Saturday, 1 December 2012

A month of guests

How quickly a month passes.  Seems you blink and miss it.  Since my last post an awful lot has happened.

In that month we have had our first three sets of visitors, who have all come and gone back to Australia, leaving us here in Muscat.  Ah peace and quiet you may say, we have our house back and its all ours again.

At the beginning of November our first two sets of Canberra visitors appeared and left on the same days, and they weren't even known to each other until they were introduced in Muscat. These were the Hazells and the Ollerenshaws.

Our first outings as tour guides! Seems that our guests were satisfied with our guidance and enjoyed Muscat and what little surrounds they got to see.  Things like the Grand Mosque, Matrah Souq, Sawadi Beach and so - on  All of which I have posted photo's of before.  A veritable social whirl, complete with restaurant dinners, roof top BBQ's and so on.

And in that time our cat Bluey discovered how to get off the roof of the house, so there were a couple of set too's with his mum.  As well as unrelated cat set too's not involving our cats. All this ended up with us severely limiting roof top access since then.  And after a few days of nasty cat talk it has all gone back to quiet.  Mind you our British neighbour gave me an earful one night over cats - seems he doesn't like them!  Not sure what's going on there now, but then we've invited them over to dinner or drinks  a few times and they've never accepted, so I just guess they're a bit hermit like. Ah well they go home in six months, so maybe our next neighbours will be more social - one can hope.

All boxed up
But anyway the day our guests left Katrina and I shot off to the Royal Opera House for an evening of Omani music, supported by a few tunes from the Royal Symphony Orchestra.  All very nice, as for not much more than $100 I was able to get us box seats - I could get used to that!  The music was fun and the supporting dancers were "enthusiastic" but a fun night was had by all. So much fun that less than two weeks later we were back with Mum and Dad for the BBC Symphony Orchestra.  Tickets were about the same price, but this time that was for the cheap seats - sigh caviar one day, fish and chips the next. But I'm getting ahead of myself.

And then Mum and Dad arrived for two weeks.  They got here on a Friday morning and I had the Saturday off for a public holiday - Islamic New Year.  And all of this coincided with the 42nd National Day.  To say that Muscat had a buzz would be an understatement. The streets were (and still are) decorated with a flag on every pole and celebratory lights on every bridge/overpass.

One of the most popular businesses around that time had to be the car decorators. People had flags, pictures, stripes, swirly patterns and so on put on their cars to celebrate.  One evening we went out to dinner on the corniche. Nice and quiet when we arrived but HOPPING by the time we left, and somehow we ended up in the middle of the Mustang owners club parade of decorated cars. And then the following night Mum and I went out to try and get some distant shots of fireworks and ended up caught up in the celebrations of National Day. This time we almost ended up with the Jeep owners club.

National Day
That night out was a bit like a New Years Eve, people running up and down the street, riding on car roofs and bonnets, hanging out windows, running between and around cars.  Because we had our windows down we got happy faces thrust in the car with cries of Happy National Day, Welcome to Oman and so on.  And all the time the Police stood by and observed.  I guess if anyone had been dangerous or really TOO silly they would have acted. But everything was in great spirit, with none of the vicious edge that a drunken crowd can generate.  It was all a lot of fun and great to see a people proud of their country and celebrating that with anyone that came along.

In the end Mum and Dad had a great time in Oman and got home earlier today (Saturday) totally exhausted I believe. Not too many days ago they were on their safari of a lifetime with visits to traditional boat yard, wadi's, forts and a desert camp. And posing on the stern of the social club launch in front of the Royal Palace...

Katrina and the Kayak
Your friendly neighbourhood octopi
Over the last month the real revelation for me has been I have discovered after years of disliking the beach ( I grew up in Geelong where it's surf coast and not much to see that's readily accessible under the water) I am developing a fondness for it and seaborne activities. Now we have the Kayak I am happy to go to sea for a little paddle, not too far from shore and also in calm weather! But combined with all that if the water is clear I am happy to jump in with a mask snorkel and flippers to have a bit of a look around.  And my there is a lot to see.  Wherever there's a little island or sheer drop into the sea there are coral reefs and all that entails by way of colourful fish. Big ones, bright ones, small ones, colourful ones and well you get the picture, but not in this case because I don't have an underwater camera.  So you'll just have to make do with your imagination and pictures of some washed up aquatic life....

Not everything is safe

And there we have it a bit of everything.  In a month it will be Christmas, on a work day, may just have to take some Christmas cheer to work that day.  Maybe Christmas will come early with a big decision on the project at work...

No comments:

Post a Comment