We have not gone on a date- in ages. Partially this is because we already spend all our free time together, either at home, or with our families. We grocery shop together, we hang out together, we go for lunch and dinner together- you get it…there is a lot of togetherness. Hence, there was never a real need to make time for some “alone” time. Except this week saw the 4 year milestone of our togetherness, and this called for a celebration of a different caliber. I decided to do something special for Alex on this occasion (or for me, I am not so sure anymore).
The first ever surprise date I ever took him (in 2007) on almost ended in disaster because the suspense that I’ve build up eventually turned into annoyance. He REALLY wanted to know where I am taking him. Luckily I had planned a dinner for us at a German restaurant, complete with a generous flow of house brewed beer, finger-licking dishes and dozens of varieties of meats and poultry. Gausthouse was complete with live tunes in the background, traditional Inn décor and customized waitresses. Let’s just say this place has been a favorite of his-ever since (it might have been those waitresses!). Turns out the wife, has pretty good taste after all . Here is a snap of us, from a few years back at Gausthouse.
In Muscat there remain very few places that we have not already tried and tested. I sincerely wanted to surprise him, take him to a place where he has never been before and get him to experience something new. I am not entirely sure how I have come to the conclusion to take him to a fish spa, but that is what we ended up doing.
Dr. Fish is a spa experience located on the first floor of Bareeq Al Shatti mall, walkable distance from the InterContinental hotel. It is nestled amidst a continuous line of shops, but is not hard to miss due to the massive blue doors with fish images.
I didn’t know what to expect from the evening, as there isn’t much information about the place- except that you get there, soak your feet in water and little fishies swim up to you to munch on your dead skin cells. Somehow, that sounded appealing to me. I thought Alex would it enjoy it too, since he is usually a big fan of all things weird. So throughout the week, I give him little hints like; there will be animals where we are going, no you can’t eat those animals, no we are not going to a pet shop on our date…and no it’s not a circus.

When we arrived for our appointment he was a little stunned, because he definitely did not expect a Spa treatment! He quickly grew fascinated with the aquariums and was the first one of us to soak his feet into a pool of hungry, hyper fish (not piranhas- as I assured him). I genuinely enjoyed the atmosphere at Dr. Fish, a room no bigger than your average sitting room, with sufficient space to place your shoes, bags, wash your feet prior to the treatment, and a staged deck surrounded by 6 separated aquariums. The lights are very dim with a bluish tint, soft gargling music plays in the background and very few customers- the perfect “private” date.

We snuggled on a cushion while soaking our feet, the little Garra Rufas nibbled at our toes, heels and other damaged areas, tickling us unbearably until we got used to the sensations. Although no extensive exfoliation was achieved, my feet did not feel any different than they did prior to the appointment- it is worth going there simply for the experience. There is a tank with slightly bigger fish for those more daring and/or bikers, where you can feel the pinches harder and the fish are more aggressive, especially if you have biker feet. Alex has about 20 fish vacuuming his one toe!!!

All in all, at least in the future we can say “and we went on a date to an all-you-can-eat-dead-skin-cells buffet for fish”, instead of just another dinner and a movie.