Friday, December 25, 2009

Christmas with a difference........

First of - I trust you all had a blessed peaceful Christmas filled with lots of joy, family, good friends and of course presents... :)

I've been studying the art of Christmas in the Middle East over the past few weeks - and have found it - well - erm - different.

Hubby and I have been discussing all the differences and have put our lack of Christmas cheer down NOT to the fact that its not a "big" event here - but due to the stress over the past few months.

We also decided yesterday in fact - that another reason we have kept it "on the down low" is because this is our first year where we are not involved in MAJOR logistical battles between his family and my family, the major dash from one end of the peninsular (Cape Peninsular for those who have NOOOO idea what I'm talking about) to the other. The problems with who is talking to who, who has to supply what, who's po'ed cause we are not there at the right time - the usual family fun one has at Christmas... :)

Looking back over the past few weeks - its been nice - having one Christmas where we actually "didn't get involved". It would have been difficult to have this attitude back home where the whole town has gone mad - rush rush rush, buy buy buy. Its even harder when you have a LARGE family - I stopped counting when hubby's immediate family reached 40. Granted I'm from a smaller family - but then I have a Tyrant for a mother - so when she says BE HERE AT Silly'o'clock for Christmas - you just have to Nod and Agree and be there (Joking MOTHER DEAR - you know I love ya!)

Here it was a breeze... and I think we needed it like this to get Christmas back into prosective - just the 3 of us - nothing major.

Wednesday the 23rd (bearing in mind that Wednesday's here are Fridays with you lot) there was a Christmas party at the Muscat Rubgy Club - so I decided to tag along with a few friends. I had a great time - and really enjoyed myself - what more can you ask for when you havent been out on a jol for a while - Loud Music, Jurgers, smokey haze and having to shout to be heard!

There is a whole world here of younger people (my kinda people :)) who go out jolling every weekend - apparenlty there are night clubs and bars everywhere - you just gotta know where to go... :) LOVE IT... I was introduced to tonnes of new people - of course I can never remember peoples names - so I have forgot their names already - HOWEVER - I remember one of them was a Saffer!!! When we were introduced he said "Hoezit" I nearly fell of the chair in fits of giggles (okay I did have a few Jurgers in by this stage.... ) I love the fact that you can tell where someone is from just by the way they say HI!

Now to just get re-invited - ALAS I feel I have failed on getting a re-invite... I managed to throw Double D over (look another nick already thought out - this one only really works in my head tho - but its all good - I know who I'm talking about - And NO - its NOT RELATED at all to what you are all thinking... naughty people)

Double D was showing us her stunning tattoo on her foot - so Spin Cycle (quiet giggle to myself) could take a photo.... I was just trying to be helpful and hold the leg up - alas I forgot to let go and double D went flying over. I dont think I could apologise enough .... Sorry.....

However - I do believe Double D did her utmost to get me back ...... she introduced me to the King of PDA's.... a reaaaaaallly old toppie (africaans = guy) with greased back hair and a of fashioned suit, who you can picture is always at that bar seat no matter what time of day or night you go to that bar... you know the type... Anyway when he was leaving I got the whole PDA goodbye - erg....... PAYBACK for sure... :)

Christmas Eve - I went to a cafe called Cafe Ceramique for the afternoon with kiddy and a friend... was great fun to spend the afternoon painting and drinking coffee - but I have this all to tell you in another blog - after I get my bowl back... :)

Later on Christmas Eve - we were invited to a braai at another SA Couple's house not far from us... it was great fun too... :) typical christmas braai - just like we woulda had back home... :) What I did giggle at was on the way there we stopped at a garage / petrol station to buy some smokes - and the tyre alighnment place next door was open - business as usual... WHERE else in the world could you get your tyres re-alighned at 6 o clock Christmas Eve... LOVE IT!!!!

