Wednesday, 14 October 2009

Getting Hooked Up In Muscat...

Having had no fewer than four separate experiences of this type of tactic over the past few days, I was beginning to wonder the following:

1. Do I look like I'm gay? .... and

2. Is the basement of Markaz Al Bahja a regular hunting ground for gay males looking for some action?

Lately, the Jet Driver has been doing some work on his house because (and here is further evidence that I may be gay and not know it!), I was getting irked by the kitchen cupboards being the wrong shade of grey to sit between the chinese slate tiles and the brushed steel kitchenware that I have installed.

Anyway, on the past few occasions of standing in the Markaz basement, usually waiting for the 5pm opening of the kitchen shop, I have been eyed up and approached by individuals who had only moments earlier been sitting on the seats with a definite air of "lurking".

"Hi. How are you? You are from where? I see. Ok. Very nice guy. My name is Nasser. And you?"

Now, I know that people here are friendly and I get hellos from all sorts during the day, however, my suspicions of the "pick-up zone" are being added to by further behavioral traits from these men like "over-preening" in front of me, "dreamy" eye-contact and some very dodgy colours of dishdashas - pinks, lavenders, yellows.

So what's the deal folks? What's going on down there?


Clare said...

I've heard from friends who ARE gay that Muscat is quite the hunting ground for men on the prowl. Perhaps the basement of Markaz al Bahja is the hotspot.
I think my husband gets checked out more than I do....a rather disturbing change from the norm in America....

Expat mummy said...

Maybe it's the uniform? ; )

Seriously now you now what it's like for us girls.

Jamilla Camel said...

My other half has noticed that the men at Markaz Al Bahja (and Lulu) seem to stare openly at my foreign breasts! Something about that shopping centre!!

boxster said...

Here it's called "ghey" :)

Bobby said...

but the spots keep on know
And getting worried of the wrongs shades is.......

Rameez Al Mandhari said...

Lol! Lucky you JD!

Spotted this in the news, I suppose it concerns you:

Indo-Oman Air Exercise -- Eastern Bridge to Foster Defence Cooperation Ties

Indian Air Force (IAF) and Royal Air Force of Oman (RAFO) will conduct a week-long bilateral Air Force exercise codenamed - Eastern Bridge - at the RAFO Base, Thumrait, Oman, from Oct 22-29. This will be the first-ever air exercise between the two countries.

Six, single-seat, Darin-I Jaguars from the Indian side will participate alongside RAFO Jaguars and F-16s.
Asked if Oman could support IAF's anti-piracy operations by providing "operational turning around" facility by opening up its airbases for maintenance and fuel, the IAF vice chief replied in the affirmative, saying since the two air forces operated Jaguars, it was possible.

Oman has also been availing courses in India on a self-financing basis. Oman has also been providing turn-around facilities to our transiting military aircraft. Several rounds of Air Force Staff Talks with RAFO have now provided the necessary framework to expand defence cooperation with RAFO and rest of the GCC (Gulf Cooperation Council) countries.

Interesting eh!?

Jet Driver said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Jet Driver said...


Busy week next week.
If you sit in the park beside City Centre all this week you'll get buzzed by the Vipers (F-16) for most of the day from around 11am - you have to be patient for the run and breaks but they're great fun to watch.

I wonder how The Wave residents are enjoying the noise. said...

Don’t know if I’m getting paranoid, but when I run round the streets (wearing typical running kit) there seems to be an unnecessary interest in my lunchbox department from blokes. It got to the point where I would avoid running past building sites in Azaibah.

Taxis are another problem. Even at the end of a run, soaked in sweat and covered in sand and flies, taxis will usually toot their horns as they whizz past while I’m waiting to cross a road. Others actually stop. Some start reversing. One driver has gestured me into his lovely vehicle.

The subject is occasionally discussed with child-like naivety by the guys at work. For a while I had the word ‘khabeeth’ (خبيث) in Arabic on the whiteboard in my office, meaning sly or devious (quite a handy word). Some of the chaps would come in and move the dot below the b to above the letter, making the word ‘khaneeth’, (خنيث) meaning ‘gay’ and run away tittering. One or two returned later to change it back again in case someone had seen the naughty word.

Rameez Al Mandhari said...


I thought the article said the action is going on in Thumrait and not Seeb?

Wanted to show the kids some of these fighter jets fly past. Would the park be suitable for the kids? Any chance we could spot the IAF aircraft too?


Jet Driver said...

Thumreit is where the exercise is yes, but that's not for another week. The Vipers and Jaguars are still in Muscat (at least we were on Wednesday) so if we are still mucking about here on Saturday then yes, the park will be fine for the kids, albeit a bit loud.

Can't say for sure what the movements are but you might get lucky.


Undercover Dragon said...

About time... and with a twist too.


Will you enter the draw?

Jet Driver said...


LOL - you are so random sometimes! :)


Nadia said...

Yes definitely Al Bahja is the gay hot-spot. In fact, City Centre is too, but around the food court area. I hate shopping centres in Muscat. It disturbs me to see gay dudes wearing the dishdasha (or their tight fitting version of it). I wish they'd just wear Western clothes and spare me the agony of having to look at them.

Jet Driver said...


Thank you for confirming my suspicions! :)

JD said...

It's your own fault Mr. JD. You should have read the big red neon sign. بهجة means joy or happiness - مركز البهجة translates as 'centre of joy'.

Jet Driver said...

living in oman....



Rameez Al Mandhari said...

JD, Awesome! Went there the other day.

Best of luck for the exercise if you are participating, let us know if RAFO kicks some ass.


Undercover Dragon said...

Where do lesbians hang out then?

