Friday, September 26, 2008

on / at the weekend

last night we smoked shisha beside the beach at Qurum in Muscat and watched fishing boat lights twinkle at varying distances. it was nice. sushi buffet was had (quite decent sushi at that) and i had my first kimchi in months, which made me feel good. it wasnt as authentic as id like, but it was alright. the night finished with a couple games of bowling and with me being consistently the worst. i improved by one point from the first game, but was so far out it didnt matter. the second game "was rather pedestrian" compared to the first, and sun had a miracle strike followed by a miracle spare giving her a huge come from behind victory. it was sweet. shes cute when she bowls. cute when she does anything really. ok. ill save that kind of talk for later and elsewhere.
instead of randomly posting on this thing i have decided to pledge a weekly publishing. so, for the next while if you haven't done so, check in on saturdays and ill do my darndest to ensure that we'll have posted by then. if we take off somewhere for a short break (egypt we're looking in your direction), we'll let you know if we'll break from the blog as well.
not much else exciting to report. sun and i are now officially the CALL teachers at our school, which is good and bad as we can help each other prep a lot, but will have basically opposite schedules. so we'll see how that goes.
this coming week 4 dear friends of ours are coming from abu dhabi to visit so we're excited to eat, stink, be merry, and potentially even change some diapers with them. dont ask if you dont already know.
on the car front, we are now wavering towards the mitsubishi prado. its a little more rugged. well see. im going to haggle my head off at the dealers and see what theyll throw in.
ok. so. photo of the week is ... the view from our "backyard." not very glamorous, but thats what it is. the mountains in the distance are wonderful, but the trash in the foreground leaves much to be desired. note that the building on the left serves shisa to smoke and football (or as some of you demand - soccer) on the big screen. sadly, the shisha wasnt good the one time we went. im determined to go again because it is so close. itll be sad if we dont get to go back. theyre still smoothing out the edges, or, as i said in north america a lot, taking the edge on.


Saturday, September 20, 2008

on camping with goats


so. it is saturday morning, which is like monday morning here, and i sit listening to other teachers talk about countries i have and have not been to. earlier we had a really nice workshop on teaching grammar. a good day at work.

this past weekend was very refreshing and once again pushed us to buying an suv. we went through muscat into the mountain ranges surrounding the north eastern curve of oman. the valley picture below is an area in muscat called "ruwi" seen from the entry point into the mountain range. it took us a while to get there, but it was well worth it. it was very kind of gus and amanda (to be discussed later) to invite us.

the goat picture is from a village we drove through. there were at least 200 goats there. it was cool. also, we saw lots of mule-esque animals walking aroung freely.

we camped on the beach, swam by moonlight, ate good food, and camped all cozy and warm. a little too warm in the morning, but still nice. here are some pics. none of them really capture what id hoped, but they do get something:


the beach:

so. thats all for now. oh. we saw close encounters of the third kind and joe versus the volcano yesterday. they were pretty good.


Wednesday, September 17, 2008

the views


we went on a tour today of nizwa and surrounding area. it confirmed for us that this is and will be a cool place for us to live. the ruins, towers, and tombs we saw are really magnificent. we invite you all to come visit as there are plenty of palces to go and see. sadly we didn't bring our camera. next time though.

ramadhan is half over. a week and a half and we start our week and a half break. its a hard life.

oh. and we've decided on the rav4 for sure. the vw thing was a lapse of reason. and it was not the toureag. it was the tiguan. not sure if this model is available in north america or not. and buying used cars here is very risky. not worth the worry sometimes. you have to know who is selling, the car's history, etc... if not you can get ripped off crazy!

this weekend we are camping on the beach near muscat. will let you know what happens and post some pics early next week.


Thursday, September 11, 2008

weekends and stuff


back in the same internet cafe in al diyar hotel's basement. something i have not mentioned before, or did i?, is that it is just beside a mini pool hall. once and a while, while here, i here a ball bounce of the floor next door. its a distinct sound that one; marble floor, marble ball. are they marble?

anyways, today we test drove our first couple of vehicles. a kia sportage and a toyota rav4. of course the toyota is way better, but the price is a bit steep. still unsure. the one we really fell for was a vw suv called the tiguron or something like that. but its way out of our league.

were leaning heavily towards the rav still. its a decent price and during ramadhan we get better financing and the like. and its an suv, but its kinda small too. dont hate us for the suv thing okay? if you were here youd understand. there are so many cool mountains and roads that we just cant do with a car. and people dont ride your arse as much if youre in an suv.

so yeah. were looking into some more models, but need to decide over the next couple weeks to get the good deal.

we went "shopping" in muscat yesterday afternoon, only to realize that most stores were closed for ramadhan until 7 at night. shame on us. anyways, we did score a few necessities (dvd player, tie rack, etc) that were bogging us down a bit. we got an mp3 player for the car which is probably going to be returned. it sucks. the old adage "you get what you pay for" comes in with those things.

hmmm...oh we were planning on going to the movies at night (tropic thunder or mirrors - yeah i know...) but it turns out the movies changed and things were even worse. like seriously. check out imdb for a movie called hardware. then rent and watch some if you can. this i snot the film that was playing, but hardware is a film we saw pieces of last week and its like, seriously, the worst thing i have ever seen. on ever level it is trash. every single level. anyways, the movies playing last night looked like the "creative" team behind hardware decided to make a romantic comedy and an horror movie.

ok. hope you're all well.


