Monthly Archives: November 2011

Tim Tebow Telling It Like It is!

Tim Tebow sure is creating a name for himself.  In case you’ve never heard of him, he’s the starting quarterback for the Denver Broncos in the NFL (National Football League).  Personally, I couldn’t care less about football.  It’s the man’s convictions and willingness to stand up for them unashamedly that I admire about his man.  He is, shock beyond belief, a Bible-believing Christian.  I first heard about him in reference to a a new trend he’s started known as “tebowing“; getting down on one knee and praying, regardless of what everyone else is doing.  Read more about him and his attempts for others to shut him up regarding his beliefs here on wikipedia.  The NCAA even made a new rule (although they deny it was because of him) known as “the Tebow Rule” because of his previous habit of writing Bible verses on his eye black.  Here is an article with Tim Tebow’s response to others telling him to “tone it down a bit when it comes to God” (not unlike some comments/emails I’ve received asking me to do the same thing on my blog…):

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Well said, Tim Tebow.  You’ve now got yourself a new fan!  :-)

“Odyssey” at Oman Dive Center. Never Again!

In the past, I’ve written a positive review of the Oman Dive Center and their restaurant there.  Well, until they change their parking policy and attitude towards customers, I never intend on ever returning to that money hungry, tourist-milking establishment again.  They know nothing about customer service.

Service has been slow on previous visits, but we waited like 20 minutes and no one came to serve us or even give us a menu.  Even after I went into the kitchen and asked for 2 menus at table 21, they took another 10 minutes to get it to us.  The write-up in “Time Out Muscat” got it right when they wrote, “Time stands still…at least it does for the staff, who can be spotted strolling leisurely around the beachfront chatting to patrons.”  Not only was service extremely slow, there was a serious fly problem.  Another thing I noticed at the Dive Center on this visit.  The beach is horrible during lowtide. So many rocks and then such a thick mud that very few even bothered swimming at that time.

The fish & chips at Odyssey (RO 4.5 if I remember correctly) was actually a very good meal.  Another plus is that tax was not added to the bill but inclusive in the price.  All of these pluses do not balance out the nonsense we went through on leaving though.

On leaving “Odyssey”, I went to the receptionist to get our parking ticket signed (as I’ve done on numerous occasions).  Normally any parking prices are waived if you have a quick (less than 30 minute) lunch.  The Omani woman told me that the new policy states that each person must spend at least 15 rials at the restaurant to avoid any parking fee.  If you spend less, the parking charge is 4 rials per person.  Rubbish!  By the way, there is plenty of parking space at the Dive Center and there really is no need for such a policy except for simply milking tourists for every dollar they can.  I told her that the man at the gate told me nothing about such a policy and there is not a sign warning anyone entering about such a ridiculous policy.  I also told her that I have been there before several times and no such policy existed.  She rudely told me that they charge people 4 rials per person for parking and there is nothing else to say about the matter.  Excuse me? per person? Shouldn’t that be per car?!  So if there are 6 people in the car I should have paid 24 rials for a quick 30-minute fly-infested lunch?!  The best way to send them the right message is by not returning.  In the future, I will bring all friends/visitors to the much better Blue Marlin Restaurant at Marina Bandar.

“Cat in Boots”: Censorship in Oman?!

I saw this ad for “Cat in Boots” in Al Seeb McDonald’s and thought to myself “Isn’t it called “Puss in Boots“?”  Well apparently the UAE has insisted on censorship to change the name of “Puss in Boots” because of its (supposed) sexual connotation.  ?!?!  Folks, you can’t make stuff like this up!   Read this article from The Guardian in case you think this is some kind of joke. Sadly, Oman has jumped on the censorship wagon and so all movie posters and McDonald’s toy ads refer to “Cat in Boots“.  Stranger than fiction!

Weekly Photo Challenge: Family

I don’t normally get involved with WordPress’s “weekly photo challenge” but with a great theme like “family” this week, why not?!  The current 5-day holiday here in the Sultanate of Oman has given us plenty of family time.

This photo was taken at the Bayview Park Hotel in Manila during our summer vacation in the Philippines.  The entire Filipino side of the family is not in this pic but this is a kind of representation of them all for me.  We really enjoyed this last visit from some of Gershom’s cousins and aunties before we headed back to Oman.  Canadians can’t hold a candle to Filipinos when it comes to family!

