Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Salalah--one of the wild places

Tuesday April 7
Day at sea . Getting more instruction on Mahjong. Lectures and choir.
Wednesday April 8—“Sa-la-la-la-la-la-la-la-la”
Salalah Oman--First off Aunt Sue says hi to Andrea and Ben Thanks for tuning in to the trip. This seems like a real foreign country. Men wearing long gowns and little round caps. Women with head coverings sometimes covering everything except their eyes. A land where a man can have 4 wives if he can afford it. Our guide has one wife and says it’s plenty. His dad has two wives. They all got along as much as any family. This is a very prosperous place. The Sultan here is very good to the people. Schools and hospitals and new housing. The people love him very much. He shares the wealth of the oil with everyone, unlike some of the other Arab countries. They have a 3 month monsoon season that makes for a California type of agriculture. Everything and anything grows here. It’s very refreshing to not see litter everywhere. Our bus takes us through desert speckled with camels and new houses. The first stop is a 1000 year old tomb and similar aged cemetery. Next is a excavation site of a 1000 year old seaside settlement. The combination of mountains , coastlines and desert topography is truly enchanting. All the biffys here are squatters, something else you don’t see in Kansas. Oman has been the center for frankincense for over 2000 years. It’s grown commercially and wild in the desert everywhere. Our tour ends with a visit to a replica of a small desert fort and a Smithsonian type high tech museum containing shipping history and ancient artifacts of past civilizations from the area. On balance a country that we could spend more time in.
Thursday April 9
Day at sea--The hijacked American freighter is the talk of the day. I get pictures of American destroyers watching over us and others. Some got a picture of one of the helicopters in recon that are stationed on the destroyers. Also a submarine cruising thru the water. The odds are small but the protection is very visible. We enjoy a Scottish singer and flute player in the evening.
Friday April 10
Day at sea--Second day of our run to the Red Sea and out of harm’s way. Good Friday to you all. Found a ping pong buddy. Working the snot out of each other. As we were entering the narrows leading into the Red sea some fishermen in small power boats came towards the ship. There was no explanation from the bridge so it’s a point of conjecture at this point who they actually were and what they were up to. They were about a dozen boats angling toward the stern of the ship. For whatever reason they all pealed off suddenly and gave up the pursuit. As they used to say on “Laugh In”--Very Interesting.
Saturday April 11
Day at sea--More ping pong and other forms of lollygagging. Nice dinner with Nancy and David from out East.
Sunday April 12
Day at sea-- Happy Easter! Sue has successfully completed another Lent without dessert. I have spent another Lent successfully BS-ing and being nice to as many new people as possible. I hope Egypt is as good as the warm up lecture was. A little dancing and Sue sets the alarm for an early start tomorrow.

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