Friday, July 24, 2009

Prasheel in Oman; Still Doin' It

First off, I found out Devin's father somehow found this site and follows his son's trip through here, so I'd like to say hello Mr. Szmata!

Secondly, almost everything at this point has already become very routine. I can pretty much sum up each day with: sleep all day, wake up, go to show site, go straight to the internet, go try to do a show despite the rain, go back to internet, attempt another show, go back to internet, go to the market, come home, stay up watching movies.

On day 5 of shows, luckily, we took a small break from the norm by taking a drive up the mountain before heading to the show site. It's a pretty steep drive, but that didn't stop Mohammed from never shifting down past 3rd gear, which didn't sound or smell too good for the clutch. Near the top, the road got interesting, but Mohammed managed to not kill us yet. At the top, there was a flower garden, mosq, and a bunch of random vendors; I bought some sweet corn.

Apart from that, everything else was as per usual at the site. We were allowed back in the marketplace tent again (only allowed in on Mondays and Saturdays), so we made use of that. Matt tried to haggle for a watch, but still wasn't happy with the price and declined. Devin bought a fitted cap from my friend, who also gave us a good price on knock off D&G, Adidas, Calvin Klein, and Louis Vutton underwear. Our first show was just a flatground show due to the mist, but our second one went as per normal.

The 6th day was even worse in terms of shows. The rain was too much for us to even do anything for the first one, but Fahad made us sit out there, which we think is pretty embarrasing. We get little children standing along the 'fence' (string), and asking us when we're performing (in Arabic), and we have to try to explain to them how its too wet and therefore dangerous. They don't really understand and continue to stand around waiting for a show sometimes. It was a little drier for the second show, and we all did some half-assed flatland tricks.

At home, we celebrated and went through almost a full bottle of vodka that we picked up at the Muscat airport on the way in. I think we still have 2 bottles left, but I'm skeptical we can make it last for the rest of our duration in Salalah. I think we also gave our driver Mohammed some money to pick up more whiskey for us this day, but he's an interesting character with lots of stories. For instance, Mohammed was with the police this evening after getting in to a bit of an accident in one of the roundabouts (they don't have major intersections, just roundabouts that Mohammed never slows down for, despite the signs stating to do so).

The 7th day, again, we just slept through the whole day, and arrived to a moist show site. The ramps were quite slick, so we did two half assed flatground shows again, yay. Since Fahad is getting frustrated with the lack of shows being performed, they reconsidered the option of putting up a large tent over us, and have begun setting that up. They have dug up a few holes and put it in short hollow poles for now. Plus, in my flat spots, they have dug up holes for said poles, changed their mind, and cemented them full again, but leaving a mess of dirt and concrete around the spots that I ride in.

We are now told that when we want to use our driver, we have to call Fahad who will then call Mohammed. Apparently us calling Mohammed wasn't working out too well, because Mo has been working for other people on the side, and when Fahad calls him, he lies and says that he's busy taking us around somewhere, despite us rarely using him because he rushes us when we're out, and very often takes off when he is supposed to wait for us. The next day, we call Fahad who in turn calls Mo, and we head to the mall. While I'm upstairs ordering some glasses, everyone else has finished shopping and is outside. There's apparently a bunch of British people looking to go grab some KFC before heading back to the Hilton, where they are staying, but the local cab drivers are trying to charge them a very excessive rate (5 riyals/person). Mohammed and Julien then chat them up, and they started piling in to our van for a rate of just 1 riyal/person, but the local cabbies aren't impressed, and blocked our van from leaving while exchanging words with our driver. The Brits eventually give up and start walking, all before I even return to the van.

In other Mohammed news, he was apparently in the hospital the previous night, for 'stomach problems'. We ask him questions, and it appears as if he has neglected to eat or drink water for the past 3 days, claiming he has no money, as he's been spending it all on prostitutes. As he drops us off at home, we tell him to come in to eat some of our food. Instead, he seems captivated by the vodka, as whiskey is the only alcohol he knows. We have to tell him multiple times the alcohol is ours, and that he even still owes us whiskey. He doesn't even eat and leaves.

Finally, on the 8th day, we are able to perform shows again. I can't even remember the last time we were able to perform both shows in one day properly. They go off well, and we head home. While having intentions to go to bed early such that we can get Mohammed to take us to the Crown Royal plaza in the morning, we all stay up till about 4am, then sleep most of the next day away as well, lolol.

Oh yeah, during the past few days, I've been trying to ride more and more at home, even though I'm riding on the road which is very crowned. What's probably even worse than this, is that within 5 minutes of me being out there, dozens of kids come over to watch, converse, and harass me. This one fat kid always seems to gravitate towards my bike when I'm in the middle of a line. Part of me thinks he actually wants to get hit for some reason. Same fat kid somehow knows how to say 'fuck you', and likes to repeat it over and over. I've started to ride with my headphones again (which I avoided to the cars coming down the road and such), and the kids still try to harass me. Ignoring them does do the trick eventually, but they still sit there and try to converse and harass me for the first half hour. Sigh.

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