Monday, January 3, 2011

African music

Ah, what a day! I love this country already and I have only been here for less than a week.

I didn’t blog yesterday because there was nothing interesting to talk about. This does not mean that I didn’t have fun. Even though the days are the same and you basically do the same thing, you meet so many interesting people everyday that it makes your day worth it.

I won’t make this blog post long since I need to go have dinner now that we came back after a long day at the exhibition.

Today, I want to talk about music, and African music in particular. In the exhibition, there is music all around during the whole day. This is nothing special since music is played even in the exhibitions that take place in the Middle East. However, what I noticed was that people over here react to music in a very different way. All over the exhibition, I noticed that as soon as the music would start, people walking around would start dancing! It’s amazing! They dance with each other and smile to everyone around. People here are really happy. On the other hand, in the Middle East, people just walk around and there is no reaction at all! No one is dancing or doing anything. I know that you may say culture plays an important role, but atleast a smile makes a difference. And this is just my own opinion, so don't start hating!

Most of the people here in Ethiopia are not as rich as the people in the Middle East but they still seemvery happy with their life. This really made me realize that money can buy you lots of things, but it can’t buy you happiness!

I am really enjoying my time here and having a blast. I am sorry that I am not posting any pictures or talking about the beauty of the country, but this is because I am really busy helping out my brothers and finishing up the work I came to do here.

I promise that this won’t be the last time I visit this country because soon, I will be calling it home…

Saturday, January 1, 2011

Ethiopian Women!

Sorry I didn’t post a blog post yesterday, I know you were all waiting for it (lol). I could lie and say that I didn’t have internet access or there was no electricity, but the real reason was because I was sleepy! I slept from 6pm to 12am and it was amazing. Woke up at 12 and wished my self happy new year and went back to sleep. Yea, people dont celebrate new years that much over here.

Today started off early, at around 7am. I woke up to the beautiful chanting of the church right in front of our house. With all respect to all the Christians around the world, this guy was really annoying. He was chanting from 12am until 9am! Who does that!!

Since it was Saturday, there was no dropping the kids to school. We went off to work at around 8ish. My work with my brother is helping him out at an exhibition which he is taking part in. It’s really awesome since I get to meet a lot of local people and interact with them. I learnt a few words of the local language (Amharaic) as well.

We got back home at 8pm after having dinner at a local burger restaurant called tik tok. They have good fresh burgers, (just in case you come to Ethiopia and want to try some good food).

That was all what happened today, however, I want to share with you some of the observations ive seen here in Ethiopia which made me rethink my life in the gulf region.

Being here for the past 3 days made me realize how much I was dependent on the internet. My life revolved around it from the minute I woke up until I went to sleep. Facebook, Twitter, and Gtalk were all I did all day long. Coming here and being in this (almost no internet) country, I realized how much time I have that I could spend doing something useful. I am not saying that social media is a waste of time, I am just saying that too much of it is a waste of time.

Another thing I realized here was when I talked with my cousins about their life here in Ethiopia. All they said was it is boring since there are no malls or places to go out. They said that the only thing they have is trees and rivers and mountains. This was kinda eye opening to me because coming from the Middle East, we always complain that we don’t have natural beauty and all we have is malls and tall buildings. Its funny how you realize the importance of the things you have when you don’t have them.

I will end this post now because I am really sleepy. I just want to say once again that Ethiopian women are very beautiful! I really can’t believe how an entire country can have so many beautiful women! Its amazing.

I will dedicate this blog post to every beautiful Ethiopian woman out there! You Rock!

Thursday, December 30, 2010

13 months of Sunshine!

I am made it finally to Ethiopia!

Lets start with yesterday....
So, my 8 hour stay in Dubai before coming to Ethiopia was quick. I guess it was because I had loads of friends online who kept me busy. Thank you guys.

The flight from Dubai to Ethiopia took 4 hours and it wasn’t that bad either. If your visiting Ethiopia and on a budget, then use Ethiopian Airlines, otherwise, I advice you use Emirates.

I arrived to Addis Ababa, the capital of Ethiopia, and it started raining like crazy. My brothers picked me up and went home to see that the electricity was out. According to my brothers, this was normal!

We had dinner (using torches) and chatted for a bit before we went to sleep. I couldn’t sleep the whole night because of the heavy rain that was pouring down insanely. However, I managed to get few hours of sleep before my eldest brother woke me up at 7am!

Today started by dropping my niece and nephew to school and then we went off to work. All I can say is that it was a long day!

Here I am now at home and its 6:30pm and the kids are playing around the house like crazy!

Before I finish this post, let me share with you some of the crazy but interesting facts about Ethiopia.

According to the Ethiopian calendar, today is the 21st of April 2003! I don’t know how they count it but it is!
Ethiopia has 13 months in its calendar, not 12! They count each month as 30 days and the last remaining 6 days make up the 13 month. Hence, Ethiopia is called the land of 13 months of sunshine!
Over here, the way they tell time is also funny. I think there are other countries around the world who use this system. If it is 2pm, they will say its 8 and if it is 3, they will say its 9. Its basically the opposite on the watch. I hope you get the point. I don’t know why they do it but I will try to find out.
Ethiopia has some of the most beautiful women I have ever seen in this world! All the women take so much care of them selves that even the ugliest woman will look beautiful. They know how to keep their men happy I guess!

That’s all for today.

See you guys tomorrow. I won’t be uploading pics either because of the dial-up internet connection I am using but I will try to find a solution to that.

Now, its play time for my niece and nephew!

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Africa here I come!

