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Thursday, May 2: This week in Oman has been surreal.  It’s been raining some part of every day for over a week now.  In the entire 19 months I’ve lived here, I’ve never seen it rain this much or for this long a period of time.  Many students didn’t show up for parts of last week.  They were unable to get from their villages to Nizwa because of flooding wadis.

Inside Nizwa Fort

Inside Nizwa Fort

at Nizwa Fort

at Nizwa Fort

Nizwa Fort

Nizwa Fort

a door at the fort

a door at the fort

closeup of the door

closeup of the door

entering the fort

entering the fort

Looking down on Nizwa mosque from the fort

Looking down on Nizwa mosque from the fort

looking over Nizwa souq area from the Fort

looking over Nizwa souq area from the Fort

inside the fort looking up at the heavy clouds

inside the fort looking up at the heavy clouds

On top of the rain, we have been given a 3-day weekend this Thursday, Friday and Saturday.  Oman, as of May 1, is shifting its weekends from Thursday-Friday to Friday-Saturday.  I understand this shift is happening in order to line up Oman’s weekends with the weekends observed by the other Gulf countries.  After this weekend, we will have Friday and Saturday off each week.

an outdoor room at Nizwa Fort

an outdoor room at Nizwa Fort

the minaret of Nizwa mosque

the minaret of Nizwa mosque

Finally, since the weather has been hot, humid and threatening rain, since traveling is dangerous (people are often killed in Oman trying to cross flooding wadis), and since I sold my GMC Terrain and am now driving a tiny Suzuki Celerio, I cannot go out exploring wadis on this three-day weekend.  On top of that, I’m trying to save every penny for my month-long trip to Spain and Portugal on my way home to the USA at the end of June.  I consider going to Muscat this weekend to spend the day at a pool or the beach, but as rain clouds are still darkening the skies and money is in short supply, I decide against it.

Nizwa souq

Nizwa souq

Nizwa souq

Nizwa souq

Nizwa souq

Nizwa souq

pottery at Nizwa souq

pottery at Nizwa souq

more pottery

more pottery

arches hung with pottery

arches hung with pottery

the souq

the souq

So, what to do?

I decide to do some experimenting with my camera at Nizwa Fort and Souq.  To reflect the dreary day that it is, I take photos with the sepia setting.  Surprisingly, I find I like the atmospheric photos, which make the souq look like it’s in the middle of ancient Arabia, except for the modern-day cars.

When I arrive at the souq, I find the parking lot is slightly flooded.  The air is heavy and damp, unlike Nizwa’s usually dry air.  Cars are barreling through the flooded parking lot, and Omanis, Indians, Pakistanis & Bangladeshis are riding their bicycles through the water or rolling up their pants legs or pulling up their dishdashas to cross the water.  I go into Nizwa Fort and climb to the top to take some photos of Nizwa mosque and the town.  I walk through the souq and stop for a cold Lipton Peach-flavored iced tea.

the outside wall of Nizwa souq

the outside wall of Nizwa souq

a Bangladeshi tries to ride across the flooded parking lot on his bicycle

a Bangladeshi tries to ride across the flooded parking lot on his bicycle

the entrance to the nut souq

the entrance to the nut souq

the door to the nut souq

the door to the nut souq

in the nut souq

in the nut souq

Nizwa mosque

Nizwa mosque

Then, when I am thoroughly drenched in sweat, I return to my air-conditioned flat, where I put on my pajamas and hunker in for the day.

Yes, it’s a sepia kind of day in Nizwa.

looking from the bridge over the wadi to the souq

looking from the bridge over the wadi to the souq

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