Unthinkable, perhaps, but it was my husband's duty to inform the [more kindly/Islamic]others that the case of our disapearence was due mistreatment by a certain few.
But if I examine my motives deeper, perhaps it was simply out of a longing to have the freedom to do whatever I liked on the Eid, not bound by tradition. So what I am not Dhofari, or Bedouin? If I like their clothes, why can't I tailor that style of Omani dress... or God forbid, a Moroccan takchita, scarlet woman that I am... So what if I can't eat beef and rice for a week straight with the only other option being schwarma? So what if I have pasta or Jordanian lamb stew or a Palestinian chicken dish in between the mishakeek and the shuwa?For certain, there was a substantial longing for something different, something other than sitting in a room alone being left with food and tv and children and not much else to do. So all I tailored this Eid was an abaya. I used suri silks in the sleeves, something from a region of Oman unrelated to my own, simply because I think their clothes are gorgeous. I didn't put any henna, although I love henna, but painted my nails candy colours instead. My purse added a little rock-star rebellion, being an unsuitably garish-look-at-me shade of hot pink, with sweet studs. The bracelets and ring were gold and purely traditional Omani, as let's not forget, I love this country and its traditions nonetheless.
My daughter and I woke up to the sound of men and boys calling people to wake up before the takbir (chanted for the Eid prayer) rang out. I took my time to dress her in an Omani dress, with its cute little kerchief, and she was happier than anything to be granted chips, spiced milk tea, and candies before breakfast. As soon as we were both dressed, I took a bag down out of the closet. A sparkly pink and gold bag, which contained her Eid gold bracelet and necklace, and new toys. So what she wouldn't get Eidiyia in the village? She didn't seem to care.We played all day, took time to smell the flowers, kicked up sand and surf, saw new neighborhoods, and walked to the store to buy nuts, juices, and my friend--- she made us a delicious lamb stew for lunch. The next day was much of the same, with people cutting the meat for Eid sacrifice and preparing the shuwa (traditional Omani meat dish which is cooked over hot coals buried under the ground for a 1-2 days). So what if we wouldn't have our own shuwa or see the al azwa (village traditional dances) I thought.
But when my husband returned from his duties of cutting the meat in his village, it turned out we would have an Eid with everything anyways, both Village-AND-Shatti-Girl. It began with him gifting us mishakeek (which is cubed and spiced meat on skewers, very delicious!).
Then we went to Kargeen restaurant in Madinat Sultan Qaboos. Non-smoking section, of course. Kargeen is the most adorable authentic little restaurant, which is done up with a lot of antiques and oriental decor.
We ordered a fruit cocktail for our little princess, and dried lime tea for ourselves (which is very Omani and I suggest you try it, although Omanis don't actually consider it to BE a tea).
Of course, my husband's plan was all along for me to have shuwa. I grew up eating goat or sheep shuwa as a child and the beef shuwa in his village just doesn't taste as good to me. Kargeen serves goat shuwa wrapped in lime and banana leaves for flavour, over a bed of rice with ghee (sooooo good, but oh so bad) and yemeni salsa on the side with a small dish of dates.It was soooooooooooooo good. I am the world's slowest eater, serriously, and I think I finished mine before my husband did his. My daughter was also a fan. And I have never been able to get her to eat meat of any kind.
We should have had dessert because the cake at Kargeen is good, made from family recipes but I mean, we had to walk after that. The beach I grew up walking was within a short distance, so just in time for the sunset we made it to Jawarat al Shatti. Very reminiscent of bygone Shatti-girl days I kicked off my (Michael Kors) heels and strode along barefoot in the sand. Husband was having a father-daughter moment, so I enjoyed the black and grey silhouettes of the coconut trees lining the beach and burgeoning moon signalling the day's end.