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I’d like to introduce you to my new friend, Yusef.

Our new friend, Yusef...

Our new friend, Yusef...

I suspect that based upon his dress you may make certain assumptions about him. He’s Omani, speaks fluent Arabic, and practices Islam as his religion. However, there are many things you might not guess. Yusef is also very fluent in English. He’s a martial artist (4th degree black belt) and owns his own karate school / gym here. He’s also a UFC fighter (he’ll be in Las Vegas later this year). In addition, he likes American sports cars, all sorts of music (country-western, especially), and cowboy movies/shows. Oh, and he used to be a barista at Starbucks too. We exchanged e-mail addresses… he has a hotmail account.

How’d I meet him? He was on our afternoon dhow cruise (and drove our groups shuttle bus, actually… he does it for extra money and because he likes to drive). He started up a conversation with me. We must have chatted for an hour or more, coming notes about our similarities and differences. Yusef is a super nice guy; an ‘exquisite’ (one of his favorite English words) example of the friendliness and hospitality of Omani people. I actually hope we do keep in touch. One of my doctoral students lives in the UAE; so, why not have a friend in Oman too?

As for the country and city, Oman and Muscat are quite picturesque. The city (really cities) hugs the coastline, as it’s jammed between the sea and the mountains. Today, we primarily explored the Mutrah neighborhood with its delightful corniche and warren-like souq filled with all manner of goods. In the late afternoon, we went on the twilight dhow cruise, which gave us an excellent overview of the city and coast from the sea set against an attractive sunset. Here are a few photos…

Mutrah Corniche

Mutrah Corniche

Libby aboard the dhow...

Libby aboard the dhow...

It’s now getting late, and I’m getting tired. Will speak more of Muscat tomorrow…

What a great day! This is why we travel…

Today’s box score: +1 country (Oman)

One Response to “Cruise Day #3 – Muscat, Oman”

  1. Dad says:

    Dear Paul,

    What a great day, indeed. I can see how you are realizing it is time to seize the day. Travel has the same effect on me. I am reminded by what you said of when Eleanor Roosevelt said on occasion, “Yesterday is history, tomorrow is a mystery, and today is a gift; that’s why they call it the present.” Life is such a gift!
    I am writing at 8:00 PM, and you are now, if I calculate rightly, at 4:00 in the morning. Soon it will all be unfolding. Let the mystery tell of itself, and I will be waiting to find out about it!
    Two questions:

    What has the weather been like?
    How do you pronounce “dhow”? It looks like it could hurt your throat.


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