Defrost (EN)

English, Oman

With a cry of relief and a big swing I threw my hijab overboard, together with that grain of salt. Then, I rapidly took off my long, black dress.

Monday, January 16, 9.30 am.
I sat on the boat from Qeshm Island, in the South of Iran, to Khasab, a lively harbor 55 kilometers further, in the North of Oman, on the Musandam peninsula.

Relieved, feeling lighter and better…
A boat where the atmosphere instantly turned 180 degrees, together with the direction I was going. Where English was understood. Where I met a couple of Romanian cyclists and where we exchanged our experiences with Iran, 180 degrees different from one another.

The first few days on the peninsula I was feeling insecure, hesitant and above all anxious. I had to unlearn constantly looking behind me on the bike and feeling unsafe while camping. Preferably as soon as possible.

A few days later another boat brought me to Shinas, to the ‘mainland’ of Oman. I could start my ride along the coast to Muscat, Oman’s capital.

No explosion risk for my odometer, no no! Distances per day didn’t reach more than 55 kilometers.
‘Time Trien, give yourself time, it will come…’

Daring to stop for taking a picture, for having a picnic, for talking with that lonely fisherman who is restoring his fishnet.
Daring to take that first dirt road and daring to trust people who offer a night’s stay.

I became more secure, ‘defrosted’ and could gradually enjoy again. Even more, I could laugh, wave and melt while children chanted ‘I love you, I love you’. Looking behind me became past tense and I mainly looked forward. Not only towards Muscat but to the following 15.000 kilometers.

More than ever I believe in it: ‘You can only conquer fear by facing it!’.

 

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Thanks a lot Jan and your big red pencil!

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