Hola Oman!

February 14, 2013

Dear Family and Friends,

I hope you are doing well and happy valentines day! I always liked (and still like) valentines day because there was always a lot of chocolate around. What’s not to like?

My colleagues told me that Muscat was awesome, and so far they are absolutely right. I arrived here late last night and didn’t get settled until 1:30 in the morning, so that’s why I didn’t write yesterday. Also, I didn’t do much.

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Yesterday in Kuwait I stayed in the hotel and worked, all day. It was like a full day of work at home, I sat, made phone calls, and wrote reports. Not the most exciting thing, but it needed to be done.

I headed to the airport in the evening (just late enough to catch the beginning of Moevenpick’s chocolate hour – they were serving mousse that day). The Kuwait airport is totally crazy, probably the most disorganized and old large airport I’ve ever been to.Especially for a very rich country, the airport was so sub par. I think everyone would agree with me so I’m not really afraid to put that in writing.

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While I was in line for outgoing immigration, an american guy, Nick, stood in line behind me. He’s a contractor working in Kuwait and was heading to Thailand for a two week vacation. We checked out each others passports and then were like, “oh, whats up!” A security guard came over to us and said “Oh, You are American? Do you know about Dogs?” “Yes” He asked us what we thought about Rottweilers because he wanted to know if his father should get one. We told him they were pretty big and good for a guard dog, we thought. The guard said “Okay, come with us” and he brought us to the front of the other immigration line for GCC passport holders.

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Weird! The airport in Oman was a breeze, for me at least. There were some enormous lines I think for people trying to get their work visas.

Today was my first official day off. I started at big souk, a market. It had all sorts of things, spices, incense, garments. I got some silk and silk-and-wool mix scarves that I bargained for. I was chatting with the guy that sold them to me, and he showed me his money collection. He is Really into collecting money from around the world and from history. His collection is better than the one we have at work, which is Really impressive. He had money from pre WW11 Germany, Mongolia, Czechoslovakia, Bhutan, etc. Money that we have in the office that he didn’t have was Namibia, Angola, Turkmenistan, and Mauritius.

20130214_152123He gave me his address so if we have extras lying around I’ll send it to him. He gave me an indian rupee (he is from India), a new one. We already have rupees but this one is really crisp and he insisted I take it.

After the souk, I went to the Shangri La resort area to eat lunch and see the place, because I was told it is really beautiful. This is correct, it’s stunning, what an amazing place. the coastal area is very mountainous! I walked along the ocean on the path and hung out for a while, then headed back to the hotel. All the taxi drivers (at least all the ones I’ve had) are Omani, which is different and worth mentioning because in the other countries from this trip, the drivers were never from that country.

20130214_152530I headed to the gym, and ran 5K in 24 minutes and 45 seconds, which is my fastest time ever by over a minute! I’m pretty happy about that. I didn’t even run that fast in Cross Country in high school (which is kind of embarrassing but it was still fun). For dinner, I wanted to hang out at the hotel and go to one of their highly rated restaurants, (and play words with friends on the wireless internet… lets be honest) but they were having a valentines day set menu that was over $70 for just the food and no other menu, so change of plans. I went to Turkish food at a nearby restaurant, recommended by one of the guys at the hotel. I was able to walk!

20130214_110048The food was Great. It was a little lonely to be sitting by myself on this particular night (Thursday night is also a weekend night here so everyone is out with their families) but it was okay. I had mixed appetizer mezze(s), a mango milk(shake) type drink (the house special so I had to try it), and hammour (gulf grouper fish) in a delicious sauce with tomatoes, onions, and peppers. It comes with this Enormous flat bread with sesame seeds on top. Very different from the Turkish food I ate in Kazakhstan.

Tomorrow, I hope to go to the beach and then visit a mosque in the afternoon.

Love, Annie

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One Response to “Hola Oman!”

  1. Ronna Benjamin Says:

    Best post ever!! I’m impressed!

    Sent from my iPhone


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