Saturday, September 29, 2007

Prostitutes. The word is prostitutes.

Yes. Prostitutes, the female kind. In bars, on the streets, in loosely organised brothels and independent message parlours. Prostitutes. Women being paid to have sexual encounters with men. Here in Muscat.

It's so blatant that for a while there was a sort of Drive-thru prostitute service available outside the Sheraton, Which Muscati and Wife blogged about brilliantly here.

I've been meaning to write about the prostitution here for a while. The thing that finally motivated me to write a little bit on the issue today was reading yesterday's HI! magazine. In it, here was a letter from a British expatriate, regarding last week's article on massage in Muscat. The guy pretty much pointed out the obvious, that a lot of massage parlours are a front for prostitution, or at the very least that a client can expect to have more than his back massaged as part of the service.

The Brilliant folks editing HI! thought is best to edit the word prostitute, among others, out of his letter. For a start, the editing was so butchered and incoherent me want to slap the editors across the face with a heavy thesaurus and ask them just what exactly the English language ever did to them to be treated with such brazen carelessness. Second, one would either have to be insanely naive or exceptionally pious or more likely both to not be aware of the amount of prostitution here in Oman.

There are prostitutes all over Oman. There are lots of men who are happy to pay them for sex. A lot of the men refuse to use protection, raising the chances of becoming infected with STI's or HIV. They can then transmit whatever they have acquired to other prostitutes, current or future wives and possibly unborn children. You only get one set of genitals, and you should be careful where you (or the person you are married to) go and stick them.

Regardless of how You or I might feel, there will come a point in time when the government, the media, and families are going to need to have some pretty uncomfortable conversations. Conversations about Protection from STI's, Human trafficking, Contraception. Conversations about the morality of prostitution and a man's commitment to his wife. Conversations about the government's decision to cover it's eyes and then claim not to see anything.

I'll leave you with a statement from a guy, Jack* whom I occasionally see in bars. Jack has a post graduate degree, and is employed somewhere rather high ranking in the government. Jack visits Prostitutes here occasionally, and really enjoys his "family" holidays to Thailand and Malaysia. I said I hope he's using a condom, because you've gotta be carefull out there. Jack said...
"don't be stupid, I don't go for the dirty girls. You can tell by looking carefully
if they are clean and taking care of themselves."

OK bud.... whatever you say.

More on this issue after Ramadhan, including a guide to the brothels of the city, and a few stories from the working girls themselves, as told to me.

Wednesday, September 26, 2007

Hi Ho, Hi Ho, it's back to work I go.

But first,

Today, I'm ranting and raving about our Ramadhan driving habits over at the Oman community blog. Go over there and lay the smack down on my hypocritical ass.

I'm going back to work for two weeks at the end of october. This will be the first real work I"ve done in my feild since I was pregnant. I'm excited and scared at the same time.

I am so excited to be back traveling, and around "my people". Folks who knew me when I was crazy and single, folks who don't know me as Someone's mother or Someone's wife. People who think I"m smart, funny, and talented, and don't give a shit who I'm married to. I will be a real person, for two glorious weeks of intense work and hopefully grace under pressure. It's like taking a bubble bath in reality.

I'm terrified to leave the baby and my husband for so long. I honestly can't remember how I used to be able to travel so much. I'll be out of town, but my heart will be scattered in a million little peices on the road between here and there.

That's all for today. More from here eventually about the human trafficing report, and whatever else is up my nose.

Ramadhan Kareem!

Saturday, September 15, 2007

We finally got a car!

Yes! a Car! That we can afford! It runs, has air conditioning, and isn't a prado, pajero, pathfinder, minivan, or Discovery.

Ramadhan is truly the month of miracles.

Wednesday, September 12, 2007

Overheard in Muscat.. again

Via text message

Mom: What do u suppose happens 2 the info on memory stick if you run it thru wash???
Son: Do you mean literally, or philosophically?
Mom: NOT PHILOSOPHICALLY! How 2 dry?

Which is rather profound, if you think about it... where, exactly does the information go?

Monday, September 10, 2007

I am a moron.

Today I left my phone on the roof of my car, and then drove off. Unbeliveable.

I have no idea where it is now, and it brings tears to my eyes to think of it out there all alone out there in the big bad world, cold and frightened.

Also, I had 500 numbers in the thing. Hmmph...

Wednesday, September 5, 2007

Overheard in Muscat

This is also cross posted over at the Oman Community Blog, because we could do with a laugh over there at the moment. Enjoy, and send anything funny that you have overheard to me at Otheroman (at) gmail.com

Careful mate, he might take you up on that.

Australian guy waiting in line, to Indian guy crowding him from behind: Look, If you get much closer mate, I'm going to have to ask you to use a condom.

What I want to know, is where did he learn the word Photogenic?

