Friday 23 October 2009

Oman: the Tour commences

My first task of the day was to inflate our life-size killer whale and dolphin using the car compressor to avoid blacking out from oxygen starvation. These soon filled the pool along with two prune-fingered children.

Mrs M Tours then swung into action with a visit to the Grand Mosque. Excursions often include the last-minute gathering of suitable attire in order to meet the stringent entry conditions. Thus many of our guests have photographic memories of themselves as walking jumble sales (see 23 Oct 2008). Fashion conscious Little Miss Foy (LMF) was no exception, being most unimpressed with her cobbled-together pink top and turquoise skirt, which brought on a brief spell of ‘Grumpy Moose Syndrome’.

Nonetheless, with Mrs M working finalising camping plans, we headed to the mosque to be confronted with large numbers of official and diplomatic cars (and an ambulance!?) at the entrance. Apparently Jimmy Carter was more important than us and we would have to wait for half an hour. Thirty minutes later, after the entourage had departed, we returned to the gate to be denied once again as it was past 11 o’clock. Clearly, they did not know who they were dealing with here. Mrs M Tours does not normally tolerate such nonsense. I did not want to make a scene. I also did not want to have to report to the boss that I had failed my mission. Unfortunately, someone blabbed as soon as we returned to base camp, but I think I got away with it.

At the Intercon, Andrew put on an impressive performance (compared to previous visiting wimps) by consuming several courses, one of which involved wrestling with heaps of crab. I advanced LMF’s education by introducing the word ‘nobby’ (end of a loaf) - this will prove very valuable throughout her life.

With rotund bellies, the last thing we needed was a trip to the palace and the souq. However, it was on the programme. The palace passed without drama - the souq did not. Ethan was lured into each shop to be dressed and draped in every conceivable item of clothing with all the trimmings. I could not watch. I must learn mental tricks to block out souq and fort experiences. Andrew’s knuckles turned white as he clasped his wallet ever tighter. Eventually, we emerged with happy guests, which is what it’s all about.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Steve and Sarah: A selection of comments from Ethan (E) and Bethany (B):
B-'I was not being a grumpy old moose....I was just being myself'
B-'I really enjoyed the sweet & sour fish'
B-'It won't help me throughout my life as I dont't eat the ends of loafs'
E-'I liked the bread because it was really like soft'
E-'The waffles were really, really nice and soft and warm and covered in chocolate buttons'
E-'I really enjoyed dressing up'