Monday, October 26, 2015

DAILY DIARY: Pink Tea at the Hyatt, and Annual Oman Cancer Association Walk at Al Qurum Park

On the daily diary of events I intend to attend this month, as I’ve already blogged, is the Pink Tea at the Grand Hyatt. The event takes place Wednesday October 28th from 3pm-8pm. I will attend around 4 pm. The cost per person is under 10 omr, partial proceeds of which go to the Oman Cancer Association.

Also, (thanks Muscat Mutterings) the 12th Annual Oman Cancer Association walk takes place tomorrow (Tuesday October 27th) in Al Qurum Park starting at 4pm and going until 6pm. It is a short walk, just 2km, and there will be a play area for kids, a food court, and photo booth. If I can escape in time for work from it, I’ll bring my kids. T-shirts are being sold for 3.5 omr, the proceeds of which go to the Oman Cancer Association.
For more information on the events and efforts of the Oman Cancer Association, please see their  facebook page here .
I remember back home in the land far and away, we'd have a Pink Hijab Day for awareness, and even the Muslim guys in the Muslim Student's Association would get into it. ;) with their pink polo collar all a 'popped and wearing lotsa scarves;):

RAPE IN OMAN: Men Pretend to be ROP and Kidnap a Woman for the Purposes of Rape

One reader and my husband told me this  true horror story. I am sure my husband's sources were different [but the reader sent the link via Muscat Daily: ]. My husband said the persons who committed the crime were Omani and Asian (i.e. Indian, Pakistan, or Bangladeshi). I don't know who is right or wrong but the story is the thing of nightmares. I imagine the four guys who kidnapped the victim should be Omani, or at least two of them for talking purposes, for the ROP disguises to have been believable.
Basically four men arrive at your house around Midnight, imagine. They are dressed as ROP officers. They ask for your husband's ID. While he goes into the house to get it, they kidnap you, gang rape you, then hand you off to two other men who also sexually molest you.
Yes, you are rescued in the end, by the real ROP (who did a great job for once) and the monsters who put you through hell are caught, and so are the people connected with their crime.
But I imagine you never feel safe again. I imagine your relationship with your husband, for the guilt you both feel over the incident (none of it deserved) is hard now.  I imagine your trust in people and this place is gone.
Muscat Daily Reports that six people were arrested by the ROP in connection with the kidnap and sexual assault {gang rape} on a woman in South Ma'abela.
This the story from the Muscat Daily:
A source at ROP said, “Four persons had recently arrived at the house of the Asian woman in South Ma'abela at around midnight posing as police officers.

“After the accused rang the bell, the husband of the victim opened the door. The men said that they are from the police and asked him to produce his residence card. The husband went inside to get his residence card. When he returned, he found his wife missing.”

The husband filed a complaint with the Al Khoudh police station and a special team was constituted to crack the case.

After investigations, the police arrested the four accused who had kidnapped the woman. After sexually assaulting her, the four accused had handed over the 47 year old woman to two other persons, who also reported to have sexually assaulted her.

The police has also arrested the other two persons.

The case has been referred to the Public Prosecution for trial.

Scary stuff. I hope not only do they get rape and kidnap charges, but impersonating an ROP officer as well. I hope they spend at least 20 years in prison.

Sunday, October 25, 2015

IMAGES FROM THE WEEKEND: Omani Sunrise in the Hajar Mountains

I am not really a romantic see the sunrise/sunset kind of person...

...And my Omani husband, is not really a get-up-and-stay-up-after-fajr-prayer kind of person. But if he is awake, he is a see-the-sunrise kind of person.

Sometimes he drags me for tea and to walk along the corniche in Muscat to see the sun rise. When we do this, I am never impressed more than I loathe the sweat on the rim of my headscarf from the effort of all that. I know, I am a terrible human being, who does not deserve the beautiful nature of her surroundings, yada yada.

