Finally tripping. Beach party Oman style. Theory of best sex. An last, but not least – Mecca is the bellybutton of Earth

The ones who have been on longer and relaxing trips might know exactly what I’m talking about. It is this point, this turning point of the trip. It is the moment when old worries no longer haunt you and you have freed yourself from the fragile and uncomfortable feeling towards the new culture and country. From this moment on you will be on the trip, with each single cell of your body. You understand more or less about what’s going on around you, you have obviated fear and you have almost completely forgotten about your old Self from the other side of the planet, from that cold and dark country. You are tripping. In each single sense of the word. You are here and now on this hot piece of land.

When this turning point arrived, I was in Oman, just near to Balad Seit. Marika and Tom were sleeping in a car, Berit was snoring in the tent. In the cold light of the full moon one could see huge gray bouldered stones, mountains and a canyon in between them, graceful silhouettes of palmtrees, bushes with thorns. The coils were glowing slightly. Somewhere far and high a car was slowly meandering on the slopes of the mountain, towards the sky. The lights seemed as a small moving dot, nothing else was heard any longer. And in my thoughts there was nothing else than a joyful emotion about how good was the feeling of being here and now, smoothly running a course of this trip. And this was the true beginning of my travel.

Next morning we woke up for the sunrise that is so extraordinary in real life and so little to be caught with camera. We passed our road in the bottoms of dried rivers in the middle of these monsterous canyons and found ourselves in the light blue waters of Adrian sea. Marika and Tom left us there to enjoy the sun and took off towards the unknown.

Once the brightest sun had passed and we already properly dressed, it was time to figure our how to get back to Muscat. And voila! two boys jumped next to us, with a can of lemonade and a grillstick in their hands. They had put up a huge party (with lemonades), listened to good music from Zanzibar and played drums. Once we were completely covered, there was no problem any longer to invite us to join them. A few seconds later we were in the middle of this buzz. Singing Estonian, playing drums and dancing along. That’s where we got our free ride from in the end. But more important than a free ride in a Lexus car – we had an unforgettable conversation.

When I was 24 I went to see my dad: „Dad, please find me a good wife!
Once heard that, the mother and the father combined a catalogue with the names, pictures and educational history of different women, including all the family background. From these the man had to choose.
Did you date with all of them? No, I decided in the easy way. I chose the wife from the poorest family because it is the easiest to satisfy her.
And you met before the marriage?
Sure, during the engagement. Me and my dad and my brother went to see her family. We presented our conditions.

And when did you get married? Two weeks later.

What would your wife think now if she knew that you have two women in the car? What can she do? I’m allowed to marrie four.

By time they have learned to love each other. And if you think about it – its the only sex they have ever had so it can only be the best.

What do you think abou Darwin and the theory of evolution? I’s bullshit. If people adapt to their environment why don’t the people who live in the forest have tails and why can’t they talk to animals?

But then the man suddenly declared that Mecca was the middle point of Earth and all the world was spinning around Mecca. We were explaing him something about physics and the system of planets and the axis of Earth, but the case was closed: he pointed towards a coin and brought that as an example the same time we were trying to spin around an apple. And if we don’t believe – go to Google Earth at night and see yourself – Mecca is the brightest point on earth.

When he ran out of answeres, he always kept the strongest one for the last: According to the Holy Quran..

Advertisements

Grand Canyon of the Arab countries. Home yard for some.

At 5.30 AM we were up again to see the sun rise from our river bed, and in this crisp early morning we started towards Shebel Shams. The mountain peaks were orange like candle flames. The ravins by the road seemed bottomless. After every few hundred metres we found a spot to stop our car and sell our souls to the sun. At the last spot, where we observed the play of colours, Tom approached a lonely shepherd with about twenty sheep following him. As the boy didn’t speak any English the more accomplished our body language was. Both, ours and his. Verbal conversation was only to fill the empty space: „You, how old?“, „Sheep, yours?“ „Me, Tom, you?“

The boy asked for a lift to Shebel Shams. At one point the road ended, there was a dead end with a village court with about 2-3 houses. We were asked to park our jeep in the middle of the court and invited for a coffee. Suddenly there was a blanked lain under a bare tree, a few village ladies in their colourful outfits were sitting round us, offering us dates and coffee. Of course there were no men, how could they sit with women? Only a grandfather, a bit demented already, joined us and introduced himself.

