Sunday, January 30, 2011

It's the small things....

It's the small things that make me happy. Some examples are:
(1) Aimless driving
(2) Discovering a new song I love
(3) Talking to my uncle's cows
(4) Burying my feet in the sand at Dahareez Beach
(5) Sharpened pencils
(6) Combing and braiding my little sister's hair.
(7) White linen.
(8) New bars of soap
(9) Unwrapping a package.
(10) Picking up a new abaya :)
(11) Being alone in the house (rare!)
(12) Long Khareef afternoons in the garden with cousins and a thermos of Salalah tea
(13) Meaningful conversations with friends
(14) Making someone laugh
What about you? What are the small things that make you happy?

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

You Know You're a Dhofari When .......

(1) You're Loud.
(2) All Dhofaris are related to you one way or another.
(3) You won't go into any store unless you can park right in front of it.
(4) You insert words like 'Ghabz', 'Yakha', and 'Wayahoo' into most of your sentences.
(5) You are recognized as Dhofari wherever you go (women from their Burqas or Pom Poms, and men from the way they walk, their dishdasha style and good looks of course :)
(6) You think you're better than everyone else.
(7) You spend your weekends playing cards on The Garbeeb
(8) All picnics involve beef and red tea.
(9) You attend at least seven weddings during the Khareef season
(10) You spend 100 OMR on wedding makeup (for women) and another 100 to rent a thobe just to attend the wedding of a distant cousin who you don't even like.
(11) At least three or four of your first cousins have asked for your hand in marriage.
(12) You accept (and use) new additions into the Dhofar vocabulary like 'Haraqni'.
(13) Men tilt their kummas to the side and throw a turban on their shoulders and walk like they own the place.
(14) You have two cell phones.
(15) Mageen (dried meat), Baitha7 (Root veg) and Safeela7 (dried abalone) are gourmet foods.
(16) Your house is always crowded with visitors.
(17) You have Wasta. Lots of it.
(18) Everyone in your family has a bank or car loan.
(19) Everything is '3aib' (not proper).
(20) You drink tea all day long.
(21) Fat & white (for women) is beautiful.
(22) You're always on the lookout for a bride for one of your brothers.
(23) Your nickname for Omanis who are not Dhofari is 'Mishkak'. (And so I met a mishkak the other day and he said ....)
(24) You believe soccer is more important than work and/or exams (in fact, everything in your life is more important than work and studying)
(25) Everyone in your family is called Mohammed, Ahmed, Ali, Salim, Said, Tufool, Mahad, Khair, Khiyar, Mezoon, Fatma, Noor, Bakhit, and Muna.
(26) Your father owns at least two guns.
(27) You own at least 10 Kammashas if you're a woman, and at least 5 tassled turbans if you're a man.
(28) At least one member of your family was involved in the Dhofar Rebellion in the late 1960s and early 1970s.
(29) Turmeric is used as a cure for everything.
(30) You drink Mountain Dew for breakfast, lunch and dinner
(31) You pour hot sauce over everything.
(32) No meal is complete without rice
(33) No rice is complete without a dollop of Qatmeem or 'Saman' (ghee)
(34) You only go shopping at night
(35) You attend at least two weddings and two funerals a month.
(36) You can't stay still when 'Madar' music is on. I swear it's true.
(37) You own at least 20 bottles of perfume
(38) You realize parking lots are the best place to play cards.
(39) You think you know everything about world politics.
(40) You think the coolest thing to do in town is hang out on the corniche in Al Haffa.
(41) You go to Khairat Al Janoob every month to stock up on all beauty necessities.
(42) when polishing cars in a parking lot becomes a routine social gathering
(43) Your women are never officially 'seen' by any strange males.
(44) You swear you'll divorce your spouse if your guests don't have 2nd or 3rd helpings of food.
(45) Your family owns at least one Toyota Land Cruiser.
(46) You don't feel the need to indicate when switching lanes.
(47) You ...
(48) You ....
Inspired by a group on Facebook, I've added my own list. This post is dedicated to my favorite reader who calls himself 'SO LONG ... AHMED'. Dear Ahmed, if you're reading this, make your own additions to my list.

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.

Wednesday, January 12, 2011


Wednesday, January 12th. Italian music/dance/performances at Al Murooj Theatre in Iteen. 8 p.m. Be there.

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Subway in Salalah

That's right, folks. Subway is finally coming to Salalah. They've been preparing the location for MONTHS and MONTHS at Istqerar Hypermarket on the 3rd floor in the food court, but rumor has it that we should be expecting the grand opening sometime this month.
You'll be happy to know that Salalah isn't obsessed with fast food chains. We've had one Pizza Hut for about 10-15 years, and one KFC. That's it. In a town of 150,000 people, that's pretty good.

Saturday, January 8, 2011

Logos Hope in Salalah

If you're in town during the next three days, I suggest you pay a visit to the famous Logos Hope ship at Salalah Port. Evidently it's the largest floating bookfair in the world (but that's what they said about the Doulos ship when it visited Salalah a few years ago). I'll definitely try to make it if my car come out of the vehicle salon. Thanks ShueShue for the information and the brochure!