But, being in the Hajar mountains, my husband was like, 'this place will be awesome to see the sun rise" and I was like, "ok, let's do it" because really I don't sleep when a million roosters happen to be crowing for what I know will be a couple of hours, and I was waiting for breakfast at his mother's house.

Mmmm, Omani jola and zaataar.

Sunrise seeing time would kill the hour or so before the rest of the world woke up, providing me with Interior-Omani-style breakfast. As I am never ever a patient person, I am always up for time-killing devices.

So we waited for the sunrise like a couple of idiots, and we're like, maybe we missed it?

...Because it was pretty light out and nothing impressive happened. We decided the sun was behind a cloud, had already risen, and we'd just throw stones off the side of the cliff to kill time.

But then it came.

And for once (as I don't go in for sunrises ordinarily) it was lovely.

Thursday, October 22, 2015

EYE CANDY: Arabic Coffee Museum in UAE & treats from Kuwait

Nothing conjures Omani/Khaleeji culture for me more than the age old cup of steaming qhahwa (coffee). These pics (I would love to credit the source but only know the below photos are from PinkGirlKuwait, and coffee house UAE pics I have no idea so if you know please feel free to share) are from the coffee house museum in UAE. I've never been myself, but it looks like a place I would love to go.

Wednesday, October 21, 2015

Maid's Body Found with Dumpster Over Eid Weekend in the Interior... Still no news?

Okay, so I didn't blog this back over the Eid weekend because (a. I am not a sensationalist) and (b. I had no details about it) but there was a body found tossed next to a dumpster in my husband's village (well, not exactly his village but the closest township close to ours) and that body belonged to a maid.

When I heard the news a million suspicions and questions flooded my mind. Of course, no one just crawls to a garbage to die.

But I waited for news. Now it has been a number of months and still no news. I think I have to ask about it. If it hasn't been solved, well, that I feel the need to know.

If there was a murderer (or a rapist) living next door, and justice has been done, but people didn't say anything to be polite...  That I feel I also have the right to know. Rapists and violent offenders aren't always one-time crime people.

...And if the girl just suddenly died, wasn't murdered or hurt, but just died, who on earth was responsible for that disgusting and disrespectful treatment of her bodily remains?

If these were your neighbors, wouldn't you want to know?

Since the girl was just a maid, maybe with no friends or family here, she has no voice really, if the family who sponsored her do not speak for... That saddens me. Nothing is scarier than not having a voice.

I will update this post if I learn anything over this upcoming weekend.

Tuesday, October 20, 2015

HOUSE UPDATE: What wasn't in the Blueprint was always bound to be a mishkila & 4x4ing tile from UAE

So, walls for all the floors are built. Ceilings are there. That's something right?

It looks like an ugly grey cement house.

They all look like that in Oman, just a pile of cinder block and grey streaked cement drying in the sun, and then suddenly they're all plastered and painted... and look great until someone adds some ghastly stained glass or weird tinted windows and fake stone or all-over bathroom-shower-style shiny marble, am I right? {Shudders.}


Serriously, I wake up in a sweat in the middle of the night sometimes and imagine someone has covered my house in mismatched iron railings and bad fake stone with stained-glass peacock or ships-sailing windows.

I remember driving up to see a house a realtor recommended to us, back when we were thinking about buying rather than building, and seeing the owner/construction-company-owner who built-it drive up to show us where said house was in the most horribly ghastly car you ever saw. I told my husband from that moment we should run. If the man had money and chose that car to drive around for himself, for sure the house he built for re-sale would be filled with terrible design decisions. And it was, oh it was... I wish I had taken photos to share with you, but at the time, I was crying, that we'd never find a house in Oman that I liked that I could afford in Muscat...

I still feel that way, even I am now in charge of designing and overseeing my own home. I am haunted by all the things that can go wrong yet in the process, ugly facade choices, aside.

We are still telling the site engineer about where we want things, like ACs placedment, and plugs, switches, and sockets, and lights, and like, no showers in the living room's bathroom... because, like, I don't think my guests need to have showers unless I know them well enough for them to like, go upstairs and use the family bathrooms. I dunno. Guess I am not Omani-enough to do the odd extra sink for hand-washing, or shower in the living room/majlis room...

Good thing to know for the future, is ALWAYS ALWAYS always always force the engineering office to include where you want pipes and ACs OR check with the site engineer BEFORE the ceilings get poured or support beams go in places. They were all like, oh you can change all that later with your site engineer... But that's hard to do, a lot of work for the site engineer, hard to read on pencilled-over-crossed-out floor plans after the fact. It'll always be easy for the site manager to pass the blame onto you when he's confused and does something wrong, because, like, you didn't get it into the blue prints.

Better to get EVERYTHING into the blue print in the beginning. Because after a certain point, if you missed it, and you will, because you can't expect your site engineer to have amazing memorization or mindreading skills, there'll be a number of mishkila you need to deal with. I am still not Omani enough to deal with "mishkila" on stuff I'd already told someone about once. I have plans, and I keep them. So I can respect people who follow the blueprints and ultimately DO blame myself that I didn't insist on puting our changes INTO print from the first place.


I wanted to, but my husband was like, go with it, it'll be fine.

Everything in Oman is "it'll be fine" until it is,  "mishkila".

Ever read "Angry in Oman" s blog? She did a hilariously true post about getting curtains made and that being a mishkila.

Building a house is like 100x that ammount of mishkila, usually. I have a good Omani engineer/architect (but his office staff I like a little less---they didn't want to make any changes for me after the fact) do the floorpplan and he was a good listener, a good responsible construction company (which means they cover the expense of their own mistakes and deliver on time), and, miskeen, a rather confused site engineer, who like, got yelled at by my kitchen cabinetry designer (She's a Westerner) and by me (a Westerner) in the last two months. I have all these things better than most people I know working on their houses, and still, I have mishkila to deal with.

Case in point, I didn't want an AC on the wall on one side of my house, even a split unit, because of how I intend to use the space. And the architect and engineer for the blueprints are like, yeah put it right over that super expensive feature window the family are puting in because THAT'LL LOOK JUST GREAT!!!!! Aghhhh....

Ok, so we could scoot the AC over a little, and I could live with that, and save the window treatment I had planned, but it looks (will look) less nice now for sure.

But again, I could swallow that, because I should have got it put into the blueprints, and I didn't ask the site engineer about it until it was too late.

But, a couple of things we couldn't change...

I bought my kitchen cabinetry from out of Oman. I like real wood, not aluminum, and I am getting it and my appliances delivered. Appliances are coming from Germany I think? And cabinets coming from US, and Turkey... Fan placement for the kitchen, sink placement, counter-placement, are all different in my kitchen design than what an Omani architect figured in the blue prints. As a result I had to change my kitchen layout and put my oven right next to my sink... not what I wanted but I get to have proper ventilation.

Again...I can live with that. I have to suck it up.

But what I couldn't live with, and had a major major major freak out on the site engineer, is we told him we wanted two large chandeliers (no ceiling fan---no ceiling lights in the corners---and no spot lights) in the living room, and we even got him to mark their places with chalk and the electrician taped where to put them. It was actually a lot of work because I had to work out couch placement, TV placement, to gauge where exactly the light should go to have classical symettry but still work for lighting the space. We said the same for the kitchen, and lo and behold, both kitchen and living room had spotlight placements, and ceiling fan placements, and no chandelier spots from where we actually wanted lighting in our rooms.

For example, my kitchen has a dining/island area. No lights are above it, at all.

I freaked out. The site engineer was like, "Your husband said-"

I was like, "I don't freakin' care what my husband said! I told you! I measured it for you! You marked it down, I remember! This is my house! I am buying it understand? NOT HIM!" and the poor engineer went so quiet with these big scared sad eyes, and I stormed off site.