Christmas day - we had no plans - it was great... no rush to get anywhere... Kid woke up - checked to see if Santa drank his milk, ate the cookies (NOW what SANTA in the world would not want to eat some Tim Tams?????) and that the Reindeer had eaten his carrot... :)

He then proceeded to open all of his presents... with the usual looks of surprise and disappointment mixed in... :) why is it that the Hot Wheels expensive toy gets a sigh of disappointment - but the M&M Christmas special packet of chocolates get a YELP of JOY??? All in all though - he did love all of his presents - although it took me most of the morning reading the instructions and putting all the parts together... :)

We then just hummed and ahhed over what we should do... looking in the fridge to see if there was anything to cook... bearing in mind all the supermarkets are business as usual - so should we have needed anything - we could have just gone out and got it... LOVE THAT - imagine not having to triple check everything days before Christmas J U S T I N C A S E you forgot something... here you can just go out and get it... :)

We decided to head to the boat club (its really called CAYC - Capital Area Yacht Club) but we call it the boat club cause thats where we park the boat... makes sense... nice beach, bar and Buffet Braai.... so we sat there for the afternoon partaking in a few beer shandies - NOT A GOOD idea in the sun... and enjoying a good lunch...

Another reason to love this place at Christmas - there was no false festive Cheer anywhere ... Some people had taken picnics with all the trimmings to lay a festive table, some lay a festive table and had the buffet and some like us were just not in the mood - so didn't do anything... it was great.... There is also the fact that the weather is GREAT this time of year - middle of winter, just right temperature outside GREAT I tell you GREAT!!!!

So that was our Christmas - It was nice not being bombarded by Christmas Carols in the shops - although give them their due - there are some decorations / trees / snowman up - but its not thrown in your face all the time - and I think it did us the world of good not having a commerical, hectic, stressed, rushed Christmas.

I think we needed this low keyed one - just to get us back on track... Here's hoping next year is just as good...

Anyways till next time....

Overheard last night.......

I accidently overheard kids prayers last night...

"Dear Jesus
Happy Birthday for today
I hope you had a really good day like I did
I hope you got lots of good presents like I did
But I hope next year will be better
For you - Not for me
In Jesus name

Just had to share that........ :)

Thats looking at Christmas through the eyes of a 6 year old... BLESS

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

WTF A criminal system that works???

Oh my has it been a hectic few days - what a lead up to Christmas. Phew....

For those of you that haven't had the pleasure of dealing with the South African Criminal System - let me give you a brief run down.

If a person who owes you money doesn't pay - there is only one option - start legal processeding - go to a lawyer (ie spend more money) they will start sending letters, after so many letters (ie spending even more money) they go to court, wait a few years to get an available court date (ie spend yet even more money). Eventually get a court date and have the judge throw it out because of one teeny tiny small technicallity like his name spelt wrong in the papers. So about 5 years on - you've spent tonnes of money and haven't even seen a red cent of what was initally owed to you.

Oh trust me - its all true - I have someone back in RSA who owes me a fortune - I gave up even bothering to get my money out of him.

In Oman - let me tell you the Criminal System WORKS!!!!

Hubby sold something to a person here (lets call him AH - short for A'Hole)
So AH handed us 3 post dated cheques for this item. I was SHOCKED - no ways you should accept postdated cheques for something - back in RSA you KNOW for SURE - he's gonna run, cancell the cheques and disappear with your item - NEVER to be seen again.

Hubby tells me not to worry - here apparently - you can get arrested if your PD cheque acts like a rubber ball and bounces... YEAH RIGHT I SIGHED... whatever - do what you want (in other words - family motto - Nod and Agree - it's true that's our family motto - I have a T-Shirt and photos to prove it!!!)

Anyway - along comes the date of the first said PD cheque - WHY was I not surprised when we got a frantic phone call begging us not to deposit the cheque because he doesn't have the money. Besides having a mental breakdown - I just pointed, laughed and said TOLD YOU SO.

Hubby slyly smiled at me and said oh dont worry.........

Next thing I know AH is actually SITTING IN JAIL. Thats right people - it took a couple of phone calls, a touch of wasta (influence - thats a story for another post) one trip to the police department and before you could say "Bob's your uncle" he was chucked in the chookie.... (Picture SHOCKED FACE HERE)

24 hours later we had our money and he is out of jail.


and I assume AH will NOT let the next 2 cheques bounce either...

