Thursday, 14 April 2016

Oh, Man! I'm in Oman!

While enjoying our time in Victoria (BC), I was aggressively pursuing employment anywhere in Canada. I received a few AMAZING offers...But none were in Canada. I was faced with the sad reality that I'd never be better than an ESL instructor. Now, this is NOT a dig at ESL instructors. In fact, some of my nearest and dearest work in the field of ESL, but it was a tough pill to swallow. After having my pathetic pity party, I had an ample bit of red wine and replied to the inquiries. Only a week later, I was celebrating my 34th birthday in Vancouver with one of my oldest friends from elementary school, Vern, her Italian Canuck and the Irish chef. I'm so thankful I was surrounded by incredible people. We ate, drank, talked, enjoyed Vancouver and relaxed as I knew I'd soon be returning to Ontario, a pit stop on the way to Oman.

*WARNING: I can't remember where any of these eateries are :(   I win worst food blogger of the year!

 Pork tacos were AMAZING here!
 I got yam tempura tacos and they were super duper amazeballs!

Birthday Dinner: Thai food!!!
Yummy LOCAL ginger beer :)
I love how the west coast capitalizes on organic, local and green ideas...not new ideas, but somehow people buy into it.
 My coconut milk concoction with coconut rice!!! YUM!!!
 The Irish chef ordered red curry
 Vern and her man both ordered pad thai :)
 Walking the seawall with my long-time friend, her man and their pooch, Brunswick
 Even though it was cloudy, there was no rain (THANK GOD!)
Dare I hope for sunshine?!?

*I'm very sorry for the lack of pictures, but I lost my phone with a TON of my pictures in Dubai airport*

I made it back to Ontario just in time for a snowstorm that paralyzed the city. I was able to put the car up for sale, clean out and organize our storage unit and then re-pack my bags for Oman. Meanwhile, the Irish chef spent time with his family in Saskatchewan. A few days prior to leaving for Oman, I was hit with the realization that I was actually going back to the gulf. The gulf was the place I'd sought asylum from Habibi only a few years earlier, the place that brought me back to life after all the loss, the place I'd met the Georgian lady, my Polish flatmate, My Lebanese roomie and the Irish chef. I just hadn't envisioned returning so soon.

I'm currently located in a quiet, private location. It allows me to re-evaluate, plan, dream, write and remember why I wanted to teach in the first place. The Omani are incredible people: humble, kind, quiet, patient, humorous and generous. They're curious and have a keen interest in the world around them because, unfortunately, they don't travel much outside of Oman and the UAE. I've stopped planning so much and I'm trying to live in the present...Not the future...Or the past.

Enjoying Oman:

I arrived at the office one morning to these GORGEOUS roses!
 Also came in to see these! I don't know what they're called though :)

The Irish chef and I were invited to a South African Braai in Muscat in March. The chance to enjoy a night out with new friends, pork beer AND wine was enough to entice us, so off we went! It was pretty great :)  The morning after, shockingly, we were hungry, so we headed over to D'Arcy's Kitchen.
 At D'Arcy's Kitchen in Muscat: MINT LEMONADE!!! I was pretty happy!
 The Irish chef's American-style breakfast 
My eggs benny with lox!!! The lox were a sign I was missing BC :(
 We took a detour to the beach on our way home from Muscat.
 I was perplexed by these weird-looking patterns in the sand.
 Also perplexed at this, too...Clams flatulating?!?
All these shells were a bit painful to walk over :S

If travelling is indeed my fate, then I need to enjoy it now as much as I can because circumstances won't always allow it. I've been holding off on discussing why exactly I left Kuwait, but it's been almost 2 years now. My father's been diagnosed with Alzheimer's and my sister had been left on her own with him while I was in Kuwait and it wasn't fair for me to leave her alone to deal with everything. Now, we're trying to figure it all out together, the four of us: my sister, my father, the Irish chef and I. We are family. Get up ev'rybody and sing!!! With this new turn of events, I commend caregivers worldwide. For two years I've watched my father, a man who obtained his PhD in chemical engineering and an MBA from a prominent business school, struggle with common, every day things. Now, his English vocab is fading (he is fluent in English and Japanese, but Japanese is his mother tongue), and I wonder if losing my mother instigated, or accelerated this...I don't know. I do know most days that my family and I are still lost at best.