour flights to Europe just to get started on the long hauls down here. Or even better, 12 hour bus rides from Salalah to Muscat.) This morning I thought I lost a major part of my presentation, so took the buses back in the morning, found what I needed and then came back.
I decided all of my frantic running around deserved some time to sit and ponder. I walked to a French restaurant right outside the port. Shell shocked from the high prices I walked back down the corniche to the Indian fastfood shops, where the entire selection is the equivalent of a dollar menu. It is getting really humid here, but the breeze off the Gulf helped. I ate and watched tourists come and go. Everywhere else in the country is shutdown at this time of day, as everyone is napping or enjoying air-conditioning. However some Italians insisted on shopping during the worst part of the day. The one Omani man out at this time exchanged looks with me when their 5 star hotel shuttle bus came to pick them up. He looked at me as if to say “aren’t you going with them?” I stated that no I live here (in arabic) and then went back to my large bottle of water, and book about large bottles of other Caribbean drinks.
Last night Janey and I strolled down the corniche to take pictures (see I am still working, haven’t checked out quite yet :) We found a bunch of couples sitting by a rock formation with some form of Bellagio Vegas inspired water fountains. I set my tripod up, and hope the couples stayed still long enough to get a shot off. I ended up getting a cool sequence, and filled up another page in the book!
Many of the students are heading to other countries after this. Turkey is the most popular. All the charm of the Middle East, with western dress and flowing alcohol. East meets West. I would love to keep moving, but I am just ready to head back. (Its weird, at one point a few months ago, I was almost certain I would be back in Iowa watching snow from a Drake desk. Now I am excited to go and see everyone, tell stories, and just enjoy American life.) I have enough airplane points that I will have a ticket coming my way soon to somewhere in Europe. The last time I intentionally spent time in Europe was sophomore year of high school. Prague was gorgeous so I may want to head back there (spring break 2012?) but have also heard marvelous things about Spain (no speako spanisho) and Portugal. England has also been a draw as I have flown into London countless times, only to wash up, grab a bite and jump on another plane and have never actually left the airport.
When I came back to Muscat yesterday I stopped in to see some folks. These were people I hadn’t been with for awhile, and I tried telling jokes. My voice was slow, and I stumbled through them. I remember this happening after Jordan the first time. I enjoy fast wit immensely and so will be quite excited to catch up on that.

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