Quiet. Peaceful. Tight quarters.
The alleys of Nizwa, Oman are not entirely unlike the alleys from the classic Indiana Jones movie scene in the Middle East. But these alleys seemed too tight for some more rotund people traipsing around. The car barely fit through one area. Twas a tiny ride. I made it through but sweated it out. I only spent a few minutes edging forward, perspiration building on my brow.
Kids played soccer then mugged for the camera. I stopped to speak to an Omani man. He wished to know about my thoughts on Oman. I told him I had yet to visit a more friendlier people. He was pleased, noting how everything flows from the Sultan down to the people as far as openness, kindness and generosity. Culture reigns strong in Oman.
Kelli and I got lost for a few moments before finding our way again. One lad rode an oversized bicycle roughly 2 feet too big for his little body. His tiny frame did not match the big-framed bike. I felt a ghost town feel to the neighborhood. People seemed present but more than a few folks fled for greener pastures, perhaps literally in addition to figuratively.
By all accounts, Nizwa is a prospering town in the deserts of Oman. 2 massive grocery stores boasting a wide range of selections spoke to the prosperity of people in the region. Money flowed freely at restaurants and other places of commerce. Most folks drove humble rides but I spied the odd supercar here and there, though the number paled in comparison to the whips I saw in Doha, Qatar.
Signs for stores usually seemed laid out in Arabic and English. Most locals speak English semi-fluently, at least. I felt grateful because Kelli and I only spoke a few words of Arabic.
Note the container for animal feed. I dig the idea. Locals throw any veggies and fruits not consumed by humans into a cannister for cattle and goat feed. Brilliant idea because I reckon goat feed costs rise with the army of these guys in Nizwa and all around Oman. Goats are hearty animals thriving in harsh desert conditions. We saw more than one herd trekking around the desert during our rides in and through the region surrounding Nizwa.
Did you see Kelli in the video? She covered up per all Omani women. Covering your hair, arms, legs and breastbone is a sign of respect locals appreciate. Some tourists wore skimpy clothing. Few locals would call ’em out but the general lack of respect for culture sours both Omani folks and tourists alike, on some level, no doubt.
I even covered up my arms and legs per local male custom. Covering myself felt liberating because I did not need to worry about vain clothes debating, pondering how I could look good at the beginning of the day. One pair of sweatpants and thermal long-sleeved shirt later, I was set.
Enjoy the video by clicking the link below.