The construction company owner came to the site. He was like, "can't you just put two small chandliers and one big chandelier?"

His suggestion would have made me insane!

If we took his suggestion, not only would our lighting still be terribly terribly wrong for placement, but, it would also be a hell of a lot more expensive, because it would mean buying more expensive lighting (in Muscat good chandeliers are not cheap, and anything I like is in the 200-1000 OMR range depending on size).

So I am mentally like, I am so going to hit him! and my husband is like, "uh, no. We bought the lights already". We did. We went to China and bought chandeliers, and other lighting. Way cheaper there. Anything 200 omr here is less than 150 USD there. Shipping still hurts a little. We bought a lot for our home so paid for two containers... original budget was just one container.

So now we have to do "tanzeel"/gyps for the ceiling. Thankfully, our construction company is decent, and they'll pay for the gyps, since covering a whole ceiling in the smallest room is like another 200 omr, and then I am like, there would go the new cupboard for my daughter from my budget (I have a budget for everything and no space to move on it since my kitchen is expensive).

And we technically told them the changes on that BEFORE it was too late for it to be our fault. Although, technically, could have gotten it put into the blueprint before the ceiling was even in, just saying...

So, yeah... and the first thing that has to be finished for electricity, plumbing, plastering, gyps work, and tiling, is the kitchen, because I get charged every week that the cabinetry company has to store it in Oman before installation. This is my next big worry. The deadline for this is December 1rst.

Wait and see for that. Right now there is a giant hole in the floor of the kitchen so plastering? Don't know when that's happening.
Random Mosque we stopped at on the road trip for tile from Sharjah in the UAE. Because this is the closest I have gotten to a kid-free vacation with my husband in two years;)
Next on the list, 4x4ing tile from the UAE:

On the trip to China I bought a lot of things... but not tile for my kitchen. I just didn't find anything and I only had a couple of days. In Muscat, I have literally been everywhere and like absolutely nothing. Not that what I was looking for was that special either...
Kitchen wall (and backsplash) wall tile samples
Kitchen floor tile
I did however, go to Sharjah in the UAE multiple times and found some options I liked there in Etihad center and along some of the side roads [Torch Building Materials, in the Union Mall/Etihad Centre, is where I eventually got my kitchen tiles].
So a couple of weeks a go I made my husband borrow a friend's pickup and we drove to Sharjah and I dropped only 200 omr for tile I think rocks with the colour of my cabinets, and a few other things, we forgot about, like faucets for some of the sinks, and showerheads... I would buy from China, but I like some brands... and I would buy in Muscat but a lot of brands are overpriced AND fakes. So, yeah, Sharjah.
I don't know why, but the store for the tile place was a million miles in the opposite direction of the tile showroom. It was also way off-roading (lots of trucks were getting themselves stuck in the sand) and as we were being jostled around, trying to find the place, we were like, woah! How are we not going to break our ceramics out here? That was our biggest fear... breaking our tiles since they weren't porcelain and not that thick. That, and the Torch Building Materials store site closing...before we got there... Say, we bought our tile at eleven, it took one hour to drive to the industrial storage area where the tile store was located, and the store closes at one, and after one we still hadn't found it (although it was open when we got there because we kept lying on the phone to the guys who worked there saying we were five minutes away when we had no idea where we were). It was just that hard to find.

So my husband wanted to just hire someone to drive what we bought back to Oman, but total cheapo that I am, I was like, think of it like some "Top Gear" adventure, that we are totally off-roading and over-loading the poor pick-up in a challenge to get the tiles unbroken and to Muscat in the next six hours for the cost of only gas and a lot of coffee.

I honestly didn't trust anyone to care about my stuff as much as I did.
...And I was right to think that way.

