Or maybe you just get something different than you thought you were going to get, and it’s a lot better.
I didn’t know if I should prepare for 5 visitors or 500.
In New York it’s much easier to estimate things like attendance. I didn’t really advertise it. And it’s not anything normal for Salalah. I think my Whatsapp and text invitations freaked a few people out. The responses varied from enthusiastic promises to attend (one friend actually few down from Muscat, coming directly from the airport and going home afterward--I am really just so impressed and thrilled) to panicked phone calls, to careful regrets, to nothing at all. This from Omanis. Westerners understand the concept so that part was easy. You never know what to take for granted, do you?
The Open House was well attended and I met a lot of great new people, from various nationalities, but what really what made me happy was the show of support from my friends. I slept really well that night.
Two friends in particular, helped so much they practically did it all. Joe and JonLee exerted themselves tirelessly and really made it work. JonLee set up a table where people could buy the oils, the candles, etc. And Joe organized everything and moved the freezer outside, where he gave tastes and sold ice cream. This is in addition to figuring out the logistics.
It proved to be a threshold of sorts--I was forced by circumstances to do all the things I was “about to do.” Get the place stocked, make signs, etc. Make the front presentable, stock up on ice cream, consider my policies, all that kind of stuff. And now I reap the benefits by having it all ready.
It also got my creative juices flowing as I made some things I’ve not done before, perfumes and the like. I make most of my own skincare here--scrubs, masks, face moisturizer, and the like. I do have a cream or two, from some good companies, since my oil/water emulsion experiments in salalah have not been too successful. But mostly I made my own products. You can’t do better when you have ingredients like these! The latest night restorative I made is my own frankincense and myrrh (yes, I got a small amount of oil, a few ml) rose otto, and maybe a drop or two of helichrysum in golden Jojoba oil. Hell, you’re never going to find anything like that made in a store, for any price.
I keep a jar of scrub with ground adzuki beans and oatmeal, which I can add to if I like, or just use as an everyday scrub to remove the dirt and sweat that builds up so attractively in my daily toils. Accompanying it this week is a white clay masque with Chamomile infusion (tea), french lavender essential oil and Italian mimosa honey. I made a big bowl of it and reclined in the tub covered in fragrant oozy mud, spraying myself from time to time with rosewater. My skin looks great, and would look even better if my lifestyle was a little healthier, I got more sleep, and drank as much water as I tell other people to. I’ve planted kale, spinach, escarole, lettuce and some other vegetables in the garden so maybe that healthy diet will materialize soon.
The ice cream front continues, slowly of course, but some fun things are happening now, and I will write about them after they are assured or have really started. But look for us in January’s edition of Condé Nast Traveler!
The Japanese documentary is out too! I forgot to write about it before. It’s an hour and all shot locally in Salalah, so if you’re from Salalah you will see a bunch of people you know. It’s pretty fun and apparently quite well done and informational as well, but it’s in Japanese and there are no subtitles, so unless you speak Japanese you can content yourself with the visuals. But the visuals are really cool, and I was enthralled with the whole hour.
Another reason I was happy about the Open House is that it was a Grand Opening of a kind, and even though every step of this journey to open the distillery has been a huge climb, especially back when I had someone to “help me,” this is a threshold. It made something happen, a buzz, a spark.
Salalah Frankincense documentary
click on the pink bar
If you are in Oman you will need to use a vpn to access the site. I don't know why