Friday, March 15, 2013

more of that omani flavour

It was Thursday, the first day of the weekend in Oman, and Gil was free to wander with us. We began our morning with some kayaking in the Arabian Sea— which sadly, I have no pictures of, as I feared I would send my camera to a watery grave. The experience was nothing short of magical— the sky, a deep cerulean, met the blue-green sea in a sharp line, that was occasionally broken by the shimmering silver body of a leaping tuna. At first, as it was so quick, I didn't believe my eyes— but then every minute or two, another tuna would rise up into the sky, followed by the less graceful flapping of an acrobatic ray. Rose-ringed Parakeets laughed across the sky, and the rocks to our right held wild pigeons and a couple of herons.

We paddled over to a little cove for a snorkel, which revealed a world of colourful and curious fish, along with one evasive sea turtle. I can't remember the last time I swam in the sea. Surely I've recorded the experience on this blog, but oh how good it felt— the delight of floating in cool, salty water! Upon the rocks, I saw my first mudskippers, and those crabs with the eyes that rest on stalks above their heads— I don't know what they are called, but they were so beautiful.

We reluctantly made our way back to the beach when it was time to return our kayaks, while plotting what we might do with the rest of the day.

While driving along the coast, it was only a matter of time before we found ourselves seated at a little roadside restuarant, where once again, I was the only female— but it didn't seem to matter. Our table was laid with a chart illustrated with fish named in Arabic and English, to which the man serving us pointed to. Everything was good, according to him, but what I wanted was that delicious looking fish the men were digging into at the table behind us— and was that curry?

Though we were kindly offered cutlery, we used our hands, much to the delight of the men at the table to my right. This was, in my opinion, the tastiest meal we ate in Oman. Lime, curry, chili, and goodness knows what spices... but the fish! Oh, the fish. Tender, succulent, and according to the chart, an Emperor. While digesting with a little cup of tea, I pulled out my sketchbook to draw the remains of my feast, which intrigued our neighbours at the table next to us, and won their approval.

Eventually we were called back to the sea, where we negotiated a deal for a boat ride from a wiry man with leathery hands.


Colleen said...

I've been reading your blog for a few years now and it's one of my favorites! I have to say, you are such a good writer I hope you write a book some day!! Your descriptions are just amazing. (And of course I love the photos and drawings.)

szaza said...

Thank you so much for your kind words, Colleen! I am so glad you like my blog!

Warm wishes from Istanbul :)

omar said...

I agree, you are a fantastic writer. I love to read your texts and see your images. You have a way to see things that is unique

szaza said...

Thank you for your kind words, Omar!
I'm really enjoying your sketches of India— the colours seem to capture the heat. Looks like you really enjoyed it!