If Day One was any indication of how the rest of the term will be, I’m going to have a fantastic time. Muscat is a beautiful city. We wandered its streets and through its souks (labyrinthine markets filled with assertive salesmen selling everything imaginable) scented with frankincense.
I ate my first Omani meal – salad, lamb, fresh fish from the Gulf, chicken, bread, lots of cumin, and rice. Everything was delicious. We attempted to eat with our hands, which is a lot harder than one may think. Since only the right hand is used, tearing bread and bits of meat is far from easy, and I expect a few hand cramps before long. However, our driver (a native Omani), broke a lamb bone with his thumb and ate rice more gracefully than most people can drink a glass of water.
Tomorrow we are touring the breathtaking Grand Mosque, and visiting the US Embassy. Our orientation period runs until Wednesday, when we’ll move in with our host families.
Pictures to follow!