Sunday, January 04, 2009

Barefoot in 2009

Happy new year, everyone.

Today was the first working day of 2009. All the talk in the office this morning was about what a bad year this might turn out to be. People were joking about ordering 200 baisa sandwiches from the cafeteria instead of the 2 rial sandwiches from Costa Coffee two buildings down. It was all light hearted, but there's no doubt that there's a lot of fear in people. 2009 is definitely not looking to be an easy year. Oman's budget has a 2 billion dollar deficit, and that's an optimistic estimate based on oil priced at $45 a barrel.

Around 9am, ColOman called me to ask if I'd go along with him to an 3aza in Muttrah for the death of his friend's sister who died of cancer a the very young age of 27. I don't personally know the family but the news of her death yesterday had really gotten to me when I heard the news, so I went with him. We gave our condolences and sat in the 3aza for about fifteen minutes before we got up to leave. When we reached the door I couldn't find my na3al (sandals). I suppose someone might have mistakenly worn them and left because there was another pair close by of the same brand, almost the same design, but a smaller size. Then again, I wear size 45 and very few Omanis wear my size. It's not likely for someone to wear them and not notice the size difference. I ended up walking out barefoot. Good thing, I had my car keys with me or else I'd have had to go back to my office barefoot as well to get them. I had ColOman drop me by my car at work and I drove barefoot home to get another pair to wear. What was supposed to be a quick half an hour outside the office ended up being about two hours.


Angry In Oman said...

Oh my goodness! I always wondered if that happened a lot at mosques because of the piles and piles of shoes outside.

I'd be so upset if someone took my shoes. I've never driven barefoot before. How interesting for you.

muscati said...

In this particular instance, the mosque was not full and there wasn't a pile of shoes outside. In fact, this particular mosque has shoe racks inside the mosque so you don't have to take off your shoes on the pavement or steps outside. Since the mosque was quite empty I didn't even bother to put you sandals in one of the pigeon holes in the shoe rack. I just took them off on the floor next to the rack.

I think I was the last guy in Oman who had yet to suffer through losing his shoes at the mosque.

Driving home barefoot wasn't a big deal, except for the symbolism I suppose. Back when I used to drive a stick shift, I used to take off my sandals when I drove. Nasty habbit. I'd come home every day with the blackest feet.

ColOman said...

times a hard............ maybe the thief will sell it or better off cut it and use it :)

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