In November, my luvly friend S and my baby boy A flew to Oman, courtesy of some extra Etihad Airways tickets we had floating around. We wanted to be there for our girl/fellow Blogger Pixie of the ILoveHishmaBlog and HowToLiveLikeAnOmaniPrincess Blogs and the arrival of Baby Pixie while checking out Muscat.
This was my 2nd trip to the Sultanate and the 1st for my companions (including Husband's, who joined us later) and we did just about everything except get mashakeek from Othaiba. How we managed to miss doing that, I am still kinda trippin' over but inshaaAllah next time... A few of the things we will never forget are the hospitality of our Hosts (we met a true Omani noble gentlemen mashaaAllah 3alaih -- thnx for everything, Zawj-Pixie) including Pixie's Moroccan tea, chasing a lizard from our bedroom with a palm leaf thing and getting caught between an angry Balooshi and furious Khaleeji...
One of the things I like about Oman is that if you come across a really good Omani, he or she will treat you as an honoured guest whoever you may be or came from. They aren't impressed with how many riyals you have or what kind of car you drive -- what counts to them are traits of humbleness, loyalty and a sense of dignity. Another great factor to look forward to is the food: intergrated cuisines such as Turkish and Indian plates have accustomed themselves among Arab tables. As for sushi... Well, I tried what they had to offer at Japengo's and wasn't really feeling it :-/ Maybe because they somehow managed to infuse wasabi into the seaweed or the imitation crab really tasted like imitation crab????
In some places across the Khaleej, one can get away with minor offenses. However, this Blogger found out that listening to loud 50Cent music is reason to be stopped by a young (and obviously bored) Omani policeman who demanded to see my friend's drivers' license. Even if it would've been a plain old highschool i.d. card, we would have gotten away without being in trouble thanks to the popo's inability to read English. But we don't like to scam innocent civilians & local law inforcers unless we really need to LoL JK :-P
As far as malls go, Qurum City Center and Seeb City Center is where you will find many of whatever you may need, and they have all of the same makeup/clothing stores found in UAE and Bahrain. Al-Bahja Mall is where a cinema popular with Omanis is located and home to locally owned vendors and shops. If you came to Oman not for more malls but to explore the rich history, check out Nakhl Fort or take pictures outside the Gate between Mutrah and Muscat. Mutrah Souk is one of my favourite places in Oman to see and we went many times. Just watch out for the Balooshi's LoL some of them don't respect the female gender and will let you know :-/
I haven't had the chance to see Salalah but I am hoping to because I've heard so much about how beautiful it is in the summer. InshaaAllah one day we will get to go!! BTW if you are looking for decent and luxurious hotel accomadations (according to Omani standards), check out the Gulf Crown Hotel Apartments which start at 25 O.R./day and the Omani staff are very flexible and helpful. You will get a nice big bed, remote-controlled AC and satelite t.v. If you're from the West, this place is definitly somewhere you'd wanna sleep at night. At least there you won't be woken up at 2am by late-night sheesha smokers watching an Arabic film on a homemade projection screen LoL
Once again, thank-you Oman for your hospitality!! See you again soon :-D