Sunday, February 14, 2010

Valentines in Salalah

Like Nadia, I thought Valentines day in Salalah would go unnoticed. No such luck? Upstairs from Al Istikrar, (Hypermarket) I saw this….

At least six girls stood in front of the stand browsing through all the red shaped hearts. I have to admit it amused me. Its such a paradox. I waited nearly 10 minutes for them to dwadle away to get this shot, I hope you all enjoy :)

So Salalah has now opened its first “Authentic" Chinese Restaurant, Zen in the Hamdan Plaza. Nothing authentic about it except the beautiful dragon hanging from the ceiling. The food was on the bland side and I just can’t get used to eating Basmati Fried Rice. Its just not right. The “Chinese” tea was simply Lipton red tea with no sugar to give the bitter effect?. I’m sure they can find at least Green tea as a better substitute, I left the suggestion with the waiter. Without completely trashing the place they do try to make it fancy-ish. The décor is very classy, its certainly a step up for Salalah dining, I enjoyed the atmosphere most. The garnish on most entree’s are impressive. Your cucumber takes a nice shape along with your pine-tree shaped carrots. We ordered several dishes considering the price is not too bad. Nothing really over 5 OR. We ordered the Dragon Chicken, Spring Rolls, Zen Chicken and Prawns in Garlic sauce (pretty decent). Fried Rice of course and Dessert. If you’re looking for change of atmosphere, its a good option. If you’re really hungry, you’re better off at Chinese Cascade.

Facebook: I recently realized that putting up personal photos in facebook is a no-no. Any one of your "friends" can simply right click, and save your image, having a permanent moment in your life in their private possession. I have deleted all albums and I encourage my friends to do the same. For the longest time I had a landscape photo as my profile pic. I decided to give my facebook a "facelift" and put in a new profile pic to update my friends (particularly those back home) with a recent photo since they haven’t seen me in so long. It has been a mere two weeks since the facelift and I have accumulated 6 friend requests, all from boys, all Dhofari. I'm so clueless as to how they find me and how bold they are to add me, back to landscape?.

Generally I am a curious person. I tend to ask a lot of questions and I enjoy learning. But I have my limits when it comes to prodding or being downright nosy. This evening when we got back from dinner, a few neighbors were outside huddled in the dark near their gate. After the usual greeting, one of them asked me where we were coming from so late at night. I simply answered "dinner". I hurried the farewell so that I wouldn't have to share more. Some of my neighbors are especially nosy. They ask questions like "what do you cook for dinner", "where do you go on Monday and Wednesday night", "who is that friend of yours in the blue car"....

Since the birth of this blog, I have had some strange emails. For one, I have received two emails from the same person claiming they know exactly who I am. Suuure you do Mr/Mrs Anonymous. I also get emails asking me very, very personal questions about who I am, who is my husband, what tribe is he from, when and why did we marry, am I American, Canadian or British, am I really Muslim, how many children do I have etc. Its annoying. I share what I want, period. The intention behind this blog was initially to share what’s happening around me in this strange place, now home and not so strange...

Its not an autobiography. Goodnight Salalah.


  1. Salam Rania
    Regarding the nosy neighbors, I feel that you are not in Salalah to get such questions about where you were and who was with you..seems strang for me as an Omani and Dhofari.
    Unless you are from the same family you'll not be asked such questions.
    I hope they are not from my family..
    Goodnight.. I have to sleep now

  2. Mahfeef, these questions are not being asked by my family members, they are just neighbors. I think foreigners intrigue locals. Maybe they are your family?? =D

  3. Not only friends can see your pics, it's available to anyone on Facebook now.

  4. Most the restaurants in Salalah aren't good. Every business meeting brunch is at Baalbeck.

  5. 7 days Rania
    I'll tell my relatives not to
    ask you any questions in the
    future :).
    We are waiting for your new
    post WITHOUT pictures.

  6. Rania, where are you? Are you ok? Plz show up, ur fans worry about you. I hope everything is fine with you. Waiting for ur posts.