Monday, August 31, 2009
Sunday, August 30, 2009
- List Five Current Obsessions
- Pass the award on to five more fabulous blogs
- ON your post receiving this award, make sure you include the person that gave you the award and link it back to them.
- When you post your winners, link it back to them as well.
- Don't forget to let your winners know they won an award by leaving a comment on their blog.
Allrighty, so ... five current obsessions, hmmm....
- Obsession One: Reading. I've been reading too much lately. Until 2 or 3 in the morning.
- Obsession Two: Travelling. I'm getting itchy feet. I actually have a notebook where I'm keeping notes on the places I plan to go to. Need ... to ... travel.
- Obsession Three: Nutella. I haven't had Nutella for months. In fact, I don't think I even like Nutella in real life, but because it's Ramadan and I'm fasting, I keep daydreaming about it.
- Obsession Four: Yet again, because I'm fasting right now, I'm imagining a tall glass of home-made lemon iced tea with seven (yes seven) ice cubes. Yes it's an obsession and yes it's killing me.
- Obsession Five: Discovering cool blogs. It has become an obsession. I'm so impressed with all the freakin' fabulous blogs out there, especially the ones about Oman.
Wednesday, August 26, 2009
Tuesday, August 25, 2009
Take a look around. We are a country rich with different cultures (compare Ibri to Salalah? Thumrait to Muscat?), most Omanis speak some English, and a large percentage are fluent, well-travelled educated people. We are a developing country with doctors, scientists, engineers, researchers, lawyers, etc. Omanis have jobs, cars, laptops, blackberries, and are keeping up with the rest of the modern world. We are a country of thinkers, writers, bloggers (yes!), photographers, artists, and talented individuals. Just look around you! We are not mentally-retarded villagers, nor do we live in a village! Look at Oman! Highways, businesses, opera houses (soon), skating rinks, stadiums, cinemas, shopping malls (not that I approve), five-star hotels, yacht clubs, universities, restaurants, cafes, art galleries, museums, research centers, and so much more. Look how much we’ve progressed over the past 30 years! We didn’t even have a paved road back then. We didn’t have electricity or schools or hospitals. Look how much we’ve grown! It’s AMAZING how fast our country was built. Are we not proud of that? Hell we are! So what’s wrong with the Ministry of Information? What’s wrong with Oman TV? Ok, so everything is censored and we do not have freedom of speech in the media in Oman, but can we not at least have decent television? It doesn’t have to be outrageous, it doesn’t have to offend the government, and it certainly doesn’t have to offend the people of this beautiful country. Aren't there creative young people out there who studied media? Why aren't they working at Oman TV? We want fresh talent.
Tell me honestly, how many of you watch Oman TV? If you don’t, then why not?
Ok, on another note, last night another H1N1 victim passed away in intensive care at Sultan Qaboos Hospital in Salalah. A young woman. She was buried shortly after midnight. May Allah grant her family the strength to get through this tragedy. Will her death be reported in the newspaper today? I doubt it. Oman’s hush-hush policyسياسة الهدوء
Send a prayer out to her family. May she rest in peace. Amen.
Sunday, August 23, 2009
Yup, what you are looking at my dear friends is the Leaning Tower of Crème Caramel. Believe me, Dhofaris only eat creme caramel in Ramadan. Same with oatmeal, dumplings, vimto, samboosas, jelly, etc. So, what exactly is the Ramadan menu? Let me explain; every afternoon during Ramadan every kitchen in Salalah is busy producing the same dishes. Call to prayer comes at sunset, and everyone gathers around the mat/table to eat the same dishes. I'm telling you, it's true! I've asked all my friends and they all eat the same thing. They have an eating marathon from the moment the call to prayer comes and for about ten minutes until it's time to pray. During those ten minutes, every person will stuff as much food into their face as possible, and in no particular order. It's a free for all. You want to eat jello with your samboosa? Go ahead! How about watermelon and beef soup? Be my guest.
Dhofari Iftar Menu: The Everyday Basics:
Samboosas سمبوس (usually filled with spicy vegetables and ground beef)
Luqaymat لقيمات: (sweet dumplings dipped in sugar syrup)
Soup شوربة: ( Ramadan soup made with beef, vegatables and oats. Quite delicious with lemon)
Vimto فيمتو: (red poison)
Coffee & Dates
Thareed ثريد : (a traditional Omani dry bread soaked in a beef sauce. Tasty)
Sandwiches: (usually most families will have an assortment of small sandwiches)
Usually a dish of spicy macaroni
Watermelon (to ensure you have the worst case of Digestive Volcanos in the history of mankind)
Kindly note that all of this is eaten at the same time. Some families are brave enough to introduce new dishes to this menu. Lots of families have a variety of cold desserts (usually a mix of creme caramel, custard, jello, swiss rolls and dream whip. Lots and lots of dream whip). Also note, dear friends, that most families will have a heavy meal of rice and meat/chicken later on in the night (anytime between 10 p.m and 1 a.m). I can only imagine what their sleep/dreams must be like after such a heavy meal. Oh, well. This is our culture. We developed these odd eating habits (our ancestors certainly didn't eat like that) somewhere over the past 20 years I suppose. What do you eat in Ramadan? Give me proof that there are people out there that eat normally!
Saturday, August 22, 2009
Tuesday, August 18, 2009
Hey, random question, does anyone know where I can find a set of i-pod speakers in Salalah?
Monday, August 17, 2009
Sunday, August 16, 2009
Saturday, August 15, 2009
The Cotton Candy Boy phenomena started quite recently, only a couple of years back I think. Wherever you go in the mountains area or picnic areas, you see one of these young boys, usually barefoot, selling you plastic bags of cotton candy. I find it a little depressing, but does anyone know if these boys are benefitting? Are they making any money? Is it helping them?
Just thoughts. It's raining outside. Have a great day.
Wednesday, August 12, 2009
Tonight is Salalah's first soccer match at our huge (well, huge to us) new sports stadium out near the mountains. Saudi and Oman. I figure all the tourists from Saudi Arabia are out there cheering.
Brings back memories of the Gulf Cup 19 in January. That was so much fun. I don't have a photo of the completed stadium because I haven't been out there yet, but this is a photo of the model. So, I want to send out a shout to our boys; the National Soccer Team .. 'Go guys!' and pray that they win.
Tuesday, August 11, 2009
I heard rumors that they cancelled Women's Day at the festival forever! Is it true? For years and years, Sunday was female day at the monsoon festival. It was the 'safe' day when families would dump their girls at the festival for several hours to play on the rides, chill out in the restaurants, and do their shopping. It was the highlight of the summer for many girls. I never went on Sunday because it was too crowded (i.e too many women pushing and shoving), but it's kind of shocking to hear it was cancelled altogether. Here's a photo of the festival on women's day, all abayas and not a dishdasha in sight!
Sunday, August 9, 2009
PS (I took this photo on the way to Mughsayl on a misty morning not long ago)
Tuesday, August 4, 2009
Monday, August 3, 2009
High in the mountains – no sound…
Except for chirping sparrows, and clacking crickets,
Until the cadence of distant voices
Drifts towards me through the mist -
It lifts and, lo, a beautiful panorama unfolds:
Rolling green hills, trees and rocks growing through.
And across the next valley I spy the voices –
Picnickers perched on top of a little hill
No doubt thinking that they too were all alone…
High in the misty mountains.
As I sit and ponder the peaceful scene
‘Midst gently falling rain and friendly flies
I first hear the buzz then feel the nuzzling
Of a very hungry mosquito,
And, a few of its relatives!
Quickly I spray hands, feet and neck
With a liberal coating of anti-insect spray.
It does the trick
And I continue enjoying the pastoral setting…
High in the Dhofar mountains.
Clouds again descend
And cover the nearby hills,
And my face, with their wet kiss.
I sink into a reverie
And dream of friends and loved ones in distant places…
Only the shishing of passing vehicles on the damp road,
The gentle lowing of contented jebali cows heading home,
And the far off laughter of happy excursioners,
Tell me that I’m…
High in the green Dhofari mountains.
The peace and tranquillity of the rural scene
Soon settle the small worries of the day,
Clearing my thoughts
And reminding me of the One who made it all.
Just then a new sound enters the audio spectrum –
The distant cry of a muezzin in a mountain mosque
Calls the faithful to prayer
And I too bow my head…
High in the lush green Dhofar mountains.
© Ross Hayden, Salalah, Oman. Khareef 2000