Sunday, January 04, 2004

Camel Jockey

Today we went for a camel ride in The Wahiba Sands

What a way to recharge after a week of wedding parties! Weddings are celebrated much differently here than in the West. Men and women have functions separately, and there is no alcohol(obviously), music or dancing. I guess this eliminates drunk relatives doing the funky chicken. The food is fantabulous, and there were 700 women at the henna and the wedding ceremony. One interesting tidbit - there is no concept of lining up politely for the buffet. No matter, my years of boarding NYC subways prepared me for this.

Before we arrived in the desert, we saw the local market in Sinaw. They have an open-air square for everything you could need, from fresh fish to frankincense. The women wear a strange mask to cover their face, almost like a Batman Halloween costume. They tried to sell one to my aunt, and Michele almost bought her one as a joke.

Truth be told, this isn't completely a desert, as there is some vegetation, albeit very sparse. We met up with a Bedouin family who offered us coffee and dates. Riding a camel is quite fun, except for when the camel gets up and sits back down. I got a huge cramp in my side when it got up. My uncle affectionately referred to his camel, and all other after that, as Joe (God bless American advertising). Afterwards we arrived at a campsite for the evening. It was comfortable yet rugged, the cots were sleepable, and there was running water, though I avoided the cold shower.