Tuesday, November 17, 2015

Ooh La' La' Salalah

Jill from Canterbury, England
Jill sat and chatted with me, very animated, a smile beaming across her lovely face.  It was a sort of "free for all" kind of conversation with one thing leading to another.  I sat, nodding and urging her to continue.  She needed very little prompting, she had much to say and all of it was really interesting. She asked to have her portrait drawn.  Ready, I lifted my iPhone to snap some study photos to work from. Suddenly, and with great surprise, Jill became very pensive. I liked how serious she had become, as if the moment had taken on great importance.   

She was thrilled with the outcome.  So am I...another contribution to the Crew Fund!

The Sultan of Oman has a magnificent second home in Salalah.  It's the summer getaway for him, and others, who wish a respite from the brutally hot weather in Muscat.  I shook my head in wonder.  With winter approaching, it was blazing hot in Salalah.  Summer must be unbearable.

Its mountains grow frankincense trees and provided cave homes for Omani's up until the 1970's.  I found it unfathomable that people lived in rock shelters like prehistoric men.  Apparently the Sultan felt the same way, because he decreed that the rock shelters be closed and provided modest homes for all of his people.  In fact, every citizen receives land from the government at the age of 18 to build their own home.  The Sultan is a generous 76 year old man, rumored to have full blown AIDS. He has no children from a quick and early marriage.  His nephews will be fighting for his title when he dies.  

Our daughter knew one of these fellows in college.  He had proposed to her, wanting to whisk her off to Muscat, Oman.  We sent her photos from a previous visit of the palace she passed up for her "under renovation" house with a lot of "issues" in Chicago.  Still, she made the right choice!

As for Salalah, cement capital of the Gulf, it was a brief visit.  The highlight was the friendliest camel I've ever encountered.  He actually walked over to the tour bus, peeked inside and wanted to be admired by people.   I wisely kept my distance.  They are really very disagreeable animals, but, this one was a sweet fellow.

Vive la France!
Room for one more?

Sultan suncreen


  1. Hahaha! :) Chicago is tough to beat, issues and all!

  2. Chicago is a world class city and two of my favorite people reside there!