2017 total: $12105.73


Maybe That's It

I've been trying to figure out the words that describe the feeling that followed me everywhere for a few days while in the Middle East, but I can't. There are no words for a place that is stunningly beautiful and filled with amazing and kind people, but yet ... something is off. It was at lunch in Oman that I had a moment where I came the closest to identifying the "off," but I never really got there.

All through the Middle East, I managed to eat the wrong foods in the wrong places. There was dinner at an Irish pub in Oman, Italian in Bahrain, and all sorts of other oddities. Indian for lunch in Oman sort of made sense, all things considered. As I sat with my colleagues discussing work things, a small table filled with women caught my eye. There were three of them, and each was as stunningly beautiful as the next.

They were all dressed in traditional Omanian clothing, which is to say an abaya and a hijab. Just for the sake of clarity, their hair was covered, but I could see their gorgeous faces. Each of the women exuded a quiet confidence that seems common among young women in their late 20s in the region. There is no doubt that they chose to be dressed the way they were dressed and that they were confident in that choice.

And they were happy.

As they discussed what I'm sure were important things and dined on fantastic foods, they laughed. And THAT is when it struck me - I hadn't previously witnessed any joy radiating from those I encountered. No one seemed particularly angry or sad or anything like that. They were just ... serious. Lacking joy. But for a brief minute, joy rang out at that little table in the back of the Indian restaurant in the middle of Oman.

Maybe a day in each country isn't enough time to see it, but maybe that's what it was. Maybe the "off" was that it was harder to find joy than I am accustomed to.


And then there was Bahrain




Another Day, Another Airport