A Travellerspoint blog

Expensive Day in Oman

Well I got up this morning, and took the long walk up the hill to use the Sheraton wifi in the business Center. Except I couldn't log on. A password was needed (i discovered that yesterday someone else's password was in the computer, and that is how I was able to use it).

I figured out how I could use it-and I figured out that if I buy breakfast in the Sheraton's expansive (and expensive..as I figured out), lobby restaurant, I might be able to get the front desk clerk to give me a pass for the wifi. When I asked the hostess (from the Philippines I think) at the restaurant how much breakfast was, she said 14 Euros, (or so I thought)-that's roughly 7 times as much as I usually spend for breakfast-but it was a lavish buffet, and it wasn't horrible for the price. So I repeated back-14 Euros-correct? And she said yes. I agreed to it. When the server gave me the check-I learned it was $14 Omanian Reals-which is roughly $36.00. Now I told the restaurant manager that I could swear (and I repeated it) 14 Euros-and it totally went past him. He said he would find out the Euro conversion rate from the front desk. So It was $36.00-probably more then I spend on an entire day of eating. But I figured I was in the wrong-why would a meal in Oman-in the Middle East-be quoted in Euros?

And that buffet looked good, and it was good. There was smoked salmon, whitefish, hummus, grape leaves, expensive breads, feta cheese, cakes,-and that's just what I ate. I had 4 servings (at least). I don't think the staff believed I ate that much. I was sitting at a 4 top table-and after they cleared away my utensils, I took the utensils from the other 3 place sittings. I don't think the staff liked me much there at all. Here I was in goofy Hawaiian shirt and big rimmed hat, while the others we're either mostly older couples or business executives in suits and ties. But I was going to get my money's worth. (and I didn't eat again until dinner time-when I had some samosas from a stand-which came to around $3.00breakfast.jpg

The good news is that when I told the front desk clerk (and showed her the receipt) I was able to get on the internet-I spent a good 45 minutes on there. It's rare I get solid wired connection (vs wifi)-(and besides Burger King-which opens at 10:00 am-it was the only choice).

After that, I got on the hop on/hop off bus down the street. I took the bus to the parliament stop to get a picture (there was nothing else to do-it was guarded. I had to wait 1/2 an hour for the next bus-so I waited, the next bus came-and I got off at the Sultan's palace, which was a beautiful building. I met hundreds (Seemingly) kids in uniform, and took pictures with them. I then went to the national museum. I learned that Oman was a country for thousands of years-the Portuguese conquered years ago, but it was reclaimed. There we're many old fortifications. I learned that back in 1930-an explorer walked through the desert from Oman to Qatar, which was roughly a 60 day journey-and encountered Bedouin explorers , sand storms, etc. I learned this was repeated in 2015 by Outward Bound. I also found out that the ruler of Oman, Sultan Qaboos, took over from his dad, and in 1970-started the Renaissance. Before 1970, there was no electricity hospitals, etc. Today it is a fully functional, relatively modern country-but without the glitzy high rises of the UAE. Qaboos wants to retain the heritage and old look. I also learned that they are huge into fishing and oil (of course)-and thus are quite wealthy. By the way, Frankincense is grown here-from a tree. That is a lively sweet fragrance that basically everybody smells like.


After a few hours in the museum, I walked the 3 miles along the beach path, past old forts, back to the Mutra souk, (where I was yesterday), walked around a little, and sat by the promenade at sunset, people watching, and watching the MSC Splendida sail off. Then I took the public bus back downtown, to my office (at Burger King), where I am now.


Posted by DavidPearlman 09:12

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