Brace yourselves for one of my random posts that cover bits and pieces from absolutely everything and anything Dhofar. To give you an idea of the scenario, yours truly is in a bright pink thobe budhail hibernating in her room over a mug of Salalah Chai and country music (don't judge). I've just finished drafting my 2014 resolutions, one of them being to blog more often. You must understand that I really love blogging. I've just been so bloody busy that I've had to put some things aside until I finish a couple of large projects. Anyway, 2014 will bring more posts. You may now roll your eyes.
So, in Salalah....
1) My last two posts were about the security threats in the Dhofar region,particularly concerning possible attempts by A Qaeda to cross the border from Yemen. The UK and US embassies both warned their citizens to steer clear of Dhofar. The warnings seem to be over, although to the best of my knowledge there may have been a mini-threat alert yesterday evening (hint: Port).
2) There has been an exaggerated burst of nationalism these past few weeks after Oman bluntly refused to join any future Gulf Union. Read this article for more details on the Iran-ties that have come up again and again in any conversation concerning Oman's stance.
3) Dhofar Club (primarily a soccer club) has set up dozens of clothes donation boxes around Salalah. Needles to say, it's the first 'organized' clothes donation initiative in Dhofar since ...well .... never. I've donated a lot and so have my friends. As far as I know, a lot of it is going to Syria. They're having a rough winter and the refugees need all the help they can get. The one I've used is on 18th of November Street, the main street in Saada right at the corner from Trygve Harris' frankincense ice cream heaven.
4) The weather these days is awesome.
5) I've witnessed two forced marriages over the past two months. More on that later. I'm fuming.
6) If you've emailed me over the past four weeks, I apologize for not getting back to you. I haven't been able to keep up with emails. I WILL answer.
7) I'm not a Facebook person. I'll try to re-activate my page, but can't make any promises. There's only so much social media I can handle. Don't even say the word Twitter to me, or I might internet-troll you.
8) Speaking of trolls, you guys need to get a life (those of you whose lives are so boring you waste your time sending horrible messages to others using multiple accounts. Seriously, get a life)
9) Remember our mini Arab Spring in Oman? And the one in Dhofar that ended rather harshly on May 12th, 2011? Remember this photo of the protest square? Well. they're currently in the middle of digging up the WHOLE FRIGGIN SQUARE to build a POLICE STATION. You heard me right. A police station.
10) Hasik-Shuwaymia road (east of Salalah) is finally open. We can finally drive up the coast easily. Bring on the day-trips! (ignore the photoshopped picture)
11) As of January 1st, Omanis can travel to the UK without a visa. Oh yes. OH YES!
12) I found this hilarious definition of Salalah in Urban Dictionary. We heard our animals, they said!
13) Someone at work keeps on using my coffee press and carefully hidden Sumatra coffee. I'm going to find the sucker and I'm going to kill him.
14) Patchi is finally open at Salalah Gardens Mall.
15) Khumba (3D Animation movie - still on at City Cinema Salalah) was awesome. Everyone in the audience were adults by the way. Don't be shy.
16) Finally, you do realize we have a public holiday next week for the birth of the Prophet Muhammad (PBUH)? Probably Monday or Tuesday, but most likely Tuesday. Hooray!