Tuesday, November 15, 2016

Wealthy White Male Meets Kaboose, the Absolute Monarch

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Oh man, is Oman a place to visit. Tourism in Oman has blossomed in the last forty years. Oman’s capital in Muscat was named the number 2 place to visit in 2012. Thats pretty good!
It is for this reason I decided to go there with Popo and Dingbang. Popo was scared at first, the Arabic language gives him headaches, but many of the people involved in tourism spoke english. We went out to dinner at a very nice restaurant the first night and it only cost about 30 Omani rial (only about 75 USD for the three of us). I had a Mashuai, which is a whole roasted Kingfish. Dazzling, very delicious, particularly fancy in Omani culture. This traditional meal satiated our bellies, and we went back to the hotel. Our room cost 60 rial, or $150 USD. This price was well worth it, the service was exquisite. A man named Walood helped us to our room and I tipped him a hot 50 rial note. He was very a very personable lad. Muscat is a bustling city. The Sultan, or king of Oman is Qaboos bin Said al Said. He’s 76, but I’d say he looks pretty good for his age. He shall henceforth be referred to as “King Kaboose”.

I requested to meet him, and he agreed. We met up at the Al Alam Palace, the ceremonious palace of the Omani Sultanate. It is a very unique, somewhat small palace of bright colors and unorthodox architecture. It was interesting to have a meal with an absolute monarch. King Kaboose overthrew his father in 1970, and has since kept a perfect complexion and a very classy beard. His beard has turned white, his turban has become colorful, but his spirit of Omani pride has held steadfast. Kaboose refused to be swept into Saudi Arabia’s influence, as much of the region was. This idea of independence has made Oman the center of non-oil industry in the GCC area. Kaboose’s kitchen servants brought us delectable kebabs of beef, grilled to perfection. We also had Mashuai, a kingfish dish I found unappealing after one bite. I like most foods, but this was nasty. The Kaboose took no offense. Popo and Dingbang sat quietly whilst Kaboosey and I talked about economic sectors and such. What a good week.
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