Thursday, March 31, 2011

Expats and Random Memories of Life-Before-Oman

I met a lovely and large group of expat ladies the other day (I'm not saying where) and I had forgotten how nice it is to be able to be so at ease.

And it is cute when someone compliments my English [cuz they don't know I'm English] when my grammer is slowly detereorating with MOP and his sisters. I no longer conjugate verbs properly, and I used to teach this language, so I feel ashamed of this.

Someone Scotish asked if I was from Scotland because of my accent. I like Scotland so this made me smile. I've never been there though.

Anyways, it was nice to be free. Yes, I did feel more free with them. But not because of anyone suppressing me or anything, but because THEY UNDERSTAND ME! Yes, both my vocabularily (I don't have to be constantly thinking on how to simplify a sentance) and ideas.

Funny thing is, of course, some of them wanted all the dirt on things in Omani culture they don't really get too much time on, things like the headscarf, and what things a women has to do differently than if she wasn't Muslim, and of course any old fashioned complaining about the culture we could come up with me. Believe me, it's good to have an outlet for things. Like WHY CAN'T I RIDE A BIKE?! Indeed, I have many things to complain about. But really, people don't get the headscarf and face veil thing. People were surprised to hear us Western wives find comfort in the niqab/face veil even though we don't always wear it. When we talked of when young girls start to veil someone said "to control them" and I remember having thought that once too. But really, I love my headscarf, I can't tell you how much. It really isn't such a chore to wear after you get used to it. In fact, then it is more an ease, since, well, I like to sleep in, and now, never have to brush my hair if I really don't want to. Pretty scarf? Insta-glam.

Plus the types of questions people ask eachother when they get to know eachother, differ 100% from what Omanis ask me when they get to know me.

I really, really had a good time and am glad I went.

Which reminded me a little of time time I tried to recreate a bit of my Western culture with MOP when we'd first gotten married.

When I was a kid, I went to these Irish dances and music get-togethers called Caleidhs. Actually, I think the Scottish club here in Oman throws them, but of course, due to my beliefs I don't go. I can't dance with any man I'm not related to or in front of men, and I love dancing, so really there's no point. And I can't get drunk so it wouldn't at all be like Caleidhs from back home.

I remember wild times with bands who sing beautifully at the start of the evening and less well at the end cuz everyone except us kids were drinking, even the waiters, and young and old are dancing, and the songs range from bawdy, to funny, to ballads, to romantic laments of loves who were killed or countries that were lost. There were a few every year and I looked forward to them.
A highlight is when my sis and I got to see Mairead Nesbitt preform. Her jumping in the air, fiddling something feirce and beautiful, and blonde hair flying, I believed in faeries. I understand the tiniest bit of Irish-gaelic, so I enjoy the traditional songs. Or well, did anyway. If my English is going, Gaelic is probably already gone.

So I tried one night to recreate the atmosphere of a Caelidh with MOP, since I was now married, and had meself a lad I could dance with.

'Course MOP has never danced with a girl in his life.

I'm serrious. Never.

Anyways, I got us nice drinks (non-alcoholic), and I put a tonne of CDs that conjured summer nights from my childhood. [Great Big Sea (Newfoundland), The Rovers, other random Newfoundland music (and no, I am not from there), Fionnualla, and a few other Celtic compositions]. MOP and I danced [kind of]. It ended up me dancing and MOP stomping and stepping on me, but he was good at spinning. Really, really isn't the same without a live bit of music and entertainers and a room full of people really. And I don't think I can get a room full of Omani girls to pull it off, though I managed [almost once] with a Saudi girl and a Scottish one;D

Anyways... this post doesn't seem to be ending so I'll stop here.

Expat readers of this blog, which things do you tend to miss randomly, and strangely from your lives back out of Oman?


Boxie said...

hahaha, Scottish club you say. I Wonder if the women meet.

Muscat Mitchells said...

Ah, love it! I'm glad you love us expats! I just wish I was one of that group that met you! ;-)

I know I'm going to keep thinking of things...I miss catching the train to London to watch a gig every now and then; I miss going to weddings (they were few and far between admittedly!) and I miss LIBRARIES!! I miss taking my kids to the library once a week...

I had a ceilidh at my wedding! (Hubby is Scottish) I understand how and why you cannot go now...but it was wonderful just dancing around without a care! I could not stop smiling and giggling.
Ah, you've left me thinking of lovely memories now, thank you!

Angry In Oman said...

Hi OPNO, nice post :) I miss walking home from work in Toronto on crisp autumn evenings and smelling food cooking in restaurants and bakeries, the smell of fallen leaves and the crunchy sound they made when I walked on them. It's the little things sometimes.

Rawiyah said...

This is the first time that i am reading your blog and i enjoy it very much.

I am looking forward to reading all the rest.

bosnishmuslima said...

You received an award, take a look:

Anonymous said...

What are those 100% different questions that expats ask versus Omanis when they get to know you?

Omani Princess (not Omani LOL) said...

Muscat Mitchells: I'm sure we can if you would like;)

Boxie: I don't know but I have their phone number if you want it;p

Omani Princess (not Omani LOL) said...

Angry in Oman: Oh yes, the bakeries.

I think sometimes I miss trees in general. Shade.

Rawiyah: Thank you for visiting the blog. I am glad you enjoyed.

Omani Princess (not Omani LOL) said...

bosnish Muslimah: Jazzakallahkheir sis:)

anonymous: Well, Omani women generally ask me questions about my personal life more than Westerners. Westerners, at least first time impressions, ask general questions.