Monday, September 8, 2008

home, sweets


so...some of you saw us on our north american trek over the past few months and probably heard us saying "it will be so nice when we finally get our own apartment." well, we're feeling that right now. basically we go to work and then we go home. thats our days right now. lots of reading and writing, lots of night rider and the occasional action film wit nic cage or sean connery. or both.

last night was different. we saw the film "the world according to garp" with robin williams and based on the john irving. great film. i remembered having seen it when it first came out on superchannel when i was like 10. the content was not appropriate for a ten year old, but i did not know the difference, so thats whatever. i recommend it if you havent seen.

another classic we saw the other night was an officer and a gentlemen. a young richard gere never looked so good. very nice.

i have just been handed the wire season one on dvd, as i left all of our wire in prague. sad that i just remembered this now, because we have so much time now to watch and re-watch things. but anyways...

today we have a huge feast at the university after dusk. it sounds like a romp.

okay. youll hear from me again soon. when do i hear from you?


re: Ramadhan


i need balzac. if you have some, could you please send?

that is all.


Saturday, September 6, 2008


so, something some of you may know and others not...our weekends begin on saturday here. thursday and friday are the official days off. probably very strange for some of you, but yeah. oman is the only gulf country to maintain the old thursday - friday holiday deal. i think anyways. im writing out my butt on this one.

the Inernet situation is still the same. don't expect any skype calls soon. the frustration of not having a phone to call "home" is a bummer still. even getting a home phone number has to wait until we get a labour card. how long will it be until we have it? who knows. anyways. gots-ta get to the grind. here are a few pics from life here.

cucumbers at the local market:
a door in the old market place:

the women who regularly sit under a tree and talk at 6 am in the morning across from our house:
thats all for now.


Friday, September 5, 2008

bedroom, sun's bathroom, kitchen

dan passed out on the bed
sun's bathroom - on suite ...
dan wakes up to make coffee...yes that is the same coffee maker we've had since we met...

okay...well thats all for today.
s & d

living room, study, balcony

this is the living room...
the "study" ...
the "balcony"
yes - it is enclosed ...

entry way, hall, first bathroom

here is the entry to our place...the doors are heavy and nicely ornamented

the "hallway" is hard to get good pictures of, but this pic will give you some idea of the layout of the flat. click the image to see it larger.
this is dan's bathroom. the pink is what hooked him.

our apartment

hello all:

it is hot out usual i guess. the weekend has been chill though. ramadhan is in full swing meaning there is little to do outside except walk around and the like through the day. we went for dinner to amanda and gus' place, which is just down the street, and enjoyed a nice long walk around the old falaj. it was kind of like walking on the moon.

we decided to post some pix of our flat finally, having edited them in photoshop and now transfrerring them at the only Internet cafe in town. yes the only one. well. there are others but they open when they feel like it basically, which is a pain in the _=_ . anyways.

thanks to those leaving comments - hopefully more to come ... ? we still have no skype AND have had it confirmed that sometimes emails are not sent from here. yes - and phones often do not work either. so if you try to call us and don't get through - try and try again.

as some of you know, i finished anna karenina recently and have been in the desert about how to possibly follow it up. i don't want to read anything serious, as it will be in a pretty huge shadow. im thinking of finally giving in and reading archie comics. so, if you have any, do send. i know this is not ironic, but, ironically the first and only time in my life i crave an archie comic and they are impossible to find. normally, anywhere else ive been, i could find them littering garbage bins or flying in the wind, but now...WHERE ARE YOU ARCHIE? WHY HAVE YOU FORSAKEN ME?

whoa...that bit proves i should sign off.


p.s.: abover is the view from our front window

Monday, September 1, 2008



today is the beginning of Ramadan. if you don't know much about it, check this out:

this means shortened class hours and the like for us and a generally more laid back month. we figure it's a good time to start reading a bunch of the classics we can sign out from the library on campus. sun finished "the great gatsby" in like one day and was pleased with that.

i figure on munching some blazac, marquez, and such. after i finish anna karenina.

some of you know i have been reading anna for months now, and i would have to say it has been, ultimately, one of the best reads of my life. it has been a true challenge at points, but i am pleased with where it is going and it is the only novel in years where i have taken a lot of notes and thought a lot about narrative possibilities and voices. it truly is a great novel, and i recommend anyone who has not done so to give it a jab. anna is one of the most complex characters i have met.

on other oman-ish notes: i have been recruited to be a CALL (Computer Assisted Language Learner) teacher here, which is exciting because i really hoped to find something where i can apply my techy-ness. but, well see how it goes.

techy stuff: still nothing new here. no skype, which conitnues to suck... is the address here if you care to drop us a letter or pictures, or whatever. apparently mail is pretty safe here, and it would be great to get a postcard or anything in the mail.

no pressure though:

Daniel and Sundi c/o IELP
University of Nizwa
PC 616
Birkat Al Mouz

well. thats all i have time for.

oh. please leave comments if you can, just so i know who is getting this.

i promise a bunch of pictures soon...