My first brush with Oman was when I was eight and an avid collector of stamps. One of my friends had invited me over to his house to show me his collection, and I took my collection, with the intention of an exchange. Searching through his collection, my eyes lit up when I saw a beautiful, colorful stamp, proudly displayed on a single page marked “O”.

“Which country is this?,” I asked my friend.

“Oman.” My friend preened as he showed me his pride and glory. No one in my class had a stamp from Oman. Curious, I wanted to know more, but at the same time I was slightly suspicious. Oman? Was there even a country like this or was he merely playing me for a fool?

“How did you get it?,” I asked, a trifle suspicious.

“My uncle stays there. He sent me a card from there, and this was on it.”

Great, so he had an uncle who stayed in the country. But, where there was a stamp, there must be a card. Without further ado, I asked him to show me the card.

It was a beautiful picture postcard with the most beautiful view of the sea I have seen. The address behind it was from Oman, but what struck me was what was written about it. My friend’s uncle wrote, after the familiar niceties, about the sea that I could see. It was the Coast of Sur, on the gulf of Oman. I was struck by the beauty and could not get that image off my mind for years to come.

When I was asked about Oman, and what I would like to do given a chance to be there, my first reaction was one of astonished happiness. That memory from my childhood returned, and I realized I would very much love to see the vision I had seen in the postcard for real. In the intermittent years, I read up about Oman’s fascinating history, and came to know that it is one of the rare places in the globe where remains from the Bronze age have been found, signs of settlement over 8000 years ago. The city of Muscat, the capital, has a fascinating, and ancient history, with its history going back to over 2000 years and counting. Given a chance and my love for history, I would travel across the country, inhaling the sights, sounds and the scent.

But what probably would fascinate me the most is the cuisine. Oman has its own take on the Middle-Eastern cuisine, and I have been tantalized with stories of drinking the Kahwa (special coffee made in Oman), the Omani Halwa, and stories involving dates, laban (a version of buttermilk), and eating an entire animal after roasting it in a pit.

So, interested isn’t probably the word when it comes to me. Fascinated? Enchanted? Obsessed?

Yes, maybe those words are more applicable in my case. If you love traveling and want to go somewhere completely different, find out more about #BeautifulOman here – http://www.omantourism.gov.om

Disclaimer: This post was written as a response to the Indiblogger Contest “Beauty has an Address”.

Written by Poorna Banerjee

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