Anyways till next time

Sunday, December 20, 2009

Things one cant pack into a suitcase......

So - here's what I miss that I can't pack into a suitcase... :)

Damn I miss you all - I miss the crazy talk, the random braai's, the MBABT, irritating my brother - you know the normal stuff...

BUT - having said that - I have new friends here - and we have COFFEE DATES!!! :) never did that back in RSA - so sorry peeps.. this is WAY better... :) and there is SOOO many choices other than the Wimpy... ;)

All of you who had the pleasure in a wee little "Kueirtjie" in my lapa "KNOW what I'm talking about" (said with a African American Ghetto accent)
DAMN I miss it - this villa is just not made for outside entertainment - never mind half the year you cant go outside anyways... :)
But now that the weather is cooler (its winter you see - ie its down to the low / middle 20's!!!) now that its STUNNING outside - I WANT MY LAPA!!!!
Damn - the only pic I could find of the lapa is one where it is a TOTAL MESS... :)
(well one that keeps everyone anonymous... Am sure you dont want your faces plastered all over the net... :)

2) I MISS the Table Mountain Range

I miss having those mountains that are GREEN!!! although at this time of year back in Cape Town - I guess they could be up in flames soon? :(
We have mountains here - and I haven't been out to Jebel Akhdar - "The Green Mountain" which is apparently stunning and very green (hence the name) - but the mountains that are around Muscat are desert coloured... SAD...

3) I MISS South African Taxi's

YES people I miss 'em..., I miss 'em BAD! I can hear you all screaming WHY!!!! :)
have you seen the driving over here??? IT SUCKS... At least with the South African TAXI's one knew what to expect, one could actually work out what their next move would be, that they wouldn't stop at a Red Robot (IT's a ROBOT not a Traffic Light!), that they would drive in the yellow line - you KNEW what was gonna happen.

Here - wow - you need to have 10 sets of eyes to keep your wits about you when you drive. They tailgate, they dont use indicators, they DO NOT stick to speed limits, they have NO COOKING CLUE what the white lines painted on the road are for - well they certainly cant be for lanes could they? - DONT even get me started on circles (IT's CIRCLES not ROUNDABOUTS) and let me tell you this place out strips the UK for circles - GEEZ these guys have NO idea what lane to pick "to match" which exit they are gonna be taking - in fact if they stick to their lane you've found a good driver.

Now according to RUMOUR (ie I heard this on a Social Networking site) - apparently this person was going for a drivers licence and her so called instructor told her the following :-
- You can answer your cellphone whilst driving
- There is no need for a gap between cars on the freeway
- There is no need to look whilst entering a circle
(not verbatim - in my own words)
so as you can see - driving is kinda weird over here.... :)

AND on top of that - it is an ARRESTABLE OFFENCE (yes you can get arrested) for giving someone the middle finger - it makes me sad - do you know how many times I gave the middle finger before I learnt that law :) OPPS
Now I just merrily go about screaming some choice africaans swear words (making sure that a) Kid's ears are blocked b) the music is up really loud and c) the windows are wound up... :)

4) Mr A C Kermans or Ms P.E Pstores
DAMN - I miss being able to dash down to the cheapy stores and get my kid some clothes - he is growing out of his clothes so darn quickly and I have yet to find a store here that allows me to go through clothing this quick at a good price. Who wants to pay a fortune for clothing that will only get worn for around 2 months before its declared too small... :( UNLESS I just stop feeding fatty??? :)

