Photo: Their Majesties. Image Credit: Mohammed Mustafa, Gulf News
Later on, it was
Before the banquet, the Sultan and Queen Beatrix exchanged orders. Sultan Qaboos conferred the Al Saeed Order on the Queen who conferred on the Lion of Holland Order on the Omani ruler.
Sultan Qaboos conferred the Renaissance Grand Order on Prince William Alexander, Dutch Crown Prince and Sultan Qaboos Order " First Class" to His wife Princess Maxima.
The Omani monarch also conferred Al Nu'man Order "first second and third Class" to a number of ministers and high ranking officials in the Dutch delegation. Queen Beatrix Wilhelmina conferred orders on Their Highnesses, ministers and senior officials in the Sultanate.
Jolly good. Carry On. Wonderful to see you. And while you're here do let's have a chat about that 'stable transition to Constitutional Monarchy' thing...
But say, What news of the rumbling from our distant Northern border with our great
Sire, in other news:
Iran is increasingly cornered by US and Europe who finally take away Iran's oil trading dosh. Recently purchased and self-modified Chinese toys threaten to exit bath-tub.
Yes, our great ally to the north, Iran, for some reason just held military exercises in the shared Straights of Hormuz, without us. After (insanely) threatening to try to block the movement of shipping through the Straights of Hormuz, Iran proceeded to have a military drill aimed at proving it could.
They backed away from that pretty quickly, luckily.
Iran's perhaps starting to finally learn what truly effective foreign/military policy when playing no-limit poker with the big boys achieves.
Iran does, it must be said, have the demonstrable capability to militarily try to stop oil flow through the Straights of Hormuz, via a combined attack of fixed and mobile missiles, mines, fast attack boats with torpedos, and tiny submarines.
Iran's threat of 'asymmetric warefare' would indeed spike oil prices for a week or few, spill some crude in a beautiful place, maybe even hit some American or ANOther warships.
Oh and would result inevitably in the immediate destruction of about every piece of coastline on the Gulf that Iran has, plus every military asset in the whole of South Iran. No more Navy lads. Those centrifuges would get hit damn hard too - multiple strikes of the new super buster; followed by fuel-air bombs. Centralised command and control taken out. Airbases. Critical oil installations. Air defense. Power stations. Pretty ugly.
Those pesky mines and submarines will take a while to get, fair enough. About 2 weeks.
And don't forget jolly-old RAFO! Tally-Ho!!!!
So it's going to be up to China and Russia to talk Iran down off the ledge. Joking with Chavez about nukes is pretty out there, in a Dr Strangelove kinda way. Little wonder the doomsday clock tick's a minute closer.
Who could mediate this? Who?
Perhaps defer the planned vacation to Musandam sire. But there's a phone call, urgent,...
Meanwhile, as Muscat suffers somewhat from an oversupply of semi-fancy housing and rents drop, the phrase "Tourism Enriches" really hits home. Those cute little local tykes who live near the wave and can drive [oh, I know you know the ones], have realised that a nice green grassy park in The Wave, with no cops, no Angry Uncles/Cousins or broken glass, is a perfect place to paaaaarty!
Scatalogical internet memes on 'blond child abduction attempts' [Airport, PDO, The Wave, CCC shopping centre] not withstanding, it does appear the local lads have found a place to 'hang loose' at night. My source reports:
Just wanted to share a disturbing story about the lack of security at the wave.
The Wave has become a haven for miscreants who cruise the streets and camp out in the parks at all hours. The residents are then greeted the morning after with all kinds of fascinating debris ranging from KFC packaging, Mountain Dew bottles, beer cans, alcohol bottles to condoms and vomit. Numerous stalking and harassment incidents have already taken place, but this is the first physical assault we have heard of.
With the high profile nature of this development, how can it not attract "visitors"? Why are residents subjected to leering gangs playing cards and getting intoxicated in parks they pay for? It's time for management at The Wave to wake up and provide the access control they promised. This bullshit has got to stop!
Heck. When you're in your 20's, unemployed, living with your parents, pretty much broke, & still a virgin (at least with a woman), this is probably about the only fun thing your can afford to do these days, i.e.
1/ Grab a friend with his Mom's car,
2/ Score some bootleg booze and or hash,
3/ Get some music [affected American black-style still preferred],
4/ Pick up a few buddies, and
5/ Find a nice public area in The Wave, dude!
Instant party man! A few Female joggers would make it almost too awesome.
Why doesn't someone at the Wave:
- pick a discreet area very close to the entrance for the local cruisers, and let them party;
- put up bright lighting and play loud classical muzac everywhere else, with patrols.
However, what I find even more shocking is how shocking this is to an Expat these days.
I remember the days when conservatively dressed Expat women would regularly be followed around in Public (say, in Sabco Center) in broad daylight, by some scruffy late-middle-aged Omani guy with a hand inside his dishdasha, quite obviously stroking away.
Now Oman has civilised itself to where its problems are more Western. Bored unemployed teenagers.
A shot in the Army might sharpen them up... I hear rumblings...
the real die-hards (see last post comments) will ask about Blue City Part 3. Hell, I figured you all knew anyhow. Biggest bankrupcy in Oman's history. Royal connections. Bail out by Oman Sovereign fund. As always predicted. Here.
Can some citizen journalists drive out to Al Sawady and send me some pics please? That's all I'm waiting for. [Oh, and RR, send me an email for an interview?]
Give me beach, 'hotels', 'golf course', 'marina', ... I need pictures. Email me.