Wednesday 31 December 2008

Oman: New Year's Eve

The following background information is based upon rumour, gossip, the odd fact, personal observation and a reasonable amount of credibility.

The Gulf Co-operation Council (GCC) summit was due to have taken place at the Al Bustan at end of November. As the refurbishment work had not been completed by that time (see 18 December below), the conference was postponed until the end of December. Most of the major hotels in Muscat were commandeered for the conference delegates which justifiably caused a few holiday-makers to get a bit miffed (as highlighted in the Daily Telegraph in October). Hopefully the damage to the tourist industry is only minor.

More importantly, all Christmas and New Year celebrations in said hotels were also cancelled at short notice, including the party at the Intercon which was so good last year. Hence we found an alternative bash at the Bander Ar Rawda marina.

Interestingly, we learned yesterday that a party had after all, been arranged at the Intercon and for very different reasons, residents in Dubai were in a similar flap due to the last-minute cancelation of public New Year’s parties. Not really bothered myself - I'd be quite happy with beans on toast at home.

Nonetheless, with the usual amount of preening, purchasing of single-use fashion accessories, buffing and polishing, we arrived at the marina to see in the New Year with a fuzzy head. The food was good, the wine was reasonable (although the white tasted of fish) and the beer was poor - free Budweiser (good grief).

An Irish band provided the entertainment together with an Irish dancer with super-speedy legs unaffected, we were perhaps unnecessarily informed, by a nasty collection of mosquito bites hidden under her black tights.

At midnight there was much communal waggling of arms and other inexplicable activities deemed appropriate on these occasions as the rasping sound of bagpipes introduced 2009.

For the rest of the night, ladies jiggled to Abba songs, men raised their arms into the air while shouting ‘hallelujah’ during the chorus of the Weather Girls’ ‘It’s Raining Men’* while Al entertained himself in his own little world.

It was all over for another year.

*...for the first time in history, it's gonna start raining men....I'm gonna let myself get absolutely soakin' wet.....every specimen, tall, blond, dark and lean, rough and tough and strong and mean....

No comments: