Monthly Archives: February 2011

Born again

One of the disadvantages of being an Alexander is the persistence with which people keep trying to change your name; company bureaucracies and hotel receptionists being the worst offenders.   Here in Oman I’ve encountered a novel, Arabian twist on … Continue reading

Posted in Bureaucracy | 1 Comment

Old Ibra

I’m finally mobile now that my bike is in working order, so today I went to see Al Munisifeh, the old town of Ibra.   Just outside it is a cemetery which has the pleasing minimalism often found in Islamic … Continue reading

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Looking Up 2

A few more constellations: Perseus, with the Pleiades on the top left.   The constellation runs from the Pleiades to the bottom right, with a branch going left to Algol, just below the middle of the picture. More detail of … Continue reading

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Getting Connected

When I got this flat, I vaguely wondered what kind of arrangements there might be regarding utilities, but never quite got round to asking.   It became an issue when some men came round to install my cooker. “No gas!”, … Continue reading

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Looking Up

One advantage of my balcony area is that I can set up my tripod, point the camera at the stars, and use my computer to find out what the hell I’m looking at.   So far I’ve found: Orion, tilted … Continue reading

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The Joy of Arabic Script

Probably the one thing that everyone knows about Arabic is that it’s fiendishly difficult, due to the grammatical complexity, the bizarre noises that masquerade as phonemes, and the incomprehensible squiggly script.   The last of these is actually not a … Continue reading

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Man who stares at goats

The goats I mentioned in an earlier post came by again today, and this time I had my camera ready.  First the flock in the distance: One eary fellow (as you can see, they really are very hairy indeed): And … Continue reading

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Tour of Ibra

First weekend after moving into my flat, and I was finally able to get out and see some of the rest of the town.   Many of the hills around here are topped by towers, so I climbed up to … Continue reading

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Eating and drinking in Ibra

Oman is not, it must be said, the best country for a vegetarian.   Although there are wonderful salad-type things around (tabbouleh, fattouch and so on), they’re considered a mere prelude to a big hunk of mutton.   Sitting down … Continue reading

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