Friday, May 22, 2009

The Rink

(Originally Written Dec. 2008)

I took my son Miles to the rink last week. He enjoys ice skating and rollerblading and he had asked to go skating since I had begun going to the rink to play hockey here in Muscat. So, we get to the rink in plenty of time for the 4 P.M. skating session. I’m lacing up our skates and the scene before me is one I had never experienced at a rink. A rink lobby full of people of color; people of brown and black hues. Miles and I proceeded to the ice and the only thing white inside the rink was the ice; a first for me and the only reason why I bring it up. Everyone skating, actually, everyone in the rink, spectators, people behind the concession stands was a person of color.

The people skating were Indian, Omani, and Miles & I. For some, it was their first time on skates, but most of the patrons appeared to be seasoned skaters. A few of the guys were dressed up like old time male figure skaters (Think Dick Button, famous male figure skater of the 1960’s era.) skating gracefully and stylishly. It was great to see so many children skating, especially girls.

Some of the girls had their heads covered (wearing their hijabs) and they were having a great time. Skating as their hijab billowed in air reflecting the speed at which they were going. Since I appear Omani, a number of people approached me speaking Arabic, then English, if they spoke English after they heard my Arabic. Skating with Miles is always fun and this experience was no exception, but it was especially unique. What was really great was that Miles was oblivious to everything that I have mentioned that made this experience so special. He was making new friends, he always seems to meet girls, and he was just skating with dad. He had a blast as did I!

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