Greetings from Oman, and forgive my potty mouth but it's really fucking hot. I'd like to be afforded some kind of protection from the sun here, but a chap at Heathrow saw fit to confiscate my suntan lotion lest there was something combustible in the remnants of a 6-year-old bottle from the Boots Soltare range, so my burnt scarlet mug is all his fault.
On the plus side, he was very polite about it.
I nearly missed my flight, as I stayed late at work (drinking at my desk with my boss), then raced to Terminal 3 cursing myself. I was the last person on my flight to check in, but I'd checked in, dammit. That did give me Hobson's Choice of seats though, regrettably within teasing sight of Business Class as I sat sandwiched between three babies to my right and two to my left in Cattle, none of whom stayed silent for more than ten minutes.
So I've been awake now for, ooh, 26 hours.
I chose not to take a (pricey) tour in the end, settling instead for my original Plan A - taking a cab or bus into town, and wandering around at my leisure. That plan was only nixed due to my Daily Mail reading parents, and I've quite enjoyed emailing them to say I've been sat in a cafe among foreign looking men with beards who stare at me with polite disgust, and listening to the Allah Akbars wailing rather evocatively from distant minarets.
In fact now that I'm here, I'm rather pissed off with myself for getting all worked up in the first place, particularly as it's charming. It's been a while since my holidays have left the safety net of Europe or the States, and it's nice to be dumped and alone in a place that definitely ain't Kansas anymore.
But the heat - Wow. I played it safe and chose to wear to work a smart, button-up shirt and a pair of dark jeans; a smart casual look that I thought, as I'd have no opportunity to change, would look nicely respectful over here.
So imagine my joy as I slid through the alleyways of the souk, the air thick with warmth and pungent spices, as I left a salty trail of sweat onto the cobblestones like a fat, sweating slug with a wet Fitness First towel around my neck, only to spot pink Danes and Germans in their damn t-shirts and shorts.
26 hours I've been wearing this shirt and these jeans, and Christ alone knows what skin rashes and steaming pustules are welling up like orphans' tears behind these stinking fabrics.
But that aside, it's now half-past midday over here and I've got 5 more hours to kill. Oh well. My wet shirt has finally dried. Time to re-soak it by walking half a yard outside.