I don't think many Omani women go to industrial area construction storage sites, but in the end my husband was glad that I insisted on driving my own stuff (I simply trust competance in the GCC to be  a 0.0001% ratio on any given day) and I noticed that they were loading the right model of tile for me, but the wrong colour. [So if we paid someone to pick up and drive our stuff, I'd have paid to have delivered the wrong tile, awesome]. I also noticed, when the guys in the store loaded broken tiles, and so, by watching them, I got what I wanted, and made sure it wan't broken before we left to drive through sand and bumpy dirt roads with it, anyways.
How Omani are we?! Rockin' the faux sheepskin, tissue box on the dash, i-phone car charger, plug-in bukhoor burner ;)
Amazingly, nothing broke. Not even the truck. And it wasn't even, like, a strong truck (it was a Great Wall). But it was super slow going. And we had to go to Dubai first to get a car part for a friend.
Best lamb tangine I have had in FOREVER! Oman so does not have options when it comes to Moroccan food.
Best thing ever though, was going for dinner at a nice hotel in Dubai and someone valet parking the poor Great Wall LOL!

But no one will steal your stuff in a nice hotel restaurant's private garage area. Knowing that, we could sit back, relax, enjoy something other than schwarma and Yemeni mandhi before reaching Muscat. {Why is it, that on the road from UAE to Oman, there's like nothing until Sohar, and in Sohar, you've got, like pizza hut and McDonalds?????}.

We still had Arabian;) but it was Moroccan. I love Moroccan food.

Back to the house...So I have all my building materials now, until after the painting stage, or stuff for the yard and balconies. Getting the plastering done, everything properly wired and plumbed, and then starting on tiling, is next.

Agh. Worringly, Site Engineer still has a place for a shower marked on the wall in the downstair's powder room... that's a mishkila waiting to happen...


VOTING IN OMAN equals a sick day???

Apparently my husband is taking a full day off from work to vote during the Shura council elections. He will drive the two-and-a-half-hours to his village to vote, and then drive two-and-a-half hours back. He's not one of those people who'll hang out there;) at the voting stations I am sure.

Dhofari Gucci just wrote a post [ ] about election timings, and job accountability, and how people take the whole day off of work to vote...

If you live where my husband lives and you are ONLY allowed to vote in your willayat or bilad (township/village) then that would makes sense for some people, having to take the whole day off, but if that IS how the whole voting thing works, that's a little BC (before Christ), as in like, when the Bible says Joseph and Mary had to go to Betheleham to get a Roman census taken.... I honestly don't know how it works... but I mean, people who work in Muscat should still be able to vote for their region in Muscat... can't they?

I mean, I can vote in the Federal Canadian elections even from Oman.... so a region in Oman should be able to manage a district/regional style voting for candidates in other regions... right?

Anyways, I'll have to look that up. I honestly have no idea. I don't like driving over four hours for voting for some kind of accomplish-nothing-much-but-bide-our-time-until-we're-smart-enough-for-a-real-democracy-kind-of-council thingey anyways... Sorry Shura. No offense is meant.

And going to village means having lunch, and then sleep, then dinner, then qhahwa, so it'll be soooooo late when we escape back to Muscat, with some serriously grouchy and serriously tired kiddos in the car. Awesome.

I know, I could, like, watch that new movie about the women's suffrage movement, or, like, a lot of films about old South Africa, and then maybe I'd feel a bit sheepish about bemoaning a 4 hour drive just to vote...;) when in Oman it is so comfy most folks get a full paid day of work to manage it;).

Monday, October 19, 2015

To work or not to work

When I started my job, I was given the the following list of job requirements:

1.) File resources and references.
2.) Search relevant databases and journals and save required information.
3.) Summarize relevant information.
4.) Learn how to use Endnote software.
5.) Edit papers for grammer and spelling.
6.) Courdinate and document meetings.
7.) Courdinate team information between team members.
8.) Conduct administrative follow-up with team members.
9.) Assist with interviews (i.e, recording, preparing materials)
10.) Assist with presentations (i.e. preparing materials)
11.) Anything else as required by {my boss}

Pretty simple work for the salary I was to get actually. I considered it, like secretarial work. Not something I'd ever done before, really, but I was sure I could manage all that.

