Tuesday, 23 April 2013

A Night at the Opera

In Oman, the world runs from connections. You are who you are and you do what you do because of where you’re from and who you know.

I’ve apparently met the right people. Through a crazy line of connections, I met a particular pair of kind, interesting, and important people. After a night of enjoyable conversation, they invited me and a friend to the Royal Opera House this past weekend.

Constantly being surrounded by abayas and dishdasha, going to the opera was a bit of a shock. It has been a while since I saw a gathering with so few dressed in typical Omani dress code. A handful still dressed that way, but the audience was largely foreign and other Omanis make different fashion statements. Unaware at the time of what was appropriate, a friend lent me a dress of her own. 

The opera house is very new. I believe it was built in the last few years. It’s beautiful, though. Very impressive. There was a lot of controversy when it was being built, though. Many of the Musqati (the people from the capital) were in favor of it, but the outer dakhiliya people from the interior were very against the construction. Many believed that there were better ways to spend the money. People don’t pay taxes here, but the Sultan’s spending affects the whole country. 

We almost didn't make it. We found a ride at the last minute and rushed to the center of town. We walked into the opera with just seconds to spare before the doors closed.

Being here without a car has made me appreciate driving so much more. There are so many places to go, but without a car it's nearly impossible to go. You can't meet people, and those you do know become weighed with the "responsibility" to drive you around. 

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