Tuesday, 15 September 2009

Ramadan Ramblings

Ramadan is drawing to a close, people are discussing how much time off we will get for the Eid break, and we are all looking forward to the bars & coffee shops reopening.

As with other years, I have found Ramadan to be a very sociable period, although it has been difficult not to pop to Darcy's or Costas for a quick cuppa and catch up during the day. I have been to at least one party each weekend, and this forthcoming one is no exception as I'm off to help Eternally Distracted celebrate her birthday. I had a house party last weekend, unfortunately, due to the high humidity we've been having, it had to be moved from my rooftop to the lounge, but I certainly enjoyed it. During the same weekend I went to two barbies, so it was back to work on Saturday for a rest. A big positive of Ramadan parties is that you catch up with people you haven't seen in ages as there are limited places for people to go - a friend's house or a friend's house. Of course, most of us go to at least one Iftar meal at a local restaurant, these are the meals which Muslims traditionally break their fast with, after the dates & yoghurt. I went to one the first week at a new Lebanese restaurant and my friends & I ate so much we rolled out afterwards.

Apart from eating and drinking, I have been dancing, as the Oman Salsa Group has continued to meet for its Sunday classes, although the weekly social evening has been cancelled due to the bar being shut. I have done classes randomly before, Peru, Spain, even Italy this summer, but never in a regular weekly class. The instructors are all very helpful and nice, as are everyone who goes. It is a nice mix of Omanis, Indians, & Europeans. I am looking forward to the Eid party next week as it will be an opportunity to just dance salsa without the concentration of getting everything right - last Sunday I just could not get my turns right. Maybe next class?

Finally, over the last few weeks I have made the decision to leave Oman, and will be permanently back in Europe by Christmas. It is the right thing for me now, afterall I've been here four years, and I miss European culture and I want to be able to walk - at the moment I use the car to go to the shop across the road, as Muscat is not pedestrian friendly, nor is the weather. Oman IS a lovely country, and I will leave with only good memeories of my time here, just don't ask me about teaching in the colleges.