What I actually do:

1.) File resources and references (I am convinced anyone who can read can do this)
2.) Search relevant databases and journals and save required information (I think I do ALL the reading until critics actually rip apart my usually weak methodologies---reading of searches, reading of references, reading of my own writing...reading of critics comments, reading of my own revisions...)
3.) Summarize relevant information (again, anyone can be taught to do this if they can read and think thoughts)
4.) Write academic papers and books (it means I design the methodology, do the analysis, all----which I am vastly underqualified to do by the way. I have to learn everything as I go and re-do, re-do, constantly)---this is the biggie for me I guess. No one else it seems in my line of work and pay-grade does ALL the writing. Unless they are literally transcribing some PHD's thoughts... which I don't do often unfortunately.
5.) Edit papers for grammer and spelling (usually nothing to do with our job actually, favours to other people we work with)
6.) Courdinate and document projects (not just meetings)
7.) In charge of all training of writing and referencing (and how to communicate with our boss) for new staff, all administrative stuff like getting people paid when stuff screws up and going to the ROP station with them when the PRO can't manage to get a visa and residency card issued in a day), plus keeping up with other people who are supposed to, like, edit my methodology when I say I don't know what I am doing, but like, instead give me a book to read on qualitative analysis. I am known as the girl who gets things done.
8.) Do most interviews (recording, questioning, transcribing, getting translations)
9.) Doing presentations myself and making presentations for others who haven't read the work I have done yet that their name will be published on.
10.) Data collection and data analyis design with no guidance from anyone. My boss tries and his initial training was great, but what I am doing is beyond my education. I need a master degree for this and I don't have a spare set of years to learn what I have to learn in a month or two. Giving someone a hundred books on something, isn't the same as someone working and trained in their feild of interest. Really.
11.) Making stuff up as I go along and guessing what people will need from me next but only ask at the last minute.
Compared to other people's work, I guess, I get a pretty flexible shift. I mean, I can work from home when I don't do data collection or need decent internet on my writing. I can take sick days, kid days... but I don't, like, get maternity leave apparently, or vacations, at all. Sometimes my boss is nice and says I can take a vacation. Other times, he's like there's a lot of work, and I am like, I am going to have a baby in two weeks I can't walk that much to do interviews and data collection for 9 hour days.

I can probably train someone to replace me, but I don't think, for example, my boss could, because a lot of what I learned, I learned on my own.

And I know Omanis who could do my job, only no one ever hires Omanis, because apparently they make a lot of requests for time off, and require flexibility, and can't just be fired if they don't work out, but since my job has that, for a hard worker lacking the right education but smart and willing to learn? It'd be fine for a girl or lad like that, especially Omanis. But I guess, like myself, Omanis can probably get some easier work or a better salary, with the same qualities and abilities.

Which I suppose, is why my boss recently told a better paying job that I am a "home person" that can't handle a 9-5 work shift... and yet apparently recommended the new girl from my work that he doesn't seem pleased with for the job... I dunno. Compliment? Probably. But it made me really, really mad.

I can be a 9-5 person if they pay me well enough that I can drive to work by myself (now I have a driver or go with friends or my husband ect whenever he can take me) and hire someone to watch my children that I can rely on. When you pay as little as I do for childcare... well what you get is what you get. And if I am paid well enough, get vacations for real not just when there is no work or I am dying of an illness, well, then, I will make sure I show up for work or else work the whole weekend. I used to do that... but I am thinking, why am I doing more work than any other boss of the same job would ask me to do? I am not, like, the typical Omani girl, whose family or husband provide her income for kids, food, housing, clothes, ect... all that is on my shoulders. Transportation costs and quality childcare, I simply can't afford to fit in on the current salary equation I've got going on.

