Sunday, July 26, 2009

Feel the Rain on your skin...

You really think I've got the time to write for you when it's been raining non-stop for a week??! Of course not! Oh how I love the rain! Don't ask me how many times I've stood out in the garden under the rain with my eyes shut and a huge smile on my face. It has really been pouring non-stop. I've decided to wear rubber boots to work! Too bad I don't own a pair of crocs. They would be perfect for the rain. What else has been going on? Salalah is chaos as usual because of wedding season, and the tourists are beginning to flock towards the south because of the rain. We've had guests non-stop over the past couple of weeks, so I've been busy with that.

What's new with you?

Saturday, July 11, 2009


I've been thinking about the 'Tent Philosophy' in Salalah. Many of you may know that when the monsoon season starts in Salalah (July, August), many families set up blue 'tents' on the Garbeeb or Iteen plains under the mountains. They spend their evenings barbecuing and relaxing by their tents all summer. It's a strange habit we've developed over the years. Usually on the weekends, we're invited by families we know to join them at their 'tent' in Iteen. We spend the afternoon talking and barbecuing while the children play then people gather around in a circle at night in the tent (or outside on a straw mat) playing cards or chatting or even watching television! (I've seen tents with battery operated televisions!). Some families have their own water tanks and portable bathrooms by their tent. It's become an odd tradition.

Furthermore, several years ago it was a money-making technique. Families would move into their tents (yes, MOVE IN, kids and all), and rent out their real homes to families from the UAE or Saudi. They could easily make 800 Rials a week just by renting out their house. I've seen many families (including our neighbours) who did this. But, the sad thing is that the husbands are greedy for money so they force their wives out of their homes for a couple of weeks and either send them to the tent or to their families' houses. Thus, many families became homeless out of greed. Recently (a few years ago), the government decided to make it illegal, thank goodness, because it was affecting the tourism industry (rented places and hotels), as families were making a lot of money privately. I noticed it more with families from the mountains because they usually had farms (or relatives with farms) in the mountains and it was their 'summer home'.

Does anyone know if people still rent out their homes in the summer? What do you think?

Sunday, July 5, 2009

Colourful Beauty

I know I'd probably be killed and beaten up into mush if these girls found out I'd taken their picture, but hey, I couldn't help it. Dhofari thobes (what they're wearing) are SO beautiful on girls in the South. The colors are cheerful, and they look so graceful. I love it when I see girls walking around in thobes in public places like these. I was at Ain Arzat (Arzat water spring) on Friday (after a hectic Thursday wedding. Please read Marilyn Manson post below if you haven't already. Kindly note the makeup issue) on my way to Mirbat. I like to run up to the cave at Arzat and feel on top of the world (or on top of the water spring is more like it). The place was empty, thank goodness, so I had the whole cave to myself. I noticed new graffiti on the walls of the cave. Shame. Something like 'Emarati Wa Bas'... What the hell? So a guy comes all the way from the UAE to spray paint his initials on OUR caves? How immature is that. It's just plain childish. I've noticed that in places like Mughsyal too. In Mughsayl they've got a sign up saying 'Leave Nothing But Footprints, Take Nothing But Memories, Welcome to Al Marneef Cave', and some idiots have painted graffiti all over the sign.

Besides that, I've got nothing much to say. Preparations for the festival seem to be going well. Opening date July 15. Workers, officials, tourism dudes, engineers :-) hard at work to make it perfect. Waiting for a decent amount of rain before I declare the arrival of the REAL monsoon. Humidity unbearable.


Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Traffic Woes

It's not even July yet, and every third car in town has a Dubai or Abu Dhabi license plate! Save us from the tourists!!!!