No public loos in Musact

Trip Start Oct 13, 2009
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12
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Trip End Nov 26, 2009


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Flag of Oman  ,
Friday, October 30, 2009

Despite intensive investigations I failed to locate a public loo in Muscat today; well, I did
see the entrance to one near the souq, but it didn’t look like the sort of place I would want to
hang out in, despite my desire to continue scientific research.
I did, however, make a little progress on the “what do they wear underneath” question.
Sitting at a cafe sipping coffee and indulging in a couple of little sweet things (the Omanis,
and the Jordanians too, have an insatiable appetite for sweet pastries), two dishdashad
men sat not far from me and proceeded to cross their legs, first hitching up the lower
extremities, to reveal another loose layer of cloth with an embroidered border rather like a
petticoat. I sat for some time in the hope that they would show a bit more, but they failed to
do so, and I thought it would be a bit rude to ask them to reveal all, so that’s as far as the
research got! Still, I am here for another 9 days, so I’m sure the answer will eventually be
revealed.

Apart from the above research, I didn’t find a lot to do in Muscat. It’s not a very walkable city
as it is spread out with lots of highways, many of which are lined with swathes of grass!
This being an arid,desert climate, it seems nuts to be growing grass which needs constant
watering. The few “neighbourhood” areas such as Ruwi, Muttrah, and old Muscat, can be
explored in about an hour each. Having done the former two yesterday, I went to old Muscat
today. It is mostly government buildings, the Sultan’s Palace, and a few traditinal houses,
but as it is Friday today, everything was closed, including the two museums, and it was
completely dead. After wandering around for an hour or so in the blazing midday sun (I
didn’t have any mad dogs with me though), I hailed a taxi and headed back to Muttrah, to
find the souq (shopping alleys) also closed up and deserted. So after a falafel sandwich
and lemon soda, I went in search of further excitement, to.............................Carrefour!
Apparently the only place open during the daytime on Fridays. It’s much like any other
Carrefour, though I noted a few unusual items: 4kg pails of yoghurt; 5kg slabs of margarine;
a display of herbs and spices in bulk sacks - 125 different ones; a display of bulk nuts
(edible variety) - 70 different types!
I bought a souvenir T-shirt and a bottle of Listerine.
After all that excitement I returned to Al Khuwair (suburb where Ibis is located) and hung out
at the coffee shop doing the aforementioned research.


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Comments

zoehauser
zoehauser on

nuts
Having wearied of the peeing investigation, I was intrigued by the bulk nuts in Carrefour. Are there any women around and what is their garb?

lmcfarland
lmcfarland on

Re: nuts
Inquiring about nuts?!? Has Carrefour become the Omani Social Safeway? At least Toby limited his curiosity to underwear.

Mariam on

I lived in Oman for about 8 months and I found that they wear a peticoat with an elastic waistband.
While I found in the UAE they wear a material that they wrap around themselves and sequre, kinda like a towel.
While I have heard in countries like Saudi Arabia they wear pants underneath.
A book could be written about these things. And I love your blog. :)

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