I think there must have been 800 people there, that would make the stampede The. Social. Gala. Event. Of. The. Year.... There were a lot of local guys, who made a dashing picture in dark colored dishdashas, handkerchief knotted round thier necks, sandals and cowboy hats. It was a scream. we had a fabulous time.
Being responsible, we arranged for Khalifa "faster than an english train" taxi to pick us up after and (somewhat) safely deliver us and a few other friends home. Here is where the night gets interesting. The ROP had set up a checkpoint ON CAMP and were checking the trunks of cars and Id's of passengers going in and out. Our van got pulled aside for a further extra special inspection- and the ROP guy started hassling us for our driver's lisences. The men managed to produce PDO member's cards, and we received a stern dressing down from ROP man about how we need to carry the Labor cards on us AT ALL TIMES.
Which is a little bit weird. Perhaps there's been some sort of sneaky mass illegal immigration of overweight, 50ish, balding, white men with post graduate degrees? The men were well and truly pissed off, clearly they have forgotten that we are not residing in a free country. You want freedom, go to America.
SO here's a couple of theories that we're floating. Let me know which one you think is an accurate protrayal of what's happening:
- It's high time to remind people about the regulations concerning drunken driving.
- It's high time to crack down on taxi's. It's much safer to drive after drinking instead.
- Someone high up at the ROP sent these guys out, and told them to hassle folks. Not wanting to actually arrest anyone, it was best for them to hassle those who were doing the right thing, while letting those who were not, proceed home unmolested.
- There is a real and present security risk at an event with 800 or so white floks, mostly from North America. What with the iranian consul trying to compile a list of all the Americans in the sultanate (for real) and who knows what other security risks, it was timely and appropriate to search cars and ensure everybody was who they claimed to be.
- all of the above...
Let me know your thoughts.