5) I MISS Mixing my Languages.. :)
All I seem to do at the moment is think about what I am gonna say next - NOW YOU ALL KNOW that's hard for me to do - think and talk!!!
But here I am aware that I am not always talking to other Saffers.. I'm talking to a lot of other nationalities - so I have to choose my words carefully - also bear in mind that not only are there "The Queen's English" speakers there is also the American English speakers - so you gotta watch out what you say in English also...
Here's a few random words that I keep on saying and keep on having to correct myself on...
Firstly the Queen vs Obama (is that PC?) you know the standard words
- Circle = Roundabout
- Robot = Traffic Lights
- Flat = Apartment
- Pavement = Sidewalk
Then you get the africaans ones - I find it difficult to keep these words out of my vocabulary - I mean they are now part of my MAKE UP... and the "other" english words just DONT make it sound as good... :)
- Vrot = rotten
- Bakkie = Pickup / UTE (depending where you come from) - this one irritates me the most.. :)
- Jol = P.A.R.T.Y
- Braai = B.B.Q / Barbie (depending where you come from)
- Chips = Crisps
- Slap Chips = French Fries
- Dof = Stupid
- EINA = Ouch - OH come on WHICH IS BETTER??? EINA or OUCH! :)
- Sis = yuck
- Skinner = Gossip - DO you KNOW - I always have to triple think the english word here - seems that I have totally lost my brit roots on this one... But then again Skinner is SOOO much more descriptive then Gossip!
- Ne (with a cappie on) = hey!!! :)
- Slip Slops / Floppies = Thongs or slip on's = MY word it's the STANDARD SHOE over here - how can people not know you just gonna go get your slipslops on!!! grrrrr...
- Woes = Agressive / Angry

Jislaaik it mense, is it so hard to invite Tjommies over for a braai, so you can skinner about the Tannies in their slipslops? whilst part-taking in a few Klippies (AVAILABLE HERE PEEPS!) and Slap chips?? Or shall I say I get Woes when people think I am Dof cause I can praat the taal. It's a hard life ne... But I think I will get it all together now now...

DAMN that above paragraph might not make sense to some of you - but it sure feels good to say it...

There are many many more things I miss that cant be packed in a suitcase - but these are the ones that I can think of right now...

I think its time I let you know about the things I LOVE about Oman - else all I end up doing is complaining....

Anyways till then

Things I can't find in Oman

Okay - so I've gotten over me little Mental breakdown - thanks to all who sent emails, comments and prayers... It all helped cheer me up - thanks... :) I'm not at the top yet - but am trying really hard to be more positive - and nothing like 3 days solid of housework and sorting to get a OCD mad person sorted... :)

Anyways - on to more positive things hey... if you can call this positive :)

I've be creating a list of things that I need someone to bring over from RSA for me - when and if I ever get any visitors... :) (hint hint) Things you can't find here and I miss them every now n then...

And I am gonna test run linking up pics... bear with me... :)

1) and I am not gonna link up a pic - you all know what I'm on about - it's the common garden variety toilet seat... YES people the toilet seats here are OBVIOUSLY made of gold - they cost a cool OMR 50.000 - thats ZAR 1000.00 - bearing in mind that at Builders Warehouse back in RSA - they only cost around R 150.00 so thats OMR 7.500 - here they are obviously made of gold..... Although I had one REALLY COOL friend D - who did an IKEA run to Dubai - and she got me one there - it was WELL under OMR 10.000 - she also bought me back a few packs of TimTams.. YAY ME :) (which brings me to my next one.... )

2) Tim Tams - For those of you who have no IDEA what a Tim Tam is you gotta read this blog by Delirious in the Desert - She happens to enjoy a Tim Tam Slam as much as I do. For those of you who never had the pleasure of joining me for a Slam - there is a video on this blog that will show all of you "un-inititated" EXACTLY how to do it. WATCH and LEARN my Friends - Watch and learn.
Back in RSA you can get 'em in any old Pick n Pay, and they are also available in Dubai - but NOT HERE... Which on one hand I guess is a good thing really - I am no longer munching my way through a packet a day doing the Tim Tam Slam...

3) Rowntrees Fruit Gums

okay so these arent really a South African Sweet - but I used to be able to get them there - they were imported along with other UK products at my FAV shop - the UK Emporium - google it people - you can get your fav UK stuff right there in RSA and THEY DELIVER!!! Although a nice stroll through their shop will bring back many memories of your childhood in England - erm if you had a childhood there like me.. :)
I have been begging my CCS to post me some... OR if that failed to get me mam to post me some - she's sitting in UK RIGHT NOW!!!! To no avail haven't heard a thing...

