Tuesday, July 30, 2013

MY OWN PHOTOS: some random images of Ramadan in Oman

 Carpet in the prayer room on the women's side of the Sultan Qaboos University masjid.
 Ramadan decorations: Lanterns recycled from old plastic drinking water bottles and computer paper.
More shots of the women's prayer hall at SQU.

Some more cute Eid ideas

 I want to get a cute cake made for Eid this year!
 But these sheep cupcakes made from marshmellows are soooooooooooo adorable....
And wasn't a freakin' awesome idea to put Eidiyia money for kids into helium balloons with star and moon-shaped confetti?!!!!

OOTD: getting lost in Fujairah, UAE

Have I neglected to mention, that every OPNO girl's roadtrip is decided upon at the last minute? Badly planned road-trips, that is us. No time to choose a route, borrow back the GPS, convert currency... And that in our case, we hardly ever have an itinerary that everyone travelling in tow with us is aware of.... No idea which border station will ACTUALLY be closest to where we wanted to go?: Case in point was yesterday's debacle of Dubai. Now Dubai isn't actually Oman. The signage along Sultanate roadsides does make that immaculately clear, unlike signs for the Oman border in Emirates, that basically act like Oman is another Emirate. But Dubai was our destination nonetheless, in order to do some inanely dull browsing of Dubai mall because we have a wedding to plan. And I write about our trip now, because I consider anything you can make a day-trip out of from Oman, to be worth mentioning towards life in Oman.
So it was off to Dubai from Muscat. We drove up through Barka, Mussanah, Sohar...and I guess my husband took a wrong turn in Sohar, confused now as he was to the demise of the Globe Roundabout (a good PR move Oman, I suppose, due to internationally frowned upon images of the protests' outcome there). This ended up with us driving towards Al Fujairah in UAE through sand dunes (kind of cool) and through actual mountains with no gas stations in sight and not the kind of Emirati villa/mansion housing you'd expect for Emiratis. The road we went through snaked through Wadi Al Helo, if that gives anyone out there any kind of idea of how off from our target of Al Ain to Dubai route. Nonetheless, we made it to Dubai mall in the shadow of the Burj Calipha, and made fun of all the funny names of shops along the way:"Al Madame Police Station" "Baghdad Nuts" and the "sparkly light" cafeteria somewhere between Sohar and Barka. We were dead tired, and highly caffeinated, nigh starving, and thus, small things amused us.

As for the outfit of the day: It had to be something comfy, something clean, and not ten years out of date. I haven't been to UAE in a while, so I went with something disturbingly casual. What brand it was or where it came from I don't know: things just end up in my closet. The abaya is a cascade-front cut, with a denim insert in the cascade panel, with giant applique denim flowers on the shoulder and near the rib-cage. It looks messy because a. I don't actually like to wear cascade fronts but then, I don't like to plan to do laundry before a roadtrip either, b. I slouch, and c. I was running up sand dunes chasing my husband who was chasing a lizard, and was bored out of my mind from the time it was taking to get to our destination. Don't expect miracles. I wore platform sandals, and peel-off nailpolish to accommodate washing for prayer times. Thus my manicure (and pedicure) sucks. Because I re-did it about four times in 24 hours.
P.S, Dear shoes, I think shoes can look beautiful for the looking, but I hate you all for the wearing.

Monday, July 22, 2013

DAILY DIARY: Ramadan and the road-trip to the desert (because we are S-M-R-T)

What to do on the weekend while fasting? Well.... I did begin by saying, let's go to Wadi Shab. But then, I made the mistake of asking how far it was to the closest Bedouin and sands. Of course, the answer I got was, Bausher for sand dunes (ha ha) and that we could go to any major government hospital parking lot in Muscat to visit Bedouin (again, ha ha). Somehow, this turned into a last minute decision made by one of us (without telling the rest of us) to drive Shariqyah Region to Bidiyia/Mudhaibi/Ibra. So we saw the sands. Not really a recommended thing to DO in the height of an Omani summer, while not drinking water, and fasting out the month of Ramadan, but hey, we're the OPNO girls, and this is what we do: badly planned road-trips.
While the OPNO girl who had decided to take us here as a joke sat lazily in the car positioned in front of the AC, we decided, well, we had come all this way (and it was quite a distance) so we got out of the car intending to scramble up some dunes and at least to walk as far out as that tree [pictured below]. Being that it was 1 in the afternoon, the sand was like boiled fire burning our feet. SO yeahhh.... we didn't make it to the tree.
But as a bonus, when we got lost on the way to Wadi Bani Khalid, we found this really awesome old village in Ibra:
How is your fasting going?

Friday, July 19, 2013

OOTD: Iftar gathering

The other day we had a girls' night iftar to cheer up a friend. This is what I wore. No-name dress from the Seeb Exhibition with cheap Vincci flats and 1 OMR manicure. As the Shatti girls would chide me, I am 'bedu/village'. My husband loves that about me, since really, I am not. Okay, maybe with shoes, because I would prefer to run wild and barefoot.... 
I accessorize everything with the same vintage earrings because they go with everything. What I loved about the dress though, is the vintage "Khaleeji fabric" mixed in with the dress's full-length arms and floor-length red Jersey. I usually don't wear full-length sleeves under an abaya but this dress is so light I could on a colder day.

Monday, July 15, 2013

MY OWN PHOTOS: One day of Ramadan in Oman, 2013

Mabaila has a very pretty new Masjid/Mosque.
 After the sunset Muslims during Ramadan break their fast. We call this meal "iftar":
 Honestly, I never feel hungry during Ramadan, I am just craving coffee. With which, pistachio icecream cake home made made by my girl M suffices nicely.

Saturday, July 13, 2013

KHALEEJI FASHION BLOGS I read during Ramadan

While I'd recommend reading these fashion blogs anytime of  the year, I especially enjoy them during Ramadan, as the girls feature many ideas for Ramadan, and also give you a view into their personal lives and homes and how they celebrate the season. Start with http://www.meblogging.com/ for the utmost in Middleastern elegance.
Move over to http://www.dusty-roses.com/ for the latest trends in the GCC, always, always up to date. And while now no longer posting, there is always http://hessandco.blogspot.com/ for a glimpse into Emirati iftar celebrations, very simlar to the ones thrown by Muscat Omani girls I know;):