Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Shoppin' for Clothes

Muscat, Oman
Sporting hats of the region, from Lansky's in Memphis to the souk in Oman, clothes make the man!
The LJMQ spent Tuesday relaxing and shopping for last minute souvenirs and gifts. In the evening, Dan Pattarini took us into the Old City of Muscat. The Old City is a located securely within natural barriers formed by mountain formations along the coast. We visited a new museum dedicated to Omani life and culture. The exhibits were very well done and we were easily able to understand elements of the rich Omani history in Muscat’s old city. We then headed to the souk, or market, for the real Omani shopping experience. The souk is filled with thousands of sights and opportunities to exercise our bargaining skills. The high point was seeing Joe and Ronnie all decked out in regional attire, including, cane, royal robe, and the kuma hat wrapped with a colorful scarf. We wandered for a few hours, trying to get lost, but the minarets served as landmarks that lead us back to the sea and our waiting van. The return drive home to the hotel was along the water next to mountains and sometimes through road cuts that snaked along the coast.
You start with a kuma

Add a colorful cloth
Use expert wrapping techniques
And cover your face in the desert
Get the right color
Wrap and tie perfectly
A stylish Omani brim
We arrived back at the hotel and walked to a local Italian Cafe for a late meal before turning in. I am enjoying the beautiful evenings here. The sun sets around 6:30 pm everyday, due our location near the Tropic Of Cancer. After a brief band meeting Wednesday morning we are beginning our final packing process for our long, over 30 hours journey back home to Tulsa. We depart Wednesday morning for a short flight to Bahrain, then fly to Amman, Jordan and then a 12.5 hr. flight to NYC, go through customs and immigration. We then need to take a cab from JFK to LaGuardia airport to catch another flight to Dallas and then take a short flight to T-Town. Needless to say we are charging our batteries for the long journey half way across the world. But I am extremely grateful to be able to fly around the dangerous volcanic ash clouds and make it home in time to teach my 6th grade friends at Edison Middle School on Monday morning. I hope to post another blog entry before I depart and certainly upon my return to the US, en’shallah.

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