May 27th, 2014 | Tuesday
Today I was fortunate enough to tag along with Jessica and three of her Omani friends, Ahmed, Tebu, and Salim on their trip to Bimmah Sinkhole in the Hawiyat Najm Park. The water was perfect and the Sinkhole had many different places to swim. The shade towards the rock was cool, and the cliff towards the middle had sun shining on it perfectly. I could talk about it for the next two paragraphs, but the pictures do it more justice. It was remarkable.
Although I am the one seeing Oman, and you are the one hearing about it, I hope that my blog can encourage you to do what I’ve done this summer. Whether it is to travel across the state, across the country, or across the globe, immersing yourself into an unfamiliar culture will be an experience that you’ll remember forever. I’ve learned so much and corrected so many false perceptions just in the three weeks I’ve spent here in the Middle East. I am aware that not all Middle Eastern countries are like Oman, just like not all European countries are like France. But the people of Oman and the essence of this place has strengthened everything I believe about cultures that differ from my own. I’ve learned that we do not see things the way they are, we see things the way WE are. We judge every little thing with out even realizing it. We compare everything different from ourselves in a superior or inferior notion. Different doesn’t mean wrong.
Abayas, Dish-dashes, beef over pork, no left turns, arranged marriages, call of prayer over the citywide intercom, aggressive drivers, shisha on the beach, paying a quarter for a bottle of water, paying $15 dollars for a pack of bacon, drinking coffee in 100 degree weather, Audi’s over Ford F150s, no taxes, crowded midnight grocery runs, aimlessly honking for no good reason at all, parking fully on the curb, shopping carts in the middle of the mall…all very different from what goes on in Bentonville, Arkansas, but so so normal.