Joseph’s work week began again today so he was gone when I got up. Trish was just returning from a 6.5 km run. She had wanted to do 8 km but it was getting too hot.
We did a lot of nothing today. We chatted some and we played a card game. Later I played some computer games and John did Sudoku puzzles. Carrie retired to her bedroom to do some work. She will be glad to get her studio back in a couple of days when Trish’s holiday is over. She will be even happier when John & I go home and she can return to her normal routine. She and Joseph have made us all very welcome and are pleased we have come to visit, but I know from my own experience that even if you enjoy having company it is always nice when they leave and things return to normal. The sun was at the optimum angle for Trish’s sojourn to the rooftop just as we finished our card game. While getting her daily dose of sunshine she was able to connect with a friend of one of her Salmon Arm friends who lives here in Muscat. They plan to go see the Grand Mosque this evening.The Grand Mosque in Muscat is the largest mosque in Oman. The second largest is currently under construction in Nizwa.
Carrie texted Joseph a list of groceries she would like him to pick up on his way home (Poor Joseph and Carrie, they have never had to buy so many groceries so often.) and he told her that he had two vacation days to use up before the end of the year or he will lose them. So, he will be taking Tuesday and Wednesday off. He tries to not schedule holiday days that connect to Friday or Saturday as those are the weekend days here and if he adds a day off on to either of them the two days of the weekend are also counted as part of his holidays. It will be nice to have those two unplanned days together.
Oman has a population of 4 million people with 39% (to be reduced to 33%) foreign workers. It is the highest oil and natural gas producer in the Middle East that is not a member of OPEC. In 2012 86% of the government revenue came from hydrocarbons and in 2013 oil and natural gas accounted for 50% of Oman’s Gross Domestic Product. The country’s fiscal breakeven point for oil this year is $105 per barrel, so Oman needs the export price of oil to be near that figure to have sufficient revenue. With the price of oil dropping so much lately I am sure they are doing some serious number crunching.
Dubai uses gas turbines and CCPP(combined cycle power plants – I looked it up). Neither country has enough lakes or consistent water supply to generate hydo-electric power.Men and women in Arab cultures have separate social lives. Even if you invite friends into your home for dinner and the evening, the men and women will entertain separately. A wedding celebration has two components: one for the men, one for the women. Ahmed, our tour driver on the dune bashing expedition, was very surprised that Trish did not live with her parents. And even more surprised that she maintained her own three-bedroom house in another town from her parents. Women in some Arab nations are not permitted to drive cars. In Dubai all the taxis are the same beige color except for the roofs which were different colors depending on who owned the business (Joseph thinks they have all been amalgamated now even if the roof colors are still different). There are pink-roofed cabs that are exclusively for women who are going shopping unaccompanied by a male relative. As you can tell from the random observations and photos, it was a pretty quiet day at Villa Hanna in Muscat today.