At the ROP labor / driving licence card place in Seeb
Officer who barley speaks English: Sit. Sit. You! Sit. gestures to chair facing camera
Lady getting her photo taken: Should I take my glasses off?
Officer who barley speaks English: Sit... Now, looking this. gestures to camera
Lady getting her photo taken: fluffs hair, smiles.
Camera: takes picture
Officer who barley speaks English: looking at photo, not good...blease, one more
Camera: takes picture
Officer who barley speaks English: looking at photo, not good.., one more
Camera: takes picture
Officer who barely speaks English: looking at computer screen, then at woman, then back at computer screen, You are not photogenic.

We have a lot of Acronyms around here.

Guy #1 : Reading from paper "... was Signed by PDO general manager blah blah, and a Representative from the MOG, Sheikh blah bin blah..."
Guy #2: What does MOG stand for?
Guy #3: That's the Ministry of Obfuscation and Gratuities...
Guy #2: You're kidding, Right?
Guy #3: Um. Sort of.

At the vet's office.

Telephone Ringing....
Receptionist: Good afternoon, Blah Blah vet's office?
Receptionist: I'm afraid the doctor is unavailable, can I help you?
Receptionist: I understand it's urgent, is there anything I can do to help you?
Receptionist: Covering Mouthpiece, to vet. this guy wants to know if he needs to take his kid to the hospital.... Because the kid drank from a glass after the cat did.
VET: rolls eyes, shakes head. Muffled laughter from other clients.
Receptionist: into telephone No sir, that's no problem, your child will be just fine. .... Yes, I'm sure....

Tuesday, September 4, 2007

Raisin Run / Sultana Scramble!!!

We have invented a new game. It is awesome. Sultana scramble. You need one hungry baby, ten minutes to kill before dinner is finished, a few gin and tonics, and a box of raisins / sultanas.

  1. drink a couple of gin and tonics*
  2. grab the raisins
  3. Put the Hungry** baby on the floor on one end of the kitchen***
  4. throw a handfull of raisins on the floor**** on the oppisite end of the kitchen
  5. Watch your child break mach1 enroute to the raisins, and laugh hysterically

* but no more, because we don't advocate intoxicated parenting here.

**but not starving, because we don't advocate cruelty to children here.

***which is free of hazards and anything dangerous, because we don't advocate harming your children for amusement here.

****which is clean enough to eat off. obviously....

Monday, September 3, 2007

I love words.

I was thinking about the way we use words to try and describe the indescribable. Love, Passion, Whatever... Here are the first four that came to mind. Feel free to add your own.

I can tell you taste like the sky, because you look like rain. - Morphine

Doubt thou the stars are fire, doubt that the sun doth move, doubt truth to be a liar but never doubt that I love - Shakespeare

The trick is not how much pain you feel - but how much joy you feel. Any idiot can feel pain. Life is full of excuses to feel pain, excuses not to live, excuses, excuses, excuses. - Erica Jong

Sometimes, after we make love, I swear I can smell cotton candy and oranges. Like the sweetness just seeps out of your pores and paints itself across my skin where your fingers have been. -unknown

Sunday, September 2, 2007

Have you ever heard of a Slim Jim?

It's a long, thin peice of sheet metal, with a few notches cut out of it. You use it to break into your car or your hose when you have accidently locked the keys inside. THat is why you occasionally hear of someone "jimmying" a lock.

Do any of you guys have people who park thier cars outside your house, in your parking area, and then empty all the trash from thier cars out all over your yard? Does that strike anyone else as a rather thoughtless thing to do?

Would it be innapropriate for me to Jimmie the lock on thier cars and dump the contents of the trash can next to the infant's changing table, and maybe the kitchen garbage inside? I would, of course re-lock the car when I was finished.

Seems fair to me.

Saturday, September 1, 2007

Thee Season for sharing and giving is almost upon us.

Not Ramadan you dumbass... The post-holiday sharing of germs and giving of diseases season! I wonder if August and September should be national Cover your mouth when you sneeze month.

I have a cold at the moment, and am doing my level best to make everyone around me as miserable as I am. Seriously, I can hardly belive some of the things I have heard coming from my own mouth. If we make it to the weekend without a divorce or physical assault occuring it will be a credit to my husband's patience, kindness, and determination not to find himself single in a country where available women are outnumbered by single men about 10,000 to one.

So, In no particular order, here are a few links I came across that have cheered me up today.

  1. Personae Urbana, a graffitti art alphabet book by the brilliant blogger Dutch @ Sweet Juniper
  2. Saudi Stepford Wife. She's like me, except she's smarter, more articulate, funnier, better educated, and will likely go to heaven when she dies.
  3. the amazingly funny overheard in New York website. If you like Overheard in Muscat, You'll love this.
  4. Go, Now over to the OCB and see what I've been thinking about the last few days. Really, I have a new post up over there. Go, and comment if you have the time.

More from here soon!