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New Year’s Eve In Muscat

New Year's Eve, Muscat, Sultanat of Oman, Arabic Peninsula

New Year’s Eve, Muscat, Sultanat of Oman, Arabic Peninsula

No shoes! Arriving in Muscat, Heidi stared down at her sneakers and realized they were still soaking wet from walking through the pools at Wadi Shab… But those were all she had. It was New Year’s Eve and we could not see ourselves in another cheap Indian restaurant where leaving a trail of muddy water behind might not have been noticed. Searching for presentable shoes we learned Omani hypermarkets have everything you can possibly think of, including sandals.

The next issue was a bit trickier. Where should we spend the very last evening of 2012? The only place to get a drink was in a big international hotel, but studying the horribly expensive dinner menus on their websites was sobering. All we wanted was a nice place to welcome the New Year with a drink.

The Radisson Blu seemed the cheapest place to do so. Well, seemed… Onion rings for no less than 7 Euro (!) at their Irish Pub made us leave like a flash. Our New Year’s dinner was the prolongation of our Omani diet – Indian food and excellent fruit juice. Itchy to know what excitement a visit to a real bar might bring, we eventually went back to the Radisson. Exciting it wasn’t, but weird for sure – a bar full of beer – drinking Omani men watching Egyptian videos featuring the most daring dancing and advertisements.

A glass of sour house wine and then we quit, long before midnight. The best part of this New Year’s Eve was to be away from the terror of firecrackers that plague Vienna for days around this time of the year…

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