My husband wants me to open my own business or ask my boss to open a business and let me be the consultant on it for a lot more salary.

I just think I want to work for someone else, same salary, less work, on something I like, or get paid more salary and work more on time (I already work hard) on work that is always to the level of my stated education, not the level of my capabilities (I already know I could, like, be a PHD, if I had that kind of work ethic and ambition and time and money---and I don't, and I don't have to prove that to anyone else).

My boss is asking me my future plans. My husband is asking me my future plans. My Islamic loan mortgage is telling me I have to keep certain plans, like a job with a definate income... Other people's bosses are asking my boss if I have other plans... what to do?

I don't know if the new law about expats two-year-ban on moving affects me. I assume it doesn't. I've never found laws in Oman to be definate when I go to do anything to do with my visa or residency card or employment. But I shall see I guess.

I am soooo sick, took like a week off work while facing down a dreaded deadline, and if I am fine enough to be blogging this, I should be fine enough to work I guess, so unto coffee, anti-biotics, and then that.
This is exactly how I feel at my work when I finally finish something or get past a deadline...I don't know if it is me... If I don't work unless under pressure or what it is... but it is always disaster surviving to get the job done it seems.
BTW, example of a typical odd day at work for me. Witness three deaths and a bit of blood and bone and not faint (good for me!). Be exposed to a anti-biotic resistant infection. Get blood work back. Totally fine, allowed to go home, but super late. See kids, clean house. Spend time with husband. Do dishes and cook dinner and do dishes again. Do laundry, make coffee. Type up the days findings. Do data analysis. Try to make a method for something no one had made a method for before. Succeed. Try to write down how it was done. Sleep three hours. Have breakfast at work. Explain what was done the day before to a collegue and try to repeat success. Write down if success was repeatable. Explain to boss why I really didn't want to do another day of data collection after the last horrible day. Yeah....

I do feel my work's topic is super useful for Oman (otherwise I'd die of boredom because it isn't what I ever wanted to study) so like, when I am confronted with the possibility of doing another long project on like, transportation, or something less interesting, economics, of the same that I did for [insert subject]... I am like, ugh.... I am sure it useful too, but I don't know if I could swallow it...

Time to end this post. Raheel probably knows what I am going on about;). Coffee time. Medicine time. Choices time, comes after this last deadline. Until then...

Wednesday, October 14, 2015

Tomorrow is the start of the long weekend! YAY!!!!

Thursday of this week (tomorrow) has been declared a holiday so we start a long weekend here in Oman. I ponder the perfect weekend for myself. I have been working and travelling a lot of late so a perfect weekend for me is...
 Staying home...with...
 ...Cool (and clean;) ) floors on warm bare feet...
 ...Curtains... letting in some light...with a good book...
...or a new stack of Interior Design magazines...
...or a coffee table book or two to puruse through (preferrably on Omani textiles or Yemeni architecture)...
...or a good novel I haven't read yet...
...yes, for sure, just staying home...
...Kids, playing on the grass...
 ..short walks in shaded courtyards for absoultuely no other reason but to smell the jasmine....
..early morning swim...and midnight, quite possibly, if no good movies are on TV.
...perfectly clean kitchen... because we ate out every day or barbecued outside... in the morning... because I want to... not because I have to...preferably...
...accompanied by a light Qu'ran listening session and a long long time on pinterest without interuption.
...long luxurious baths...
...with new soaps from "Leather and Lather" I recently purchased in Avenues Mall.
..And since this is my daydream ideal weekend, I'd sail away at the end of it, into a gorgeous sunset, to the middle of nowhere, wind in my... hijab;). And then I'd have an adventure, since I'd be relaxed enough for it. However, in Oman it is back to work on Saturday, so... until then we can daydream.