(Erm wonder if UKE will post me some now that I have given them free advertising... )

4) Jelly Tots

Okay - so I'm not missing them toooooo much - but poor old Kid is - he keeps on asking me to search the shops here for Jelly tots... :(

ALTHOUGH - I have to mention here that there is a DECIDED LACK of nice sweets here - as most of you know I have a sweet tooth - and I can tell you its slowly going - I have yet to find anything that tickles me fancy here and I can call it my next craze... its a SAD situation...

OH I LIED - there is a toffee here called MILKIES

But still thats a toffee not a jelly sweetie like Jelly tots or Fruit Gums, and I'm not addicted to them..... not really anyway....

5)Grandpa Headache Powders

BUT you cant find them here - and I am slowly finishing off my stash of 30 LARGE boxes I bought over with me... :(

Man I would give my wisdom teeth for a Karoo Lamb "Tjop op 'n Braai" right now...
The meat here is okay - I guess - but obviously not what we are used to eating, and yes you can get Pork - as long as you are willing to take out a 3rd bond on your house - we really only go n get a bit of bacon to make Mac'Cheese and maybe Pork Sausages (cause thats all I know how to cook!).
So yes - we have actually cut down on our meat eating - until I guess we develop the taste for it.
Back in RSA - you used to be able to buy 1kg Pre-pack Spare Ribs ready to braai at Spar or Pick n Pay - cant for the life of me remember the brand - anyone know what I am talking about - comes in a box?? Anyway those cost around ZAR 150 last time I was in RSA - you can get them here - I think it was R450.00 a kilo when I last look.. (Oh to be able to a shocked face emoticon right now!)
Lets get your taste buds going shall we?

Gosh whilst we are on the subject of meat - YUMMO RIB BURGERS... No need to elaborate here...

8) and of course what every South African missses - BILTONG and DROEWORS


There would have been a 9th - but thanks to Delirious who had ENOUGH of my whinging and moaning - she located Jurgenmeister!!!! I no longer miss that - I have it stashed in my deep freeze... :)

Well - thats about all the foodie types of things I miss from RSA - so if anyone is reading this and might be flying over soon (and I mean over as in not only over to visit - but over on the way somewhere else - so you can drop a package outta the window!) feel free to add any of these things in...

Keep tuned for a list of things I miss that one wont be able to pack into a suitcase...

Anyway - till then

Monday, December 14, 2009

Wobblys, Mental Breakdowns, OCD and where the hell is the Christmas Cheer....

I'm having a major wobbly today - and true to my nature I love to spread the misery - so have done a great job via FB in spreading it thick... sorry for that - now I'm too embarrased to go change my status...

Anyway the day started out GREAT - went for a movie and a cuppa with a few friends - I SO HATE that they censor the movies here and cut out parts (ummm - leave that for another blog maybe!) SO YES!!! I really enjoyed myself - but then it kinda went down hill from there...

OH GEEZ - do you know how many times I have written a paragraph and deleted it up to this point.

I HAVE TO STOP airing my pain, spreading the misery you know - I have to stop telling everyone what's going wrong in my life - whats the saying - airing my dirty laundry - I feel bad about it really I do - I dont want you all feeling sorry for me - this place is great, I can see the potential here, I will be extremely happy - and I usually am - I just need to have those days where I have a mental breakdown okay?

So I'm not going to tell you EVERYTHING that made me have a wobbly today - but I will share one MAJOR contributing factor - in fact - it might be the MAIN reason for todays mental breakdown - and that my dear friends is my OCD...

