Wednesday, June 13: Mario and I have arranged to take each other to Muscat airport for our long summer holiday trips. While he is gone to Canada (St. John’s and Toronto) and Cuba, I am keeping his car at my house, starting the engine every few days to keep the battery in good working condition. He will do the same for me when I leave for my vacation after he returns.
Tonight is the night I take him to the airport. But first, in our usual fashion, we stop to take some pictures of the Royal Opera House, which has a pink glow to it from the setting sun. One thing Mario & I definitely share is a love of photography, although I see him and his camera as many steps above me!
We then head to the Left Bank, a restaurant/bar/lounge located beneath the currently-being-renovated Mumtaz Mahal restaurant. We sit out on the patio, surprised by the huge portable air conditioners that blow over the patrons, keeping the temperature moderately warm rather than sultry and sweltering.
We order some of the best appetizers I’ve had in a long time: chili-crusted prawns, duck spring rolls and warm goat cheese wrapped in pastry and smothered in cranberries. All of this we top off with a bottle of Merlot. “Delicious” is a word that doesn’t do this array of snacks justice. They are simply heavenly.
Mario and I have a good time, but as always when you must catch a flight or have an important appointment, there is that feeling of something hanging over your head. It’s difficult to relax fully when you know you have a big disruption ahead. I really don’t know if Mario feels this way, but I do.
I drop my dear friend at the airport, giving him a big hug. I’ll miss him for the next five weeks, as I’m stuck here teaching summer school. Many of my colleagues have already departed, or will do so soon, so I have no choice but to soldier on. Hopefully the next 6 weeks will not drag on too interminably!