After the usual “2 rounds of coffee and the third cup in hand for show” the cups were gathered and in a few seconds the lovely, friendly, moving village transformed into a fairground. But how else would you earn money if you live on the edge of a ravine in a house that is about to collapse and the closest settlement is far far away?  We gave them a few coins and walked through the village.

And yes, having walked about twenty metres we were standing before a torn piece of land. Boys were merrily hopping between the stones, so that the stones dropped into the ravine below them, only a lonely clink-clink was heard even a while later. This crack was at least a kilometre deep, through the fog a village about the size of a match box could be seen. Tom’s throaty man’s voice snaked through the cliffs into the distance, first quite slowly and then faster and faster and faster. Terje’s womanly cries did the same. Even the boys’ screams from the village reached us with a few-second delay. This is how they lived there. On the edge of a ravine, on the boarder of real and unreal. They had a view worth millions and they begged for coins for food.

Hitch hiking in Oman. Weird stories about alcohol.

We more or less knew where we were heading to. Having studied the road signs we started walking towards the city limits to rise our thumbs. After we had made no more than two-three steps a man wrapped in white approached us and asked where we were going to. Sure they all looked at us with amazement when in a city in the middle of the desert two tourists with their large back bags started walking towards the big road. The man then said he’d give us a lift. In body language, of course, since there was no other language we could share. Having shown us his ID our road to hell could start.

We kind of knew which exit we had to take from the roundabout but the man in white missed it. When we started yelling he stopped his small van, which front seat was so small it hardly was enough for the three of us, exactly in the middle of the roundabout. He took his phone and called to his friend who was supposed to translate. Our death journey continued. The man whirled in the opposite direction lane and each time we screeched in English and he couldn’t understand, he rose his two hands and hit himself on his forehead. Terje then crabbed the steering wheel and I begged for Allah. The man took his pipe filled with some kind of strong green tobacco that made his head spin, and then under the influence continued his race. In the end when the Arab revealed his vodka bottle I had had enough and demanded him to stop. So, there we were, 20 km out of the city limits, again in the middle of the desert, a drunk Arab explaining that everything was ok.

We had barely managed to take a deep breath when another car stopped. Again we even hadn’t risen our thumbs. He asked if we needed any help and as a coincidence he was heading for the same town as us. Up picker number two was the Sultan’s army man. He, too, showed us his ID, they all seem to do that for some kind of a weird reason. But his ID was a special one. As a Sultan’s army man all doors to liquor stores were open to him. No permits, no restrictions, he could buy as much as he wanted. He came from the store with a box of beer. He took a look to the left, to the right, hid the box as much as possible and pressed it into the car. But he didn’t let us open the can. The place was too public (we were in a car, after all!). Once again he took a look to the left and then to the right and when we had crossed the city limits we were allowed to open the fizzy drinks, we could even take sips if we sat low enough no one could see us from the window.

As soon as we had finished our beers the man gathered the cans, lowered the window and threw the cans out.

„Safety!“ he smiled.

„Environment!“ Terje yelled.

„No, no, safety!“ he explained convincingly.

„But environmnet?“ Terje was a bit confused.

The man stuck to his words. I guess an army man knows how important safety is. And it is hard to find a sin greater than being caught with a beer.

Biographical perspective: a community man from Canada, through five countries, jungle and wild, now in Oman

Coming back from a strange fair for decent moslem families, man and women departed and children playing happily around mary-go-round.
We thought of going to sleep immediately, but wanted to drink a glass of water in the kitchen beforehand. I remember yellow edge of the glass. And our small talk during a courtesy grew into a huge life story just when asking how many countries have the Mr host lived in.

