Sunday, 1 November 2009

Oman: another trip to the airport

Hundreds of crumpled and sweaty passengers with their life possessions crammed into boxes tied with coloured rope and cling film trundled past as we waited for CP, Neil and Simon to get through the long immigration queue. Eventually, after an hour, they arrived with big cheesy grins. Normally we would worry about what mischief the cats were up to while out of the house - little did we know that Andy was destroying the property during our absence. There was beer and a cricket magazine on the garden table by 11.30am. Most impressive.

The tour began with afternoon tea at the Al Bustan. The hostess memorised the complicated order but, as trying to remember anything is a bit of a hobby of mine, I wondered if she was using the seating location or faces as memory pegs. I didn’t have time to change seats to test my theory before Neil’s ‘Oasis’ tea arrived, ‘a healthy blend of green tea, spring flowers and citrus infusions. Naturally high in antioxidants, a restorative cup providing relief from the stress of everyday life’. Great promise indeed from a cup of tea. I would have killed for a mug of PG Tips.

Perhaps Mrs M should have had the same as Neil to calm her nerves as the ‘cream’ tea arrived. Despite assurances (once again) from the hostess that it was clotted cream, Mrs M adopted a ‘look here Missy’ attitude as she tried to explain the difference between clotted cream and the little pot of thick white emulsion. The hostess said she would inform chef.

While the chaps took a tour of the hotel, two Omani musicians that had been twanging and thumping instruments ended their stint. They were replaced by three elegant pencil-thin ladies calling themselves ‘The Scherzo Trio’ who played to an empty hotel atrium as if it was the Albert Hall.

Back home, the swimming pool was used to refresh jet-lagged visitors while I rustled up a hearty mushroom risotto. I’m beginning to wonder if we have enough beer.

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