Hectic HECTIC times. Thanks for all the positive comments on my OmanForum post last week. Very much appreciated. I haven't had time to write because of a 'Work Overdose' as my fellow blogger Bader likes to call it. I've been taking work home everyday now for the past two weeks. I'm also trying to write something for the new bloggers' campaign, but I need to concentrate when I'm writing, so I'll probably do it at home (with a nice cup of tea). .
Once you shut that door, you're in another world. Men would kill to see what goes on in there. Big empty well-lit rooms. Mirrored walls. Women chillin' in tights and tank tops. Nike sneakers. Yoga mats. Puma shorts. Sweatbands. Che Guevara t-shirts (you heard me right). Ponytails. Bandanas. Loud Loud Music..... Hot stuff.
At 8 p.m the aerobics class instructor arrives; dressed in pink tights and a t-shirt with a long blonde ponytail and lime-green sneakers. Women/girls start warming up and playfully shoving each other around the aerobics rooms. All the lights come on. Everyone takes their place in front of the mirror. Music system is ready. Press the play button and get ready to hit the dance floor.
Global Deejays re-mix 'San Francisco Dreaming' blasts out of the speakers (listen to it. I need you to imagine with me). The instructor usually starts with warm-up exercises then gradually starts the heavy aerobics. Lots of hopping and jumping. Step-work. Mat-work. It goes on for an hour or more. Pain. Torture. But they love it anyway. Often the instructor will ask the girls if they're in for some hip-hop and break-dancing. Everyone will shout 'YEAH!' and out comes the hip-hop CD. She usually starts with The Black Eyed Peas 'Boom Boom Pow' and everyone will show off their dance moves. My favorite is Chris Brown & T-Pain's 'Greatness'. When the girls are feeling a little wild, the belly-dancing CD comes out. One of my expat friends who went there took one look at the place and said 'This is SO Ghetto!'.
The funniest part is that some instructors like doing aerobics to Salsa music. It actually works quite well with aerobics. Lots of hip and shoulder-shaking. The best is Marc Anthony's 'Mi Gente'. Dhofari girls pick up a lot of salsa moves from TV (So You Think You Can Dance/ Dancing with the Stars). After a couple of hours of fun and activity, one by one the women head to the cloak room (literally), change back into their abayas, tie up their hair, apply all the head-pieces until the hijab is complete, tie on the face-veil (burqa), change out of their sneakers, roll up their yoga mats and sneak out. The car is waiting outside (curious driver trying to get a peek as the door opens), woman gets in, and drives off into the night.
Nothing happened, right? Nope.
Salalah's best-kept secret. Dhofari Chicks Rock.