Monday, 4 May 2015

Favourite things: April

I can't believe it is May already! April was an extremely busy month for me, I had my mum, aunt, and cousin here at the beginning, and then quite literally swapped my aunt and cousin at the airport for my dad, who stayed for the rest of the month.

I like having guests, they like to cook us all the foods we are missing from home for starters, but it is also a good opportunity to get out and about and do the things that you can get too lazy to do.

So here were a few of my favourite things for the month of April:

Wadi Bani Khalid

1. Wadi Bani Khalid
I can't get enough of this place, it is beautiful, and with the temperature quickly rising, it is the perfect place to spend a lazy day, cooling off in the waters. You just need to make sure to layer on the sun protection.

2. Serial Podcast 
I know I am a good few months late jumping on this bandwagon, but I have just started listening to the Serial podcast, and I am hooked. In case you haven't heard, it is the story of Adnan Syed, an inmate at a prison in Baltimore who was convicted of murdering his ex-girlfriend in 1999. He says he's innocent - although he can't exactly remember what he was actually doing the day she was killed and his friend and key witness for the prosecution said he did it and was able to give a lot of details. There are 12 episodes in total and I'm just over half way through. You can listen to it, and find out more, here

3. Let's Read charity bookshop
Based in Al Qurum Complex, I actually stumbled across this book store by accident on a mission to find a cheap, faux designer handbag. There was only 5 minutes until closing and not too much time to browse, but I spied the above book and, honestly, I haven't been so excited in ages. I know what you are thinking #geekalert, and you are right, but I felt like I had robbed the place walking away a book worth $50 for the grand total of 2 OMR or about $5. All the books in the store come from donations, so you never know what you will find. Paperbacks are priced at 1 OMR and hardback books at 2 OMR, so if you aren't looking for anything in particular then it really is the place to visit, and all the proceeds go to charity. The opening hours are 10am-1pm and 5pm-7pm, and they're open Saturday to Thursday.

Just for some context here, I am an editor for a living and, unsurprisingly, reference books here aren't easy to come by. Does that make me seem like less of a geek? 
I didn't think so. 

Mai Thai Muscat

4. Mai Thai
Mai Thai is an authentic little Thai place based in Al Meera Hypermarket. Without a recommendation, it would be easy not to even end up in the supermarket, or just choose to try the burger place opposite. The food is fresh, the staff are friendly and helpful, and I can see myself going back many nights when I can't be bothered to cook. I will post a full review after my next visit.

As Sammak Siffah

5. As Sammak, Siffah
Another food/restaurant related favourite. I have actually blogged about As Sammak before, and I am pleased to say that the place has improved hugely since my last visit. I still believe that location wise there isn't a better restaurant in Oman, which is what drew us back. Last time there was hardly any fish on the menu and the service was terrible. There seems to be a new manager who is friendly and helpful and makes sure that everyone is happy. It's bordering on being too hot at lunchtime now to really enjoy the place, but you should be fine for a late lunch/early dinner.

May, I expect, will be a much more relaxed month as we gear up for the extreme heat and Ramadan. I also heard rumours of a national holiday in the middle of the month? And I have my fingers crossed I won't get sick again so I can finally start my diving course.