Back. Wolverhampton. London. Courses. Eid

I had a good break, fully rejuvenated and fresh to start blogging again. Also, packed with great knowledge and a good boost of confidence to go back to work next week!

This is what my journey looked like, I’ll try to make it short and simple for you readers, so respect that and read on 😉

Have you ever used all modes of transportation in one single day, I proudly did for my trip from Muscat to Wolverhampton! Do I recommend it, a clear cut “NO”, it’s exhausting… but was great fun I must admit. We (the Mr. and I) were dropped off by car to the airport early morning, the 8th of September, took a comfortable flight to Birmingham airport, the tram to the train station, the train to Wolverhampton and our legs on a rainy evening to the hotel.

Wolverhampton:I expected a small town, I was mistaken it was a lively city just outside Birmingham. Fairly new, with shiny buildings, very different from those of old cities in the UK. The course was a 15-min walk from the hotel, not too bad, quite refreshing to start your day walking, considering the good weather of course. We’ve been quite lucky with the weather during our two week stay in UK this time, it doesn’t usually go that way!

The 2-day “Adult Stammering Intervention” course by two respected and well-known professionals in the field was phenomenal, in fact they declared that this was the last course they do together as one of them had already retired, call me “lucky”.

On the 12th, 4 days post-arrival, we took the train to London.

London:the city of diversity I’ll happily name it. You walk and hear 101 languages echoing back and forth, you do not feel outcast, you just fit in wherever you go. I remember hating London so much when I was younger, the last time I was there was with family, I was say 15 at the time. My father is not exactly calm, just imagine what he’d be like in an underground station trying to catch the next tube, with children roaming around fascinated by things they’d never seen before. His temper evaporates, then condensates on me to give me a tainted image of London for some 11 years, an image of rush and fury that is. London has definitely managed to erase that old image, I actually now understand why people go head over heels in London. I cannot imagine myself living in London, it’s too “hype” for my liking, but I totally understand those who love it. The city has changed drastically, it’s become exceptionally diverse.  Walking and staring that’s what you do when you’re going around. You just enjoy looking at people rushing, hugging their plastic cups of coffee in one hand (here we go with the love of coffee again!) and a bagful of papers or a laptop in the other! All minding their own business. I particularly liked the formal looks on people from head to toe, actually from head to ankles (in suits), their foots in casual trainers for a comfortable run to and from work place! What a sight. Love life, love London! 

Why was I in London again? Oh the course! The second course was the Palin PCI (Parent Child Interaction) for early childhood stammering, in simple language, Stammering therapy for preschoolers. The course was top notch, well structured and beautifully presented.

Practical for Omani culture? I don’t know! From the title you can tell what it’s all about; the aim of this therapy is to promote parent-child interaction, it’s achieved by recording video tapes of each parent playing with the child. Mother playing with her child (acceptable, but video recording this interaction, typically not!). Father playing with the child (not culturally acceptable, recording it, no problem). Go figure! I’ll have a hard time applying this exact strategy, I’ll have to make a few adaptions, until we’re more open to this notion of video recording the Ma’s and convincing the Fa’s that going down to your child’s level and actually playing can help in stammering. We’re a practical nation, the first thing parents usually ask in clinic after my long session of reassuring, explaining and choosing a therapy method is: “shai duyaat?” (Any medicine?). You just love them, so simple, get the medicine and go home!   

On the 20th of Sept, Eid was announced in London, we broke our fast one day earlier than family in Oman! I could’ve made it to Oman for eid, but it would have been extremely tiring to celebrate eid right after an 8-hour travel. Another reason or the “hidden agenda” to be more precise is because I had made plans to meet some special cousins namely; Miss.W, the well-known Kamakazy and Soulmate -yes, she’s behind the comments around this blog-!

This may sound harsh for some or illogical to many, but I enjoy Eid abroad just as much as I enjoy it at home. Eid has its special scent that follows you wherever you go! As long as I’ve got some family members around, I do not mind it one bit. We’ve had waffles and coffee for breakfast, instead of the meat and rice ( Arsiya- usually served on breakfast, day one of eid). Then, had the best shawarma anyone can ever dream of, in fact I’ve read reviews on the internet suggesting that it is the best Shawarma in the whole world. HEAVEN… Shahrayar can tell you all about it, he secretly got himself another bite of that heaven the next day (while I was shopping with Soulmate)!  