From last Christmas

I can’t mention “family” without bringing up what a godsend Maritess has been to us.  After his parents, no one (besides God of course!) loves Gershom quite like his Tita (Tagalog for “Aunt”) Maritess!

The Peppins (Gershom’s “godparents”) are ranked among some of our most important family members, being great role-models and spiritual mentors in our life.  Blood may be thicker than water, but Spirit is definitely thicker than blood!

This pic of Gershom with the lovely waitresses from Darcy’s Kitchen is a great reminder than family can even be seen as a larger group or community of inviduals who support and love your family day to day. Some of these people can be far more supportive and worthy of your time than some ungrateful ones who just happen to be in your “family tree”.

Life doesn’t get much better than simple moments like these, folks!

Family can be one of the greatest gifts to a person from God! When it isn’t, and you find yourself with selfish and ungodly people in your family who could care less for you, your spouse or your children, don’t waste your time on them.  (Continue to pray for them, but don’t lose any sleep over such people.)  Life is too short!  :-)

Come Prima at Crowne Plaza

Come Prima is an upscale Italian restaurant in Crowne Plaza which shares the same entrance, kitchen and even restaurant manager, Pravin D’souza.  The chefs for Come Prima, however, are not the same chefs for Shiraz, their Persian restaurant.  The Italian chef, Franchesco Quitino, serves up authentic Italian cuisine and has put together an impressive menu with plenty of choices.   You can sit indoors or when the weather is decent outdoors on their balconey overlooking Qurum Beach.

The Insalata Mare is a wonderful, mixed seafood appetizer. (RO 9.8)  It comes with squid rings, octopus, shrimps, mussels, lobster and clams served in a lemon dressing.

The Creamadipiseli soup was very good! Should be RO 4 but they made an error on the bill and charged us 8 rials for this soup so make sure you check the bill carefully!  This soup contains pork…(bits of crispy bacon)

The complimentary bread was fresh and delicious.

Minestrone Al Pesto Genovese (RO 3.5) was another delicious choice.

Only 3 soups available here.  Chickpea soup is the only one we didn’t try.

The mocktails, although sometime expensive at 2.5 rials each, are delicious and obviously as fresh as one would expect from a 5-star hotel restaurant.  The 2 pictured above are Life & Beauty (cucumber, watermelon, lime and pepper) and Scarlet (cranberry, pomegranate, strawberry, lime and passion fruit syrup).  The Scarlet mocktail is one of the best I’ve ever had (and I’ve had quite a few over the years).

The sister-in-law enjoyed her Risotto All’Marinara (seafood risotto) (RO 8.5).  As you may notice the prices are significantly higher on the a la carte menu compared with other equally good Italian restaurants such as Pane Caldo.

Spaghetti Alla Tarantina was my dish (RO 8.9).  Despite the fact that I almost chipped my teeth several times on tiny bits of mussel shell embedded in the spaghetti, this was very tasty.

My wife’s dish was the Anatra Alla Arancha or “Duck with Orange Sauce” (RO 14).  It was a bit too sour for my wife’s taste but she was impressed with the options they give you for side dishes. (You get to select 2 of them.)

Our friend loved his Tonno Al Pistaccio Di Bronte which is a Tuna Steak crusted with Bronte Pistachios and herb oil (RO 10). (This also came with 2 side dishes to choose from: rosemary potatoes, classic eggplant parmigiana, potato pie and mixed salad.)

Our other guest of honor thought her Petto Di Pollo (Chicken breast with oyster mushrooms and truffles) was very good (RO 10.5) (with 2 sides)

Just look at the size of that pepper grinder, haha! It’s as big as the waitress!

If you want to enjoy lunch at Come Prima, I think the pronto lunch is your wisest choice.  Otherwise, the prices are just too high in my humble opinion.

This time of year is the perfect opportunity to enjoy dinner out on the patio.  The breathtaking views over the Gulf of Oman make location one of this restaurants strongest selling points.  (Tel:+968-2466-0660 Ext. 4508)  http://www.cpmuscat.com