Woo, its been a while since I posted a blog post here. I really miss this place.

Alright, so without any boring intros, here are the updates. I was supposed to travel to Ethiopia right after my finals, which were few weeks back. However, parents wanted me to come back to Oman to help out with sister's wedding. I flew to Oman and chilled there for a week. However, here I am now in Dubai Airport going to Ethiopia today :)

The reason I am going to Ethiopia is for some family business which I will not be talking about here on this blog. I will also visit family and get a chance to see my country after not being there for more than 6 years! its been a while.

I will be there for a week and than get back to attend the wedding on the 12th of Jan before I leave back to Doha on the 14th.

I am really excited as I wanted to blog about Ethiopia for a while. I believe its one of the most beautiful African countries but people don't know much about it.

I hope I will be able to show the world the beautiful side of Ethiopia and help them realize that the world is not only about Europe and America !

No one in my family in Ethiopia knows that I am coming today except for my brother who is picking me up from the airport. I hope they don't read this post before I get there :)

I wont make this any longer as I have 8 hours to spend in this airport and I have loads to do.

Stay tuned for more posts about the beautiful country, Ethiopia. I am not sure if I will be able to post everyday as I don't know how easily internet is accessible there.

Until then, enjoy these videos .

This one is about the Blue Nile Falls in Ethiopia.

This one is about the capital City of Ethiopia, Addis Ababa, where I will be staying.

Saturday, September 18, 2010

Until we meet again...

Sorry for the late post, I had to make a quick decision to finish my break a day earlier. The day itself was not interesting at all since I was at home the whole day and went to meet Nasser in the evening. Met some friends from high school which is always good.

I was supposed to come back to Doha tonight but I came last night because it dawned on me that I have a lot of homework and I cant do it in Oman. Its to much distraction.

So with this post, I will be ending my travel blog about Oman. I hope you guys enjoyed the pictures and comments about the beautiful places in Oman. I hope I was able to portray a good image of this amazing country. I will try to make a google album soon and put all the pictures I took in Oman.

Until I travel again, take care and see you guys soon. Please leave your comments or suggestions below so I can know what you think of Oman.

P.S. I am already making plans for my next travel plans. This time, Its a country I am sure you all have not been to; I am going to Ethiopia!!

Stay tuned for more updates!

Thursday, September 16, 2010

A day in China of the Middle East!

It was amazing! I loved China. I cant wait to tell you guys about it.

Alright, jokes apart, here is what happened.

So we had planned to go to Dubai today and do some shopping. We woke up at around 5am and were out of the house by 6:30am. The drive from Muscat to Dubai takes around 4 hours and the road is amazing. If you plan to visit Oman for a week, than you should think about doing this road trip.

On the way, There was a lot of fog in some area and I couldn't stop myself from taking a picture to show you guys.

Here are some pictures of the scenery on the way.

Our destination in Dubai was a place called Dragon Mart. It is a huge complex on the outskirts of Dubai and it basically sells everything. However, the catch is that everything in that huge complex is from China! The entire complex is Chinese and even the shopkeepers are Chinese. I literally felt like I was in China.

We reached Dragon Mart at around 11am and started our 4 hours shopping madness.

The thing I liked about this complex is that it had everything and its really cheap! Some of you might argue saying that the quality is bad, however, I was shocked to see some really good quality products for a relatively cheaper price.

Here are some of the things I took pictures of that I found really amusing.

This is a women's purse and a matching Iphone cover. It costs 600 AED (163 USD). Apparently, its expensive because its completely hand made and the blings are costly. But seriously, talk about creativity!

Here is a very nasty looking t-shirt that I was wondering who would even think of buying.

Dragon Mart is really a place I would advice anyone to check out if you are in Dubai. It has a very interesting collection of phones (Chinese Iphone 4,lol), electronics, furniture, textile, and everything you can imagine the Chinese to make (which is basically everything!).

We left Dragon Mart after walking across it for hours and started our drive back to Muscat. We were back at around 8pm.

This is one of the reasons I love Oman. You can go to a different country and come back on the same day!

Before I forget, I did not mention that even thought the products and shopkeepers were from China, the visitors of the complex were from all over the world. There were a lot of visitors from Oman which made perfect sense since its so close. The place was so diverse with visitors that I even saw a fellow Aggie from the Qatar campus over there. Talk about small world!

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Numbers and stats

Since today was not a very fruitful day and I basically did nothing expect facebooking, blogging, and visiting family in the evening, I thought to share with you some other interesting stuff.

Since I started blogging my trip in Oman, I have been getting several comments from you guys, (my readers), suggesting me ideas and things to say and not to say. Thank you all very much.

I have also been testing out different blogging techniques and various ways through which I could increase my reader's circle. After all, I am typing all this so it could be read. Let me share with you some of the numbers I got since I started this blog in July.

I have got 1,344 pageviews since I started my blog in July. This is really good given that I just wrote 17 posts. I blogged two countries until now, India and Oman. I got 815 views for my India trip and 451 views for my Oman trip until now. Here is a snapshot of the graph that google analytics gave me.

Other interesting figures that google analytics gave me was the countries I got visits from. Here is a snapshot of those stats. Let me just point out that these are not all the countries since I changed the template in between and this caused some numbers and countries to disappear. I know South Africa, United Kingdom, and Australia should be on the list.

I don't know how these graphs will be useful to me but here they are. Views by browser and operating systems.

I want to thank everyone who has been following me since I started my blog. Thank you for reading and continuously providing me with feedback to help me become a better blogger. Please leave your suggestions in the comments section below.