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Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Survey Says…Oman!

In my last blog post I was sitting in the Frankfurt airport waiting for my plane back to Houston. I posted some pictures of my trip and posed the question-Where in the world is Houston Garden Girl?”. The answer is: Oman.

I was on a business trip. I left Houston on May 23rd and spent about 4 days in Germany visiting a potential vendor, then spent the weekend in Heidelberg with my niece, and the last 2 weeks of my trip in Muscat with a short jaunt to our field operations. I work for a US petroleum company and have had the benefit of travelling to our offices in Ecuador, Colombia, and Argentina. This was my first business trip to the Middle East, overall I have to say that it went very well.

IMG_2860I know many of us in the US have a picture in our mind of what we think the Middle East is like.  (I say that as if every country there is the same, even though it isn’t)  We think desert. And, while that is true, there are also a few surprises to be found. (Take a look at the last blog post, I was definitely surprised by some of the plants I saw growing there)

 

The city of Muscat is on the water and is just as humid, actually it may be more humid than Houston, and it is definitely hotter. The picture below is the view from my hotel. IMG_2871

It seemed very bright there when I went outside, I wonder if it is because the majority of the buildings are white?

On one of my days off, a co-worker took me to the nearby village of Nakhal. Despite the 105 degree temperatures (it was a cool day), we managed to do a lot of sight-seeing. We visited the fort, pictured below.

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We took his Dad’s 4-wheel drive vehicle out to the wadis. Wadis are basically ephemeral rivers. They are wide, dry river beds, typically only having water after it rains. IMG_2810

We hiked for awhile along the wadi, until it was time to go back home for lunch.IMG_2812

Speaking of lunch…it happens to be date season there. I had never eaten a fresh date before, they were delicious.

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There were date palms all over the city and the countryside. I think for the most part, the city palms are owned and maintained by the government, but the palms in the countryside (which look to me like a date palm forest) are actually owned by individuals who care for their plot of trees.

That’s all about Oman for now. I will be going back in a few months, wonder what will be in season then?

3 comments:

  1. Oman...was I wrong, but at least I thought you were in the Middle East. Fresh dates are soooo much better than the packaged type. I think we get the Deglet Noor fresh about once a year, perhaps in the Fall?
    These are some nice pics. Thanks for sharing and welcome back to the Great Drought of 2011.
    David/ Tropical Texana/ :-)

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  2. The only dates I'd eaten before this trip were Medjool dates from Whole Foods or Fiesta, they are really tasty.

    Ugh, I wish the great drought would end!

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  3. Welcome back Girl.
    I would never have guessed you've been in Oman.
    I don't even know anybody would ever have traveled to that country. :)
    The pictures you posted are really impressive and makes me sure wanting to go on a trip to visit this country.
    I'm also glad you had a good time in Germany.
    I have visited Germany several times and my biggest souvenir from Germany is my husband. LOL
    He actually is the reason why I traveled to Germany several times while us going through all the red tape before we could get married and he was granted permanent residence to the US.
    Once again, welcome back
    Paula Jo

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