NS said...

I was told of the discomfort with whom suppose to be my boss that I didn’t realize that she is a lesbian, I answered: Just because I have a short hair , that doesn’t make me one and if I’m such I don’t think I will come to work over here looking for a partner, we have a lot of those in US.

I still don’t understand why foreigners like you have to keep making noise around the subject. I recall through my travels mostly pilots or stewards were gays and they were so friendly than normal males or females,,, and who is normal today. If you’re interested and afraid to get out of the closet you can visit San Francisco or New York when they have their parade day, Interesting!

In fact I buy my nicest sweaters from the gay shops since they have nicer clothing, thank God I don’t use make up, I will be shopping there too….

To add to the comment, even I don’t agree on their choice as much as I feel sorry for them, I trust them rather a normal man with the disrespect to females specially Middle Eastern ones.

Jet Driver said...

NS - I can't let this one slide, I'm afraid:

"I still don’t understand why foreigners like you have to keep making noise around the subject."

Mostly because it gets reactions like the one you just gave.

"In fact I buy my nicest sweaters from the gay shops"

There's gay-shops? For gays only? How did you get in? Or did you just stand outside like a teenager wanting to buy beer? "Hey man, can you help us out? See the black sweater with the gold threads? Yeah? Thanks bro!"

"thank God I don’t use make up" --- yet!

"To add to the comment, even I don’t agree on their choice as much as I feel sorry for them"

Why? Because they're not your right type of "normal person who is not normal anyway, because "who is normal?".

"I trust them rather a normal man with the disrespect to females specially Middle Eastern ones."

Wow! A whole mish-mash of conflicting opinions there my dear lady.
You seem ever more confused than I am!



NS said...

My friend JD,
My dear gentleman,

First of all let me explain the coincidence that you have addressed another issue (My First Hate Mail) as you can notice the English or the e-mail address has nothing to do with me,, because if you have read between the lines my comments to this article, you would have caught the reality about my respect to gays. Yes, I don’t agree on their choice as I don’t agree on Muslim men using the religion to their own translation treating women against the word of Quran especially in Oman is used more than any country I traveled to and I did expressed that. I say it loudly that I will never respect the Saudi law till they give the women their rights because they are the worst to represent Islam.

Regarding the gay shops trust me they don’t care who is going there, in fact they respect me for my understanding besides these happened to be in Neiman Marcus, Bloomingdales, and some stores closed in the past before gays were publicly advertised like now, even when I used to shop for my husband at Italian boutiques I found that the colored cute sweaters nicer, then the store manager in a nice way telling me: I don’t think MR.-------! would like this sweater. I answered: In fact it is for me, which opened a door to a dialogue how broad minded I’m.

My hair dresser was Danish and very very gay bragging about it, who taught me about all the signs that you can distinguish who is who which we used to joke a lot and gave me some perspective to make me feel sorry when people are denied their pleasure in life to satisfy sick society which at the end it is God judgment not me or others. Like smoking, alcohol or even belly dancing in public, wow, which the only thing I care not to waste any music. I once danced in the train with a musician group we met going from city to city in Russia 35 years ago, I was titled with the DANCER – you know the gossip ( luckily my mother was with me, hahaha) .

I hired a part time very nice young man 20 years ago who never admit to be a gay. I told him because the society is still in denial and I admit to him that I don’t agree on such as it is still my personal preference…..etc. He was afraid to lose my trust, took him almost a year to admit when he knew how much I hate lairs. I said this issue is very sensitive and you didn’t lie because from the first interview I knew it, even till this day he respects me more than his own mother who despised him after knowing, and this is America too.

JD, God created his people I have no right and I didn’t condemn anyone, but I can express my personal views,, I was only stating my opinion and hey you are the one who was baffled.

Regarding foreigners, it does bother me when I see any other nationality that working in the Middle East specially the Gulf area then criticizing or analyzing these place as nothing is right or complaining that they are somehow better. May be you are doing well for the Omani too that they need someone like you to encourage them to be more open and admit such.

If we are debating face to face I’m sure we will understand each other points better or maybe I missed your joke. Hope that I clarified all the points for you. I’m sure you have read in some comments on others blog that I was very lucky growing up with the best open straight forward family who accept others with all their styles. If I offended you in any comment, then I don’t feel bad to say, SORRY. By the way I’m not a lesbian and I have no issue to admit it if I’m or was. One thing I can’t tolerate lies and double standard. Life is short for such. May be this is another reason that I couldn’t last in Oman.

If you are still think that my answer has mish-mash then blame it on the flu shot................

Jet Driver said...




anisha said...

Wow… the comments on this page.. are so confusing.. ! certain people need to get over themselves and their much coveted foreign assets, couldn’t stop laughing at that irrelevant comment on this post. A certain someone seems to be trying all sorts of selling points ! does not seem to work, except that .. I actually look forward to reading the comments to see the next tactic or pitch she is going to use to get your attention. Hilarious!

About Markhaz being a hotspot, you should scratch that and make it Muscat,even growing up here, it was scarier for boys to use public transport (read cabs) in the fear of getting groped.

This is going to be really funny, but apparently the locals have a strange theory about being homosexual. Theory being , one male having sex with another male does not become a homosexual, instead the man on the ermm receiving (?) end is the homosexual one. In fact the doer goes about gloating about his conquest, and poking fun at the do’ee being horrendously gay. This is real information from local sources.. go figure. : )

Jet Driver said...

Anisha :)

"Theory being , one male having sex with another male does not become a homosexual, instead the man on the ermm receiving (?) end is the homosexual one."

Yes, you are very correct! Have heard this from many Omani colleagues - quite an amusing concept.