Now - dont knit pick - I'm not talking the full on cleaning my hands ten times, turning the light switch on and off 15 times level of OCD - okay so maybe in order not to offend the population that has full on OCD, maybe I shouldn't use that term - but seriously my Crazy Cuz S - hey lets call her CCS... WOW I have one nick sorted all ready - can I hear a whoop whoop... - anyhoo - my CCS calls me Anal retentive - erm can I say anal in public? yeah whatever my blog my life - and I agree I am Anal retentive - I wear that badge proudly - well I did up until 5 months ago - up until the 14th of July 2009 to be PRECISE (ANAL you see)

Up until that time - I was extremely irritating with regards to my worldly goods - everything had its place - all of my books (yes around 2500 of them where on a bookcase in alphabetically order and listed on an excel spreadsheet for good measure - imagine my delight when Oman Customs asked for a list and I had it!!) I had lists of things, shopping, to do, reminders, FiloFaxes, Lists of my lists - ORGANISED!! You wanted something I KNEW EXACTLY where it was - oh and WOE is the person who took it and NEVER put it back there.

There was never a prouder moment in my life - the time when my kid (did we settle on fatty?? cant remember), anyhoo, when one day I was cleaning his room and by ACCIDENT put a Ben 10 toy in the Power Ranger box (I mean COME ON only a 5 year old could tell what the toy actually is!) - he pipes up.. MOM!!! its the wrong box - how will we find it again if its not in its right place... OH MAN - was I proud!! a boy after my own heart - My work here is done - I have trained him well.

Mind you - dont get me wrong - I like to think that my house was visitor friendly - it was clean, neat (ish) and if I had visitors I wouldn't go around cleaning up after them, or making sure they had coasters under their drinks - I didn't mind what state the house got into whilst you were there - but trust me the minute you left I tidied up and cleaned up and put everything back in it's place - okay so I'm lying here - a) would not clean the kids room - that could wait for another day and b) it would depend on the number of Jurger Bombs (hereinafter - as you can tell I used to be a PA in my past constructive life - hereinafter refered to as JB's - get your mind out of the gutters its Jay Bee's not BJ's!) that had passed through my lips... :) But generally yes - it would all be sorted before I hit the sack.

BUT as I say - that was until the 14th of July this year - that was the day that Elliots came to start loading up the container of my house.

From that day till now - a mental breakdown has been coming on slowly but surely - and today - it hit - sorta like the storm we just had I guess!

So for 5 months now I've been living in a mess - firstly out of suitcases and what ever we could squeeze into them for a month, and then in a mass of boxes, rooms we couldn't move into, a unmaintained mound of dust - A MESS - oh and for the record it is still a mess - hence said Mental Breakdown.

I dont even have lists anymore - and I can't remember the last time I use a shopping list.

And today I realised that this is what is doing my head in - I have books mixed with kitchen goods stuck on a few shelves in the passage - I have an office full of boxes of things to be sorted - so really there isn't much room for me and Cat (not making up a nickname for him - I was too lazy to name him in the first place poor sausage) Anyone who can remember what my desk used to look like would have a heart attack right about now - erm just surveying it to make a list for you is giving me a heart attack - OH MY WORD - why is there candles, toilet roll holders, transformers and ironing on my desk?? where did that come from?

Have a mentioned before my washing machine (may he RIP) died?? It did. It was a sad prelonged illness near the end - but he eventually bit the dust (ha ha in this place thats a DAMN FINE PUN!) poor thing - oh how I miss him. He had been with me through thick and thin, through teenagers and in laws, through summer and winter (we got those back in RSA) He came with us to a far of land looking for adventure - cause we loved him. BUT sadly he was dropped, and was never the same after that, he took it badly, and so am I. Now I have PILES and PILES of washing to do by hand - it saddens me. It's also raining out side - that saddens me too.

Anyway back to my agony - I feel bad that I dont invite friends over (I have those now!) but I cant I really cant - in fact I cant live in this mess either - its doing my head in seriously.

So tonight - I not only had a wobbly, I had a mental breakdown - and I have done something that I never done BEFORE in my life - I have had a few JB's here at what is now my desk, all by my lonesome - yes people I am drinking shooters by myself - who knows if it's helping - I guess I will have to see when I wake up in the morning.... :)

And what of the Christmas Cheer I mentioned in the heading... No Idea - I just added that in for good measure - the CHEER is NOT HERE... hey that rhymes... the kid / fatty put the tree up tonight whist we played Boney M's Christmas Special CD... You see I am trying really really really hard. But some how, some where in one of these FREAKEN BOXES or packed in the wrong place - I seem to have lost my Christmas Cheer and I do believe have 11 days to find it....

