Its 3:48 pm and I just got back back from my Great-Uncle, and Grandmother's houses. I was fed until I popped. :) After getting dressed in my beautiful abaya, and waiting for my family to be ready (it took about 2 hours, haha), we departed to our families Eid celebration. Eid is just like Christmas. There are presents, endless varieties of food, family members you haven't seen in months, little kids running in chaotic bliss, and candy strategically placed in artistic bowls all throughout the room.
It was quite wondrous. Though, there were big differences.
There was no Church in the morning, no snow, no christmas decorations, no tree taking up the entire room, or at that, no christmas music. Instead, we.....
Dressed up in our abayas, prepared envelopes of money (Happy Eid ;)), and visited the ENTIRE family. Those who didn't go to Dubai or London, that is. At my Great Uncle's house, we found the children chasing each other around the room. You could tell this was the "Gathering" house, because there were pictures of EVERY family member on the walls. A difference between American and Omani houses, is that the Omani houses are very colorful! They are not made of wood, because there is no wood in the desert. The floors are all marble, and some beautiful tile design lines the walls in crazy colors. Lots of rooms are yellow, which I personally like. Most houses have designated family rooms, with cushioned seating for EVERY member of the family lining the walls in a curve of chairs. "Everyone has there own throne here!" I said to J.
The family speaks in arabic, cracking up at each others stories, and impersonating people with funny accents.
Just like Americans make fun of Arnold Shwartzenegger's voice, or an Alabama drawl, they laugh at Indian accents.
Along with the candy at every corner of the house, there is coffee in every room. "Heaven!" I think. (I'm a coffee addict.) The cups are the size of shot glasses, which I like, because it somewhat limits my take in. Although, I must admit, J and I sucked down a good ten of them!
There was one time-to-time behavioral similarity anyone can relate to. J and I sat in my Great Unlce's house with M, Mom, and the 2 boys, watching relative after relative sneak out. J predicted what was about to happen, as we sat on out cushioned throwns.
"Watch M. See now he's talking to my cousin about cars. Watch watch, he's gonna pull out his phone and show him a picture of a car."
Sure enough his blackberry popped out displaying a car."
A few minutes later....
"Okay. Now, he's going to try to escape."
M stood up looking concerned about some text message.
"Uh-oh..." he said.
"He's gonna pretend his friends got in an accident."
Luckily for him, no one bothered paying attention to fabricated distress in his eyes. The adults were busy talking about something.
"I've really gotta go, my friend was in an accident."
With that he left the room, and went to the door. Then J tried to save us too:
"Hey M, our friend was in the accident too, right?"
"No, just MY friend." He says with a smile. And out he went.
I couldn't help but think of my brother and sister, making up excuses at thanksgiving and other gatherings. "Uhhh, I've got soccer practice!" or, "My shift starts early today!" It's the ole' excuse-game.
A few minutes later, one of our cousins realized M had left. "Stuck-fulallah! That S-of-a-B!"
"Bahahahaha! J and I started cracking up."
Then we watched as he copied M, pulled out his phone, and acted like there was this terrible accident, and he HAD to go see his friend.
"Wait, wait, what?"
Eeeerrrrrrrrk! You could here his breaks being hit.
After explaining it to one of our grandmothers, we watched her protest his reasoning. "What accident!? I didn't hear anything! Let me see this text!" Something told me that the elders were used to this game.
We started cracking up again.
Besides all this good fun, we gawked at new born babies, ate special Eid food, and pretty much hung around. My extended family is extremely welcoming and sweet. Not to mention lively. I had a great time. A million thanks to my dear host family! This was a holiday I will never, ever forget.