Oman - Week 4
What do you do when you've been studying Arabic aaalll week and NEED a break? You decide to go to Dubai on a 2 a.m. bus.
Yep. It's true. And it was amazing.
This little adventure started when we left our apartments just before midnight to board a bus that was supposed to arrive on a random curve in Ibri at approximately 1:00 a.m. Well, we waited on this random curve for an hour, and just when we were thinking of giving up, our bus came around the bend.
Not gonna lie, I think the anticipation for the bus was one of my favorite parts of the entire trip. We were all sitting side-by-side, staring into Ibri's night sky, with thoughts of adventures swarming through our heads. Was the bus gonna get there? Did we miss it? Was there going to be enough room for the 5 of us?
I didn't know and I didn't care. Just the concept of spontaneously leaving a country in the middle of the night was enough to conjure up the greatest of daydreams.
Dubai greeted us at 6:30 a.m. with a brisk chill in the air and no one out and about.
With the city to ourselves, we meandered through The Dubai Mall / Burj Khalifa area for the entire day. I cannot express the feeling that comes from exploring a city, where you have no idea where the next set of stairs or turn around the corner will take you. Ahhh, curiosity, how I love you.
While exploring the enormously huge Dubai mall, we came across what may be THE greatest restaurant ever: Cereal Killers.
It works like this: You choose a magical combination of their many cereals and toppings, OR you pick from their many pre-crafted blends, which is what I did. Then you eat on fun tables made from toy boxes and children's beds, aka a step back to the 90s. I ordered the Chocopotamus, a mix of chocolate cereals, chocolate milk (one of my favorite things on this earth), and an adorable chocolate hippopotamus on top. Yes siree bob, this was the most delicious (and only) bowl of cereal I've ever ordered.
After exploring the mall, we decided it would be a good idea to walk to the beach ourselves instead of taking a taxi (hahaha). This is when we let the guys take charge and "follow" their map for a while, when in reality no one knew where we were going.
So, we did what any good city explorer would do.
We gave up.
No ocean for us.
I find this hilarious, because if we had taken a taxi, we would have at least gotten to be at the beach a little bit before we had to go back to Ibri.
And oh, the ride back. That was an adventure in itself. It took more time than it took to get to Dubai. We woke up several times in the middle of the desert, having no idea where we were. We could've been on the other side of the emirates for all we knew. But, our grand less-than-24-hour adventure finally ended with us making it safely back to Ibri, in a daze from soaking up all the loveliness that comes from exploring strange places.
The next day we spent a couple hours exploring an old Omani village. I was slightly freaking out because it was hidden in this little date forest with water running through it. It was like a little Omani paradise hidden between the sand dunes and rocky mountains. I could've spent the entire day there.
We ate lunch with an Omani family, which was delicious as always, and then a couple of us went to eat supper with Jill and I's language partner. We ate in the traditional Omani way (aka attempting but failing to make a ball of rice with our hand and get the rice to our mouth). You can tell where Jill and I were sitting because of how much rice we dropped on the mat. We went through a continuous cycle of struggling to get the rice to stick, then bringing it to our mouth but bursting out laughing before we could actually eat it. Oh well. We still have over 2 months to master this life skill.
Today is the first day of March.
Tomorrow marks 2 weeks left of Arabic.
2 weeks left in Ibri.
Gosh, I literally have no since of time here.
I wish I could just drag this semester on forever...