Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Weekend Notes

Wednesday at last. I can go home, kick off my pink heels, scrub off the makeup, undo the 10 pins in my headscarf, throw off my kammasha, rent a movie and chillax for a couple of days. Whoever invented weekends was a genius.
(1) It's awfully dark in Salalah today, so I'm praying for rain. I miss the monsoon!
(2) I have a little story I'd like to share with you. I have to complain to someone, you know? I was driving down the highway my cousin in her car at night (my poor car is sleeping while she gets serviced and painted after a mini scrape with an a**hole of a taxi driver last week - I won't go into that). There was a jeep behind us practically glued to the back of our car even though we were on the slow lane. My cousin started getting nervous so she switched lanes to the fast lane and passed a few cars then went back to the slow lane. Jeep Jerk shows up again behind her and is flashing his headlights at her and then indicating. We drove a little faster trying to get away from him but he kept on coming up right behind her and flashing his lights then indicated. I told her perhaps he wants us to pull over (on the highway?!).
We finally reached Centrepoint and we drove into the parking lot. He parked right behind us and got out of his car and started banging on her window. She freaked out but I was fuming. I got out of the car and asked him what he wanted exactly? I could tell immediately he was drunk (believe me, drunk Omanis are NOT a pretty sight, especially in a dishdasha and kumma. It's plain weird). He said 'I'm an undercover police officer, show me your license and car ownership'. I stood stiff and asked HIM to show some identification. He shuffled back to his car and started searching and swearing. It was quite frightening. Then he got a phone call and started pacing back and forth on the phone. I told me cousin to drive away slowly, so we did and he barely noticed us (!!!). We memorized his license plate number and drove to the nearest police station and filed a complaint. A couple of my relatives just 'happened' to be at the station, so they took over and we went back to our shopping :) .... turns out the guy has a history and was not a policeman at all, but simply a drunk idiot who spends his time harrassing girls on the highway. Get a life.
(3) Almost every man in Salalah owns a weapon. It's a fact. And most certainly every man from the mountains in Salalah has at some point owned or used a weapon. Many have taken lives during the war. But nowdays, it's a requirement if you want to be considered a 'man'. Some have legal registered weapons and some have illegal weapons. If you want to buy weapons go to the weapon hangout market next to Oman International Bank in Al Haffa area. I'm serious. Old men gather there in the mornings to sell weapons and goats. It's illegal but it happens. Problem is, families are big here. Houses are full of children. Young men steal their father's weapons or 'borrow' them and take them on picnics with their friends to play around. Do they know how to use these weapons? Maybe and maybe not. In the past 24 months I've heard of at least 5 'accidental' deaths including one of a close relative last year who accidently shot himself while polishing his pistol. Stories like this are heard often in Dhofar. And it's usually boys playing around with their fathers' guns or somone shooting someone else by mistake, but to protect his reputation and avoid tribal problems, it's settled quietly between the families and they announce to the public that he shot himself by mistake even though secretly everyone knows his friend may have done it. Sigh.
(4) about the peaceful demonstrations that took place in Muscat yesterday, Muscat Confidential wrote about it here. In Salalah, nothing of the sort happened (or will happen). We're either too proud to protest here in Salalah (what will people SAY?) or too loyal to the Sultan to protest. Either way, I doubt the Dhofaris will protest.
(5) and finally, I'm too upset to discuss the corniche crisis right now. I'll write about it in detail soon. Basically, they're removing the ENTIRE Haffa Corniche hangout area at the beach to put up some fancy useless tourist project. The Corniche is the ESSENCE OF SALALAH. Dear Municipality, DAMN YOU for runining the heart of Salalah.
The End.


  1. Drunk men are such a bother, but so are drunk girls. Inshallah you will never have this happen again. Sorry about the Haffa Corniche, Inshallah it gets sorted out.

  2. Hi Nadia
    Salamat :)
    If the situation is as you said about drunk men in Salalah, you have to go to the weapon market you mentioned and get a gun in order to protect yourself in the future :).

    The government MUST take back all weapons(legal and illegal)from peopl and from the market even if it is going to pay them money.
    I know at least 3 young men who been killed by mistake because of these unnecessary weapons(originally they are for show only)

  3. A girl killed her youngest sister when she was fooling around with their father's shotgun..... that girl is my friend's sister.

    Father has two weapons, a shotgun and a handgun. My brother used to play with them when we were younger. They were always empty but we knew where dad kept the ammo. I agree that this can be dangerous.

  4. about the protest in muscat, the arabianbusiness website has put up salalah clock tower photo, so I thought it was in salalah, but I knew this was not a possibility in salalah

  5. which highway are u talking about where this has happened?

    It did not use to happen like this in salalah about 2 years back.

    Where's all the people going who live on the coastline?

    1- for this point, i myself see rain at this time of the year is harmful and destructive for dry grass which was left after the previous monsoon rain especially in mountainous areas, cause when grass gets wet it will ruin it right away.So there is no need to pray to destroy pastures!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
    2- there are so many good and bad people in any country,therefore i recommend you not to:
    *Stop for anyone tries to stop you who you dont know except police patrol cars..
    *Drive outside the city alone or escorted by females.
    3-weapons are our logo which we cannot live without they are part of our culture. the only thing that we need is to keep them in safe and secure place.
    4-Summer cloud doesnt affect...let them protest in vain cause they are not hard people i know them. they just excel at complains(words no actions).
    5-Ohh dont be is the relief:
    know the difference between citizen and resident,, then you will revolt for your rights.

  7. No, really, the Corniche? But that IS Haffa.

    From an ex-westerner

  8. .... I've heard the corniche is going to be very beautiful. There are some pretty run-down houses along here. Hopefully there will also be better protection from the sea during Khareef.
    Anyhow, I've heard it could still be some time before they start work on the "new" corniche.... Just pray that they will respect the "local flavor" and turn it into an even better place to hang out. Until then, enjoy what you have and don't worry too much about tomorrow.

  9. OMG!!!

    its been a yr im in salalh..i love the haffa husband loves that drive.. my son sleeps peacefully while he's on that ride...
    and offcourse its too near the shore..

    lets see wht happens...