“Oh, that is to say not so many… Like six.”
(He seemed quite a young man)
From there began a story that lasted the next four hours. We moved to his meditation room (which was probably the most convenient place in the house) and stayed tuned to listen.
Drek. Graduated from Faculty of Mathematics and Physics in university in Canada (1). For his master’s degree he went to India (2) to study Gandhi’s philosophy, but there he didn’t feel that very lucky. In the hostels he was staying he did not have contact with women, so the man went back to Canada soon, feeling lonely, and bought a farm.
Bought a farm?
Yes, to create a community.
His mission was make a natural farm. No plastic, no flesh, no electricity, no anything “artefact”. Farm had a total of three years and there went through about 500 people. Usually a few days was enough for people to get the idea.
But what can you do in the cold of Canada  to make these cabbages grow?! So in the winter he was driving across the continent to Belize (3). These were trips by  their own, out of which could be written some novels.
And so one winter when Drek was in Belize building up a new space for his community, rumors reached him that his commune broke up because of the grace of the triangle love and power relations (in the end there were only three peoples left). The house was beaten by the vandals. Since then, he has never gone back to the farm.
But Belize’s land was mighty. He found a piece of land that the government was giving away for symbolic price. A lush of natural environment, by the river and up in the peninsula there were caves. Perfect! he was thinking.
At the meantime Drek went back to Canada a few times, got married, but still kept on building the farm to bring home a woman one day.
Something was holding Drek’s fear. In fact, there in the jungle was living a poisonous snake. This one eats poisoned muscles. These snakes, he saw them several times around the house. At first place he did not want to disturb the snakes too, but in the end in his great fear he began to kill them. At one point, he did not dare to move even in the long grass anymore – the whole time he was feeling a snake around.
One day when his wife finally flew along with him to Belize,  it came as a surprise to Drek that she did not manage to get to the farm plot. The man had no idea that a journey deep into the jungle to home could be physically so hard…
This fact and a few very poisonous snakes  flew them to Hawaii (4). The woman gave birth to her two sons and they began to build houses to survive. While working the real estate prices rose so high that they were not able to put up the money they needed to build the community. So they flew to Dominican (5).
Life was beautiful again – there were fantastic pieces of land. They built a farm and grew some plants and animals.

Then all of a sudden happened the worst thing in Drek’s life. One day his wife was gone. With the younger son. And a few days later, he heard that his wife is pregnant from a local junky.
At some point she fled the country. Drek was alone with his older son in the jungle, but it was, of course, difficult to manage the farm alone.
One day Drek heard that his older son was kidnapped from school. That was followed by police case of corruption, bribery adventures, but all that ended with great sadness for Drek. Since then, he has not heard from his wife and children.
in great grief and deluded, he accepted a proposal from a Dominican woman to give birth to another child. In return, Drek promised to take her with him to Canada (by marriage). A son was born, but the woman was not given a visa to Canada …

I heard something from the next room (6). A sleepy eye of a young black woman appeared on the door.  In the back room we heard a baby crying. This baby is probably the only thing that this strange couple have in common. Ants crawling everywhere.

Ou house in  Nizwas, Drek’s homeland nr six

Expatriate like a king in Oman

Having been buffeted from the desert rally and doused in and out of water in the middle of a stony desert, we went directly to the expatriates’ garden party. The host was a local, his wife a blonde Australian with an overdone makeup and silicone lips.

So, what would you like to drink,“ someone amongst the guests asked.

Hmm, what do you have?“ Terje replied with a question, because by that time we had become acquainted with the alcohol rules of Oman – you can only buy it from a special shop where you have to show a special permit, issued by an official, proving you’re not a Muslim.

We have pretty much everything,“ the man said with a grin.

Well, maybe some white wine then, please.

Savingnon blanc or Chardonnay?“ the man still wanted us to be precise.

We silently started to understand what the life of an expatriate in Oman means. A curly haired Brit, whose manse was in a walking distance, was in front of the garage and patted his Aston Martin worth millions, Tanguy patted his Maserati, which made a sound that loud one would think a plane was going to take off. As far as I could count, there were more than five servants at Heiko’s home. The magic word here is Shell.

A girl from Kiev, who at the end of the evening had believably romped with another woman and a man (conservative Arabian culture, well, I’m sure!), seemed to be having the time of her life. She complained that her friends from Ukraine want her to come back from Oman, to the real life. This is because life in Oman, which is controlled by Shell, is said to be like an eternal paradise.

