Where to begin…
So…1) Woke up at 6am, packed my bags for Dubai, went to the gym which opens at 7am.
2) Ran 10km at the gym because I’m running the Jerusalem Half Marathon in a month (yes, you heard that correctly…WHAT) .
3) Met up with my boss for the Entrepreneur’s Conclave Event/Competition at the end of March at the Oman Exhibition Center near the airport in Seeb. Together we went over a number of Excel spreadsheets showing sponsor and brand ambassador contacts that I need to call and follow up on over the next two days.
4) Booked it to my Arabic lesson a half hour away in Wuttayah from 11am-1pm. Stopped on the way for a chai tea and McDonald’s Apple Pie (those are actually amazing if you haven’t tried them) for breakfast. I hadn’t had time to do the wajib (homework) so that was a struggle/I felt terrible having to confess this to Abdul Aziz, my awesome Darfurian professor.
5) From 1:30-4:30pm I had to catch up on a week’s worth of Arabic homework, French homework, make phone calls to follow up with Entrepreneur’s Conclave sponsors (calling GMs of Marketing at BMW, Maserati, Infinity, Oman Oil etc), catch up on five days of news, respond to friends’ emails (sorry to Sarah-Marie, Blaine, Mélinda, Aaron and Judith to whom I still have not responded), and finally had to eat a delicious tuna sandwich and large slice of chocolate cake for lunch.
6) Went to the parking lot at 4:30pm to head to the salon in Azaiba to get my hair and makeup done (had to be there by 4:45-5pm) for an evening fashion photo shoot, at a super-talented 20-year-old Omani designer named Amna Al Sabri’s boutique, Style Passport…my car started and then broke down. I quickly hailed three kind Omani men, who came and helped me jump it. I then jetted to the Nissan service center to drop off the weakling vehicle (it does beat my Renault Logan though) so they could replace the battery before it closed for the day.
7) My modeling agent/friend Fatma heroically rescued me at the service center (driven by the amazing mother of one of the other models, a young Brazilian girl named Juliana).
8) At 5:30pm I arrived just in time to Leela’s Beauty Salon, where the staff rapidly washed, brushed, curled my hair and painted my face in heavy Arabic-style makeup.
9) While my hair was being done, I spoke on the phone to Maria the Personal Assistant of Benjamin Thomas, Executive Director of a huge company called Hapoo Group, to schedule a meeting for tomorrow to discuss the work/pieces of writing that I’m going to prepare for the nine+ companies that Hapoo owns.
10) Around 6:45pm I jetted with the owner of Leela’s to the shoot venue, where I stripped down and was dressed by the designer in a burgundy-colored thin velvet abaya. My curls were unpinned and arranged around my shoulders. During this time I was unfortunately missing a flash mob rehearsal (which was from 7-9pm) at Fernando’s for the “Dutch Ball” we’re performing for on February 28.
11) Finally the photo shoot began (about 45 minutes late, at 19:50) and I started walking around the boutique (smiling etc) in my abaya, being photographed with the five other models and politely refusing mini-pizzas from the staff, who clearly hadn’t heard that models don’t eat. Lol what if we had all just starting nomming on mini-pizzas through our heavy lipstick as we walked around…*amazing*
12) Next Fatma and I scheduled a fashion show dress fitting for Thursday, since a big runway show is coming up on March 9.
13) I chatted briefly with Amna, the designer/entrepreneur, concerning my research. This was a bit awkward to attempt, considering my official role as seen-not-heard-doll.
14) By this point it was 8:48pm, and the service center closed at 9pm sharp. And I reeeeally needed my car, because, among other reasons, my house in Al-Ma3’beeleh is about 35 minutes from Muscat city downtown. Thomas, Fatma’s incredibly cool assistant, materialized out of nowhere in a speeding minivan to rescue me just in the nic(sp?) of time. I threw off my abaya and we jetted to Nissan.
15) With barely a minute to spare, Thomas and I arrived and I was told that the problem had been with the engine, not the battery, so my car would need to stay overnight. I was then given a 4WD Nissan Pathfinder as a replacement, which reminded me of the Suburban/Beast/Battleship etc, so I was pretty ca va on it until I realized a) it was out of gas and b) it had internal brakes that prevented it from going more than 100km/hour (made for a very slow ride home along the highway).
16) At this point I needed to change money and call both grandmas, but unfortunately somewhere in between the ice cream sandwich I bought at the gas station and the unwieldly, lumbering Pathfinder, I forgot to do both of these things.
17) However, when I returned home, I did remember to pay Nada, my host sister, the first month’s rent (a week late oops), eat spicy fish soup and bread for dinner, and write this blog post. I also read about ten pages of a book called “the Forty Rules of Love,” (a pop-novel about Rumi, Shams of Tabriz and a New Jersey housewife!) recommended to me by Saman Chaudhry.
18) I remembered to brush my teeth and forgot to do my laundry. Can’t win ’em all. Goodnight.