Monday, June 26, 2017
Getting Lost in Old Izki, Then Having My Purse Stolen in Souq Seeb: an exciting way to round off Ramadan
Izki was important for me to see because of how zakat (the collected Islamic taxes) were distributed in the old Imamates of Oman. It was also a rather fascinating Persian settlement in Oman, having pre-Islamic origins.
From a tourism sort of point of view, the ruins are extensive and impressive, and so is the story of Jarnan cave (Jarnan was the Persian idol that was once worshiped there).
Me, personally, I like the old war stories from the fort there from the Islamic periods, when the tribes were being crappy Muslims and not following Islamic laws governing warfare. Some of the sieges in Izki were broken using questionable means, like destroying the water systems, and as I would walk around the old fort remains, I could imagine what I've read taking place before my eyes. I don't like to do this in places like Rustaq and Nakhl, because I cringe a little going through certain doorways, or thinking of all the torture that went on in prison cells, but Izki to me, is more like imagining Homer's Illiad, and the taking of Troy. It would make a great movie;).
But...we just had never made it to Izki. All these years in Oman, and yeah, I didn't go.
My Omani husband has friends here who always beg him to visit, and still, we've never stopped.
But we finally did. And this was my adventure:
The ruins are quite a maze, and I recently went there and got myself totally lost. I took my 6 year old daughter with me.
She wanted to come, and she later regretted it, because it was the middle of the afternoon, and after an hour of exploring the old part of Izki, she wanted get back to the AC of the car and find some water. It was also still Ramadan. Most people were asleep.
We had seen some beautiful old houses, with unique staircases and beautiful old doors and shutters, as well as an Omani scarecrow, a grape arbor, and the cutest little cement old house with a pink and green iron painted gate and a cactus on its wall. Omani preppy;). We kept coming back to this little blue door though, so we knew we were going in circles somehow, and just couldn't find this hill we had come over. That hill led to the house we cut through to get to the side street where out car was parked. The blue door was the only landmark we could find to point us to the hill, but it only seemed to lead me in circles.
When I could not find our car again, this was, of course, embarrassing.
At the insistence of my daughter who had been turning the colour of a tomatoe--- she was begging me to swallow my pride and ask for directions--- we asked for help from the only person we saw awake.
Long story short, a local family ended up helping me and taking me on a tour of Izki. This included the place they fire their rifles off for Eid celebrations, and the cave of Jarnan.
As my phone was just recently stolen (also during Ramadan, thank you Souq Seeb purse thief for also stealing my money and bank cards while I was buying my kids Eid gifts!!!!!!) I have no way to contact the lady who helped me. So Aisha from Izki, thank you.
Sorry Seeb police, but yeah, you try minding three kids, while trying on shoes for them, and keep your purse in your hands at all times. Stealing is stealing, if you take something from beside someone, same as you rip it off their arm. Maybe I should take a ride in a squad car parked outside my house, because no officer was in it at the time? I think that is about the same thing but whatever, I know it was about to be Eid weekend and no one wanted to work.
I lost the money I had to buy my kids new shoes, and toys, and to get a new headscarf that actually matches my Eid dress, and my phone with all my contacts, but whatever, people are worse off in this world I guess.
While the theft experience was very disheartening, the generosity of people like Aisha and her husband from Izki more than make up for that, and define Oman for me.
They made sure my daughter had a nice cool water to drink, drove around looking for our car, then spent time showing us their city even though it was the middle of the day, and they were fasting. That is Oman and Omanis.
Not useless police, and petty thieves.
So when Muscat gets me down, all I need is to get lost on a road trip it seems.
Anyways, Eid Mubarak Oman, and Muslims everywhere. May your holiday be blessed.
:N24°20’16.6” E56°30’11.0”. But of course, I didn't use these. I just drove around and got lost;).