Tuesday, 4 May 2010

Unusual nights out

The Nile.
It has been a very sociable week. Starting on Sunday, when I went to a nearby salon with Salma and joined in a Egyptian/Sudanese dance class. We only did Egyptian that night, but hopefully when/if I go again I will get to try Sudanese style. The doubt about returning is because I have missed the 2 subsequent classes, so it doesn't look promising.

On Tuesday, the first class I missed, I had a compulsory official dinner. I was invited to the Oil Club, which is situated beside the Nile, by the training centre I'm working for. A minibus picked up all the trainers including myself staying at the hotel and we arrived at the designated time (7:30), and had to sit in a meeting room, alone, as no-one else had arrived. With an Iraqi trainer I went to look at the Nile, which is when I took the picture above, then back to the waiting meeting room. Finally, some others arrived and we were moved to another meeting room. I know it's a Muslim country, but we were not served any refreshments. I thought I would die of thirst, okay not that bad but would have loved a water or juice. With a colleague, I had another walk around  then finally we were led to the roof and at 9pm had a barbeque/buffet style dinner, which was worth the wait.

Thursday, I could have made the class, but was too lazy to go as I was going out that evening with some trainees. I was picked up at the hotel and after picking up 2 others we were six in a Hilux Pickup. It was a little cosy, but was excellent fun as everyone could talk and joke together. We drove through downtown past the President's office aka the President's palace and on to North Khartoum via an old iron bridge that had been a gift from India, secondhand as, if I remember correctly, it was built by British in India. A slightly strange first stop was made at a furniture shop and some of it would rival that seen in Omani stores - enough said?! 

We then toured around town some more and ended up at the Khartoum International Fair site. We had been given bottles of water to drink in the furniture shop, but here we joined an outside 'organised party' and sat outside without anything. Note to self: must start carrying water around. Anyway, we sat on chairs to watch Subian (I understood they are from Addis Abba but Google can't confirm the tribe?) dancers. The style was very Africa - I'm very experienced having watched lots on tv :D - but was to very modern music. Great beat. This lady (below) saw me taking photos and, being near the front, I was subjected to the let's embarrass the foreigner  as she pulled me up from my chair to make me dance. My new friends had a great laugh as I rapidly sat down. I would love to get an mp3 file of Sami's laugh as it's awesome and would cheer up the most depressed person. Finally, the evening ended when we went for dinner at 11.30. I will never understand Sudanese meal times, so I'll post about that later.
Dancer (Subian?)at Khartoum Fair site