Muscat: A weekend together with my Omani friend

"Please fasten your seat belts, close your tray tables and put your seats upright in preparation for landing in Muscat" the flight attendant sputtered in Arabic and English. I looked out the window from my seat and stared down below to brown dry mountains mixed in with the clouds. Could this be the Swiss alps or Nepal? I thought again and noticed the desert, and desert villages scattered between the mountains, unlike green Nepal. In the airport my Omani friend whom I had known almost 30 years when we were studying together in the UK, and we kept in contact. He was at the airport and greeted me before I even got my visa. He ushered me through all the immigration and customs clearance like "VIP" treatment before the others did,  and left the airport quickly and started my Omani weekend getaway together. 

My bigshot banker friend whisked me in his new Mercedes into the city for some sightseeing and a few laughs, catching up on old times together. Muscat is surrounded by mountains (in the summer it is like a wok frying pan with the heat captured by the mountains) even buildings and motorways were made in the mountains! He and I decided to cruise around the narrow, winding alleyways in Muscat's old neighbourhoods , and just have fun! Lots of guys are everywhere to be seen as it is a very male oriented society. Muscat still has some very beautiful architecture, old forts, a beautiful Corniche walkway and exotic souqs. Omani people are cheerfully pleasant and friendly. I could not get enough of the fabulous Omani coffee and Omani halwa.

I loved the adventure of sampling Omani food which we ate at a traditional Omani restaurant. In the restaurant every family has their own private room with a door which feels like home, resting against traditional pillows, sitting on an Oriental rug. The male server would knock on our door and wait for our call before he admitted himself in our room, carrying a tray of food. After dinner he took me to his posh villa where we sat in a princely setting, sipping tea together!

             ( photo: from internet, Omannet)

Unfortunately I was in Oman for only a long weekend getaway but the experience I had will make me definitely be returning to Oman again and again to explore different areas of this fascinating country and culture, hoping to know Omani people, their culture, and character better! 

It is  also my dream to go camping with a bunch of fun guys to the desert in Oman. Together sleeping under the stars (or in a tent), making a fire and, enjoying life as it should be!


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