This morning, after completing my run I decided it was time for a short visit to downtown Ibri for some shopping and photos. So, at 8:30 I slipped my abaya on over my comfortable shorts and t-shirt, grabbed my scarf and headed over to the round-about near my house. Five minutes later, standing in the blazing sun without a taxi in sight, wishing I was back home in the cool autumn temperatures of eastern Canada, an elderly Omani stopped to give me a lift into town.
Homesickness was replaced with fear as we sped off down Ibri’s main drag, hitting the curb at least twice before coming to the next round-about. I wondered if he could navigate it considering his skills on a straight stretch of road. Then the phone rang. He practically stopped in the middle of the traffic circle to answer and traffic was brought to a standstill. Thank goodness the other drivers in the circle slowed and gestured for him to continue. He finished his phone conversation and we headed towards town.
His English skills were limited and my Arabic skills are basically nonexistent. Needless to say – little communication could take place. I knew from the load of produce on the back of his half-ton that he was off to the souk (market), not far from where I was heading. I pointed to the bank and he dropped me there. I thanked him and was grateful that I made it safely into town.