Welcome to my blog. I write about fitting in, sticking out, and missing the motherland as a serial foreigner.

Oman with a baby

In the tradition of Miriam and Magdalena, Sterling hates the car. It is a stretch for us to even drive the 15 minutes to church without him fussing, and we not-so-fondly refer to his carseat as the Torture Chamber. It has been a source of anxiety for me these past months, knowing that my parents were coming to visit and knowing that we wanted to go to Oman, but not knowing how we would get through the car ride with Sterling. Oman is high on charm and adventure, but it is also high on driving time.

I was so relieved when we figured out a small, partial workaround, courtesy of Jeremy’s brain: Everyone Else (Grandma, Grandpa, niece, Jeremy, and the girls) left early Thursday morning, driving all the way down to Wadi Shab. That was the longest stretch of driving the whole trip, and Wadi Shab is not something one does with a 4-month-old. Sterling and I, meanwhile, flew from Sharjah to Muscat on a cheap one-way Air Arabia flight on Friday morning. Everyone Else picked us up at the airport and the trip continued from there. There was still some car fussing, but for the most part it worked out and I was able to end my streak of “no really, you guys go ahead and do Some Awesome Thing. I’ll be at home with the baby.”

Oman 2014 highlights:

Meeting Brooke (and her husband Max) at church in Muscat. On some level, I knew they were living in Oman, but it was so fun to not remember until they came up to me and introduced themselves IRL.

A peaceful Sabbath afternoon drive to Nizwa, chatting with Jeremy and listening to The Lower Lights as Sterling slept.

 Seeing a wasp (on the outside, thankfully…but actually, burrowing its way into the thatch wall, yikes), a few dozen mosquitoes, and a gecko within one minute of entering our “hotel” room (a thatched hut chalet thing).

Hanging out at the “hotel” “playground” in Nizwa with Magdalena and Sterling so Jeremy could catch a nap. I was trying to teach Magdalena a clapping-hands-rhyme thing (what do they even call those?) and we were laughing so hard that she peed her pants a little.

Nizwa Souq. We accidentally started out in the non-tourist section. I have not smelled that particular stink of fish/spices/rot since…Qatar, maybe? Also, the Nizwa souq – the definition of the back of beyond – had some apples for sale that were from the US.

Jebel Akhdar terraced village hike. We always think maybe we’ll do a different hike somewhere else. And then we always come do this same old glorious one.

Beehive tombs at Al Ayn (Oman).

The worst stretch of driving for Sterling was between Ibri and Al Ain (UAE). After that, he fell asleep and stayed asleep until we were home. I’m so glad he wasn’t screaming during the endless procession of stressful roundabouts in Al Ain. Seriously, better to be WITHOUT roundabouts than to misapply them as Al Ain does.

Traveling with Sterling was a little less spur-of-the-moment adventuresome and a little more “everyone take 15 while I nurse the baby. Again.” But I’m glad we went! Now let me never have to nurse/change a diaper in the car ever again. Amen.

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