Sunday, March 18, 2007

Because you asked

Hey Shean, thanks for the comment. It's good to know someone is still following along. I can't say exactly what it is about Oman that I liked. It's just the whole picture. I like countries that aren't heavily populated and have nice natural beauty. Must be that Canadian in me.... Oman is also clean, organized and has all the western amenities and luxuries as well, unlike a lot of the other countries I like so much. Oman really seems to be trying to distance itself from the rest of the middle east and do it's own thing so is much more tolerant and neutral than many and yet still cautiously growing and developing. The people are really friendly, there is no feuding between locals or aggression toward outsiders either. And for all that it is still not over-developed and over-touristed either. And you could work here and make a decent living as westerner unlike people that move down to Thailand or something. I'm sure there is still lots of crap too but it wasn't obvious to me.
As for Yemen, well, you don't know why it is wild because I haven't told you yet. I have to keep you guys wanting more don't I? Yemen is not developed from a tourist perspective and has no oil reserves so is really poor too. It had a nasty civil war that ended a while back but the last decade has seen numerous foreigners kidnapped. Not the terrorist kidnappings that you are thinking of today but by unruly tribal people as a means of talking to the government and getting noticed. Nothing usually happens to the tourists. Add to it that many parts of the country are still off limits to tourists and that many of the locals walk around with a very large traditional knife tucked into their belts or carry Kalashnikovs and it is easy to see why it has the reputation it does. It is picking up as a destination for experienced tourists looking for somewhere still "authentic" and I really wanted to see it before it changed much.
So far it has been really nice. Very little english spoken around here though so not easy. I am in Sayun in the far east in a canyon area. Beautiful, with houses made out of mudbrick and up to 8 stories high anyway. It is really easy to see how destruction on a biblical scale can occur if and when there are earthquakes or floods. I am currently with a Japanese guy and an American of Indian decent. It is interesting to see how each of us is reacted to and treated differently. We are all first time tourists in the region but of totally different race and it has an effect even when we are side-by-side. I am off to Aden tomorrow by way of the coastal road.


At 11:41 AM , Blogger huggybigbear said...

Hi Ammon,
Thanks for clarifying the differences. Yemen does sound a little rough around the edges, I wonder what it is about middle east that cultivated terrorism as a political methodology for negotiations, especially when it is probably the worst method. Anyways, American East Indian descent or Native Indian? and what are the differences in treatment, I am assuming you get preferential, esp. cause you look local with the right outfit and scruffy beard LOL.
Anyways, glad things are going well, and as always, if there is a pause it is often cause I'm out of town or swamped, but always I read.
Bear Hugs Your Brother
The Bear


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