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  • hardie karges 3:19 pm on January 9, 2015 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , Filipino, , Kish Island   

    Warm Cheesy Kish: Iran Lite 

    Iran Light: Smoke 'em if you got 'em

    Iran Light: Smoke ’em if you got ’em

    December 2009

    So when I’m going through security check in Dubai, bound for Kish Island, Iran, they call me over for further scrutiny.

    “You have Caesar’s…” the nice lady says.

    I have Caesar’s what…face…bearing…sex appeal? “Excuse me?”

    “You have Caesar’s…” she repeats. The security lady starts making a cutting motion with her fingers.

    Hey, now, don’t start cutting anything. We just met, and I haven’t said anything the slightest bit inappropriate. You want to have a baby by Caesarian section, is that it? Ohhh…  “Scissors? Yes, I have scissors, but they’re blunt ones, not sharp.”

    “Let me see.”

    So I show them to her and she takes them over to her supe. He shakes his head, “Not allowed.”

    “But I pass security with these all the time; they’ve been approved,” I whine, but to no avail. They confiscate my Caesars… scissors. (More …)

    • Esther Fabbricante 3:24 pm on January 9, 2015 Permalink | Reply

      I always wonder if this is current – like, happening now?
      Enjoyed. We have an Iranian who built a mansion on Trickhambridge Rd., Brandon.

    • Esther Fabbricante 3:25 pm on January 9, 2015 Permalink | Reply

      I read this post on Facebook – and made a comment. Very interesting.

  • hardie karges 2:37 pm on January 5, 2015 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , Muscat, Oman,   

    O, man: not-so-Jitterbug in Muscat Land… 

    Muscat, Oman, by the sea...

    Muscat, Oman, by the sea…

    December 2009

    Muscat is like many other white-washed Mediterranean cities; only one difference—it’s not in the Mediterranean. These Arabians sailed the Seven Seas, and once ruled East Africa, and not so long ago either.

    Muscat is one sprawled-out city, a hemmed-in port eternally looking for leibenschraum, and able to leap tall mountains at a single bound: ancient city tucked away in a little corner; the slightly newer Mutrah right around the rocks down the beach, sliding up the hill and over the ridge until it finds a valley and becomes Ruwi, right before it spreads out to infinity.

    Muscat past perfect

    Muscat past perfect

    There are distinct parts to Arabia. If Yemen is the poor but pure descendant of ancient Arabia, and UAE the Arabia of a sci-fi future, then Oman is somewhere in between, and something totally distinct. Africans, Pakistanis, and Baluchis here go way back with Oman; also ancient connections with other parts of the peninsula, including Yemen, with which it shares a border.

    The Muscat souq is certainly atmospheric, frankincense and all that rap, but other than that there is little on offer, and what there is, is expensive: hundred-dollar city tour, etc… Muscat may be a bit cheaper than the oil-rich Gulf States, but not by much, and nobody’s giving away Wi-Fi with the rooms, available for purchase only. Much of Oman is simply generic Arab and international Muslim, interesting enough if you don’t need any anti-freeze in your system.

    Muscat souq

    Muscat souq

    …the big travel news is a bit beyond my control, the British Airways pending strike that got suddenly called off… guess I’ll spend New Year’s Day with my wife after all…catch the ONTC bus from Muscat back to Dubai, walking the mile or so to the bus station as the sun also rises…. get into Dubai after a seven-hour drive and border-crossing, go straight to the four-buck Indian buffet close by and proceed to pig out…

    …walk over to the Kish Airline office and get the ticket for the flight I’ve booked to Iran… seems like that’s a visa run for Emirati ex-pats, particularly Russians, one of whom shows me how to cheat the local telecom there for sending SMS’s free. She also cautions me not to trust any local Iranians there. The fact that a Russian is saying this to me is a fact not lost on me…

    Men make up the rooms in the Dubai hotel where I stay, for reasons that I can easily surmise. I’m starting to get slightly antsy about the trip to Kish Island, not that I suspect anything weird about it, mostly that I just don’t know anything about it. I don’t have much to lose, though, since the flight and my shared accommodation is no more than what I would pay anywhere in Dubai. If you don’t go, then you don’t know…ไม่ลอง ไม่รู้

    • Esther Fabbricante 3:20 pm on January 5, 2015 Permalink | Reply

      Is this current? Sounds quite mysterious. But always interesting.

      • hardie karges 3:38 pm on January 5, 2015 Permalink | Reply

        2009 still, distant past, as will everything be for the foreseeable future… 🙂

  • hardie karges 2:21 pm on December 31, 2014 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: Burj Khalifa, Doha, , ,   

    Qatar’s Emerald City and Dubai’s Stairway to Heaven 

    New Doha

    New Doha

    December 2009

    …anxious to catch my early morning flight on Air Arabia from Yemen to Dubai; even pay a couple guys baksheesh to move my bags through the security scan ahead of others…

    …now I understand.  We’re leaving ten minutes early!  Now there’s a switch.  The serving crew doesn’t even speak Arabic… freelancers from Russia and the Far East.  I’m heading into a different part of Arabia, where locals comprise barely twenty-five percent of the population of their own countries and English is as much the lingua franca as Arabic.

    …good time to be in the Gulf, though, what with the world economy in a slump… hotels seventy-eighty bucks mere weeks ago, now forty-fifty…  You gotta’ be flexible.  (More …)

    • Esther Fabbricante 2:37 pm on December 31, 2014 Permalink | Reply

      Thanks for dating the post – all very interesting indeed. Happy New Year!

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