Not to bore you and prolong this post longer than it is now, I’ll leave you with the taste of shawarma in your mouth. Don’t bother getting one from wherever you are, that London shawarma was exceptional!

I’ll get back with more stories about this trip, oh and pictures also coming soon. No not of the shawarma unfortunately, I wouldn’t share the mouth-watering Tehini with my camera 😉

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Between Scotland and Muscat

Between Scotland and Muscat my adulthood life is divided.. Let me do the calculation:

  • 2001 – 2005: Scotland, ages 17 – 21
  • 2006: Muscat
  • 2007: Scotland again
  • 2008 – 2009: Muscat

Since I’m coming to a close balance of years between the two cities, or the two worlds actually, I thought I owe those two lovely places a fair comparison review.. before one of them over-rides the other and now that both worlds are still fresh and ever gorgeous in memory!

Muscat: this is my home town, that’s where I spent “most” of my childhood (there was a lil bit of Salalah and Nizwa in between). Muscat is the capital of Oman, a country in the politically overwhelming Middle East but dwelled in peace, just like a steady boat on a tsunami! It’s a vibrant city, sitting in between gigantic mountains, overlooking the coast on it’s east and the desert on it’s west. The city is a fair balance between untouched nature, preserved culture and conservative modernity!

Scotland: My youth, my college years are spent in the marvellous city of Edinburgh. I need not write about where Scotland is or where it sits, it’s well known to the most ignorant. It’s a beautiful place to live; very diverse and cosmopolitan. Boosting with multi-nationals, yet the natives manage to maintain their ever friendly character to all. Where nature and modernity go hand in hand, you’ve got a line of high street shops on your left, and a magnificant view of majestic Edinburgh castle sitting right on top of a green mountain on your right.   

About my life in Muscat:

  1. Peaceful, Safe, Secure…
  2. Close family bonds, great most of the time but can get over the board at times
  3. Limited independency, not that I mind. It’s good to have company!
  4. Extravagant lifestyle. Maid, car, bigger house
  5. Cheap, everything is affordable.
  6. You’re locked-in the society, I call it extreme social pressure. Weddings, funerals, invitations, visits….etc!
  7. Better working hours, you’re home by 2.00 pm!
  8. Not very pleasant weather! The winter is good, average around 25 degrees.
  9. Having the sun shine on you all year long is a bliss sometimes. Winter and Summer day times do not vary much (Summer sunset @ 7pm, Winter sunset @ 5pm) 
  10. Limited outdoor activities. But that’s Ok, we have enough social gatherings to attend
  11. Culture, tradition and religion that parallels my own. I do not feel outcast
  12. You’re pampered everywhere. Someone pumps your car up with petrol at the station, your groceries are brought to your car. You get your car washed for free while you shop (Free car wash at City Centre now!)

About my life in Scotland (Edinburgh, Glasgow, Aberdeen):

  1. Ultimate independency. Time is mine, place is mine. I decide where I want to go, when I want to go
  2. I look different, I feel different. It was home but it didn’t always feel home
  3. Better weather, well, unpredictable though
  4. Winter times are so depressing, Sunset at 3.30. Compromised by beautiful summers, sunset @ 10pm!
  5. Practical lifestyle, I wear what I want, no judgments thrown my way
  6. Where your feet are your primary mode of transport. Very central, your everyday needs are a few steps away
  7. Expensive..
  8. More time spent by myself. Not always a bad thing, I loved the tranquility
  9. Nightlife is not as safe. Drunk zombies, racist remarks
  10. No shopping after 5! Come’on, so un-cool
  11. There is always some new place to visit, new town to go to, a park hidden between the bushes!
  12. No Halal food everywhere, you discover the vegeterian side of you and learn to love oily burgers at dodgy places, just because they’re Halal

 

Here is a photographic touch of the two places I dearly hold in my soul, heart and mind:

Muscat:

Muscat

Muscat

 

Scotland:

Scotland

Scotland

 

If you were given the choice, where would you live? Or if you’ve lived in either of them or in similar cities, how was/is it?

Would like to know 🙂