Tuesday, July 13, 2010

oF jOuRneY aNd DesTInation

It is my second summer now in Dubai. My life is coming back to normal after the Great Depression in June. I enjoyed following my favourite teams in World Cup and going to Fitness First gym for work out. Although my favourite teams (France, Ghana, Holland) could not reach their intended destinations but the activities spent at 6.00pm and 10.30pm (Dubai time) almost every day and week end were worth its while. But it was quite tiring to watch the 10.30 pm match. By the time I watch the final match between Holland and Spain, I was half awake and sometime was in a dreamland !

In Dubai, peoples watch the matches either at homes, cafes, sport bars or public halls. There is no mamak restaurants here. The cost of subscribing to Al Jazeera channel is quite expensive so I decided to watch it with my friend in a cafe. Really..I think football match is meant to be watched with a crowd. It certainly was more fun than watching it alone at home.

Talking about my latest craze i.e Fitness First gym, so far I managed to be consistent in working out in the gym at least 3 times a week. Although to be honest I still struggle to finish my reps and lift heavier weight, I have started to like the after effect of every work out session. Like for example today, I joined my colleague Scott for his weekly RPM class during the office lunch hour at the Fitness First in DIFC. It was a group exercise on cycling machine and fuhhh...it really sweat my ass out. I thought I was going to feel tired and sleepy after lunch hour, but to my surprise I felt alert and refresh throughout the day. I think I can do this lunch exercise everyday.

Result First !

Alright...last Friday I drove out to Muscat again. It was an impromptu planning whilst doing a lunch on Thursday afternoon. The trip was planned by Jumper together with his 'couch surfer' friends - Radwan from France and Martin from Germany. It was another good road trip to Muscat. What made it interesting was because I had a very good company in super cool Jumper, Radwan and Martin. These guys are great travel buddies. To make it more interesting we even had a host in Muscat. Yousef was not only very friendly but also a generous 'couch surfing' host who offered us to crash on his couch and finished his large bowl of Tunisian style spaghetti. It was also my first encounter with a Tunisian bloke. Yeah, you probably is asking what do I mean by 'couch surfing'. I will get to its story later but if you can't wait, check THIS out.

We made a move to Muscat around 10.00 am on Friday morning. I voluntered to be the first driver since I decided to drive my Nitro and Jumper just finished his night shift at 8.00 am. By 2.00 pm we reached our first destination - Bin Ateeq Restaurant. This time we were lucky because there was a special menu on offer. The dish was called Shiwa', another traditional Khaleeji food. It was basically a generous serving of basmati rice topped with chunks of mutton. What made it so special because it was cooked under the sand. True bedouin style ! We had no problem finishing everything in less than 30 minutes. Everybody ate like a hurricane.

After lunch we headed to Sultan Qaboos Grand Mosque. We met Yousef at the mosque parking lot. He was so friendly that at first I thought he was a long time friend of Radwan. I performed my Asar jama' with Zuhr prayer and Maghrib before we drive to Yousef's apartment in Al Ghubra area, near the Grand Mosque.

At night we went to several hanging out places around Muscat City. There was not many activities to do and things to see. In one of the places we drove through, there was this stretch of street dubbed a Love Street by the locals. It was named so because there are a lot peoples who park their cars in the dark and make out with each other in the back seat. Funny thing was, the place is not only popular with lovers but also gay lovers ! And to sum up the story , I was told that Sultan Qaboos himself is gay and this has been an open secret in Oman...woohooo that's crazy stuff ! At last we decided to have kebab and shisha at a cafe near a seaside. Everybody was exhausted but we stayed at the cafe for almost 3 hours anyway.

The next day we woke up very late. I could not sleep at all, thanks to Jumper's vuvuzela..haha. But I was not feeling groggy or tired. As a driver, I planned to bring the group for a sight seeing in Ruwi area. After a very frustrating lunch (too much vinegar in my supposedly chinese noodle which turned up like a chicken salad !), off we go to Ruwi.

After a few photo shots we stopped by at Oman Dive Centre in Ruwi. To be honest nobody was planning to go in, but when the security guard asked us if we want to get in, everybody said Yes ! I like this kind of spontaneous adventure. Oman Dive Centre, as its name suggests is a diving centre in Muscat. But besides the diving equipments, they provide decent club-like facilities such as swimming pool, cafe, kayaks and benches. So for the next 3 hours we enjoyed swimming in the pool and open water, sun-bathing, boob-watching and ass-watching...hihi.

On our back to Dubai, we stopped by Yousef''s house. The intention was to say good-bye but Yousef was very generous to cook us meal, a tunisian style spaghetti ! It rectified my tongue which has been polluted with the sour noodle I had for lunch. After wiping up a big bowl of spaghetti whilst watching one of Yousef's favourite Hindi movie - Dostana, we finally said goodbye and drove out to Dubai.


Jumper and me

Road trip gang L-R: Jumper, Matin, Radwan and me

Shiwa' Lahm

Beach boys

Yousef the magnificent

I was very exhausted by the time I reached home. But the trip was one of the best spontaneous journey I had in Dubai. It was a road trip, a memorable one.

Road trip stands for hope - that somewhere, anywhere is better than here..


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