Monday, May 11, 2015

Mommy & Baby+Neighborhoods I like to Walk---with a Stroller---in Al Hail/Al Athaiba

As much as I love to explore forts and castles and really remote places, such as mountains, wadis, and deserts, doing that with an under-five-months-old and a three year old gets scary sometimes. I don't know how many times I've had to leap to stop the three year old from jumping off of a roof top at a fort--- or crawling down a shaft meant for pouring boiling hot date syrup on marauders or attackers--- which meant possibly endangering the baby to save the 3 year old. I am not the best parent in the world, I know, but either were my parents, and I'm still here, so... But places like City Center bore me. I don't think I am a "mall" kind of girl, despite the kids' love of such places, the ease of ac, and danger-less walking. And parks are great but I need more choices. So here are some I enjoy with a stroller.

WALK #1 my old neighborhood in North Al Hail. Basically we liked this walk because it was convenient, the local children are friendly so my kids made friends just by going for walks, some people on this street own peacocks, and my daughter likes to see cats, so just before sunset, awesome time for this shorter walk because there are lots of cats. Kids are weird. Cats are cool enough to entertain them, and with luck, you'll make some Omani friends who aren't bad influences;). This is the street behind the second street up from the Corniche 1km from the gas station and tea and schwarma places. (I will eventually get the map for you but I am lazy). A few expat women live in this neighborhood and actually jog between 7 and 8:30 am in the morning without being honked at so... you can tell why I feel cozy here. Plus for the late afternoon there are stretches lined with nice shady trees.

WALK #2 was basically a continuation of the walk #1 above, but longer, meant to take my daughter to the gas station store to buy treats, then to the beach (Seeb Corniche). I like to walk this way and cross back to the Corniche side just a little before the gas station, as it was the safest trek to cross the road early evening before the light starts to fade. If you have to cross the road it isn't super stroller safe, but you could always drive from the other side and walk from there to be super kid friendly. The neighborhood here is a good mix of expat, Zanzibari, Omani and is really clean and friendly. My daughter always finds other kids to play with and the expat in me rejoices at all the recycling bins. Yeah, I know, weird from me.
Walk #3 is Seeb beach. I don't usually like to walk the corniche from this end although it is perfectly safe to (although near Seeb souq is more of a family area and expats jog there) simply because guys honking at me scares the crap out of me. My baby guy, he loves it, but I jump straight out of my skin and feel anger and disgust (as a Muslim and a mother and a wife).  So to the beach we go. The beach isn't always safe though, since idiot guys drive their cars recklessly on the beach, so usually I settle near the footballers (who don't get run over by cars) and even though they are guys, they show respect, and I can sit happily or wander aimlessly while my kids chuck sand at each other in mirth. Either that or the cricketeers, or the fishermen (although areas with fishermen = fish which equals stink.). Fishing in Seeb timed early evening is a family affair, and a lot of female relatives of the fishermen seem to have their picnics or tea near by closer to the cornice while the men and boys drag up the boats.
Walk #4 is Athaiba Corniche (a much friendlier, safer corniche/boardwalk to walk along). I don't have many photos from here, except of a Moroccan house along the waterfront I covet (minus the fencing which detracts from the design). While my daughter never makes friends here, she loves the sand and the surf, and I love the comfort of having no creepy car stalkers. Strollers+sand=sucks. Stroller+paved corniche-creepy stalkers=love. The turn to this road is before all the clubs, Diwann, Airforce, etc., back in Athaiba near the Sultan Center, to the Oceanside. Easy to find from there.


Riri ام آدْرِيانا said...

Seeing these pix made me miss Oman LoL

Omani Princess (not Omani...yet) said...

Riri: I am so sorry every time you have come to Oman I haven't been able to be a great host. Come when I am not super pregnant or couchsurfing lol, and it would be better. I don't think I ever showed you anything but malls and didn't get you shuwa or mishakeek... but remember, Omanis aren't used to full-blown Canadians in abaya and shayla;). That isn't my fault or my opinion.

Heather Duncan said...

When the weather is cooler we should get the kiddos together for a walk along Azaiba beach :)

Omani Princess (not Omani...yet) said...

Heather: That would be really nice:). When its cooler maybe my littlest one will be able to walk.