From a glass of Savignon Blanc we moved to Margaritas and Sex on the Beaches and… who knows what else. Being a bit boozy, everybody got into their luxurious cars and zigzagged home – a thing that none of them would probably dare to do in Europe. But even those borders and limits have been changed in Oman.

Oh, and in order to change the perspectives I’d like to show some car lovin’

Muscati a’la lower middle class:

I was harressed by a 9-year-old kid

The view was as such:

This is the Sultan of Oman Qabuus’ Palace in Muscat. Beautiful. Quiet, only some birds were chirping, whose presence could only be guessed.
In this dreamy state, I wanted to sit down for a moment. Berit thereupon began to take photos of me. Out of nowhere emerged a cute Arab boy, who set himself as a decoration for the next picture. Appeared another. And the third.
Before I knew I was surrounded by ten small boys. All very excited about – posing with a white woman for a picture!
What the hell. I have seen those children before in India and South America who would do anything for an exotic posing with a Snow White.
I smiled awkwardly, the kids around me tightly. Berit holding the camera.
Suddenly, my breast could sense someone’s little finger snapping.

t left me with strange feeling for many hours…

Muscat and Maserati. In search for what you ought to be searching for

When we finally landed at night at 3 at night in Muscat, we were drunk as drunk. As we had just came thought a missing of a flight in Istanbul, because we were following an invitation to pend this three days stop-over somewhere in the South of Turkey. And thoe three day were follwed by homeless 24h in Istanbul, stressed out to find another way to Oman. So yes, as we finally got into the plane, we got drunk instantly, as we felt to deserve it after such a hassle in Turkey.

However, there was this extraordinary fact that Oman is moslem country where alcohol may not be one of the best guidelines. Evenmore for women. Secondly, we knew that in Oman there will be a complete stranger man to meet us. And that he was German.
When the two women pretending to be sober, in obviously too thick clothes, walked through Muscat airport, there was all silence around. There was a lot of people though, and some taxis were even driving around, but it all seemed to be in the other side of a sound-proof glass. Such a peace in an Arab country we were not expecting.
Then we heard something, something rough, something powerful and strong. Between men dressed in white (by the time we did not know anything about distashas) there was one tall white man with curly hair coming towards us. He led us with his big smile to hi car and we got to know what broke the sound-proof glass. It was Gordeous, as they call her. White, small, fast, Maserati, sexy Italian sports car. Rrrhhh.
With the same the Maserati, and at the same time and in the same condition, we made two circles around Muscat city until dawn, and sank into bed somewhere.

In the morning we finally got hit. His name was Heiko. Lived in Muscat for a few years in the routines of 4.5 days in the office as a geologist and 2.5 days at camp’n’surf route in Oman. Prior to that lived in four European countries, has made all possible degrees and traveled half the world. Once he was as canoeing from Vancouver to Alaska. Nine weeks. Alone.
Now he has a giant house with white walls and white floors, which have a red sofa, huge photos of huge tension and the two cats, one of them extremely horny.

A day in Muscat is of a strange rhythm. When we wake up, then there is hot inertia outside, in which the whole world  seems to be frozen or just moving in a very slow motion. If it feels noon for us, the sun will go down and a new life starts. The streets become clogged with traffic, business is booming, and my mind feels good. While sucking our freshly squeezed juice, we hear the familiar noise again. Rrrrnnnn-rrrrnnnnn ….

Maserati-man picked us up and we found ourselves in a very different world than what we saw on the streets of Muscat, and at the market. Let me introduce you – a beautiful life of expatriats.
Each one has a giant house. A large garden, at least three cars (4WD at least two of them). Sometimes also a couple of boats.
“You’re the first Independent travelers in Oman I see!”
And that’s it. They live a good life here and anyone in the world does not know much about it!
“What brough you here?”
“Well …”
This question was rotating in our own head also for quite some time.
“Well …”
Once we were thinking with Berit that when travelling you actually go to search for that you ought to be searching for.  I think that was exactly the case of Oman.