Saturday, December 31: On the eve of the new year, two thousand twelve, otherwise known as twenty twelve or 2012, I go out with some of my dearest friends from the university. I won’t mention names here, but let’s just say that, although New Year’s Eve is almost always, without fail, a disappointment for me, this celebration is an exception. I feel that strange comfort that comes when I’m with people who accept me for I am, people who, surprisingly, may even LIKE me a little bit. I feel at ease, my guard is down, my heart is open. I like these kinds of gatherings, unforced, simple, but crazy fun and even a little wild.
I will tell it in a nutshell, and I will post some pictures, which will speak for themselves. A night of happiness. A rare thing, this, so I cherish it, and I must write it in my blog so I’ll remember it when I’m old and my memory is frail.
We gather at the Falaj Daris Hotel, the nicest hotel in Nizwa. Now, there is at the Falaj, as I’ve mentioned in previous blogs, the easy-going Western bar, which is really just a simple bar. It has chairs and couches, a TV set hanging in a corner, and pool tables in a back room. No music of any sort, live or DJ. And the worst service imaginable.
In addition, actually attached to the Falaj Daris, but with a different entrance, is an Arab bar. Another entrance yet leads to a Hindi bar. We meet this night at the Arab bar, so we can watch the “dancers” stand idly on stage in their skin-tight, shimmery floor-length dresses and twirl their hair.
Bored quickly with this, and having sampled one beverage each, we move on to the Hindi bar, which has a different kind of energy all together. Think Bollywood movies and the ending scene of Slumdog Millionaire, with lively dancers and Bombay beats and beautifully costumed girls.
Of course the entire time there is that easy banter that comes among friends who don’t have to prove anything to each other. Friends who just enjoy each others’ company and play gently off each others’ comments and jokes.
Later, because of the loudness at the Hindi bar, and the fact that we can’t huddle and talk because the customers are actually set up like an audience at a theater, in straight lines, we go to M’s house, where his wife S has set up an excellent little party with some kind of British crisps and salty butter spread and other snacks and beverages appropriate to the occasion.
Happy New Year! We have great fun, even though, somehow, we have to force ourselves up at the crack of dawn to teach school at the university, since New Year’s Day is not a holiday in Oman.
Best wishes for a wonderful 2012… 🙂