Maybe just maybe it's hiding in the deep freeze with the Jurger... I'm off to go check...

Till later...

Wednesday, December 09, 2009

PDA's - Whats all the hype about?

I'm not a fan of PDA's - I'm really not - just ask my brother... :) I think the only time we ever hug and kiss is when one of us has had a few too many. Normally him mind you...

I think it's because I'm self conscience. I'm a smoker - so surely I must stink to the non-smokers - so I shouldn't subject them to my BO just to say hello? Surely the big cheesy grin on my face is good enough? And then of course I'm as elegant as a Ballerina Elephant so will most probably stand on their toes, get hooked on their necklace or some such nonsense.

My husband (still haven't decided on a good nickname) in his infinte wisdom decided that our wedding will be over the WHOLE weekend - pure PDA hell - imagine hating PDA's and then having to PDA everyone hello on Friday night, PDA congratulations on the Saturday after the ceremony and then PDA good byes and good lucks on the Sunday - pure hell I tell you HELL!!! (Okay so that was one small bad point in a WHOLE weekend of PARTY!!!)

Back in RSA - my dear friends at Kids (also need a nickname for him - wonder if fatty is a good one??) old school knew about my irrational "fear" and used each and every opportunity to Hug me!!! ERG!! However - on a positive note it did start me on the road to recovery and I was getting used to it - HOWEVER on a negative note - after months of not doing it - I've gone back to my old habit of not initiating PDA's!

Then of course at the airport when we left to come here... OH MY GOSH! really was all those hugs necessary??*

NOW HERE in OMAN... there are different types of PDA's that are FREAKING ME OUT!!! So what I decided to do was to do a bit of research**

Firstly - cause I know most of you are LA-ZZZZZY - so if I put a link (I can do that now!!!) up to Wiki I know you aint gonna go read it... so

Wiki says and I quote:-
"A public display of affection (sometimes abbreviated to PDA) is the physical demonstration of affection for another person while in the view of others."

Here's some interesting facts pulled of wiki.. :)
- PDA's are strongly discouraged in the USofA Armed Forces
- Latin America (must be every males dream) PDA is acceptable - and it is normal to see people, particularly women who are not a couple, holding hands, kissing (and french kissing) and caressing.
- Middle Eastern Countries, varying degrees are acceptable, depending on the country and the city - Saudi do not allow any form of PDA.
- (and my favourite) in South Africa is it against the law for anyone under the age of 16 to take part in PDA's. (OH thats right - lets ban PDA's that will SOOO stop the raping, under age sex, unwanted pregnacy's - get a grip RSA ruling party....)

Now during my intense research** I discovered there is not much info on the Etiquette of greeting someone - so again I dont know the rules and regulations - but I have noticed here there are various degrees of greetings and PDA's.

- Nationals - the men either just shake hands or they do some form of kissing / nose tapping.. I found this on youtube - you can see the nose tap as well as hear the kissing noise. This really had me worried the first time I saw this - I was like NO NO NO dont tell me I have to learn this greeting to "fit" in - ERG I will probably end up poking someones eye out with my huge nose... Turns out tho' thats its just a male form of greeting and then also only with really good friends / family - its not a every day occurance... PHEW...

- Expats from sub contient (now I stand under correction - but it seems to me to be more from the Pakistani's) - they walk around HOLDING HANDS... Now where I come from that means you're Gay - sorry if that insults anyone - but looking at two males holding hands and generally doing PDA's - ITS GAY!! There is not much info about it on the net - and no pictures I can put up (all copyrighted) but if you get 5 minutes google it - have a look. Seems to me that it's just the norm amongst their culture to hold hands and be affectionate with friends. Sorry! but that not cool in my world. Just imagine walking around seeing that every 5 minutes... "shivers" But hey each to their own - I guess I must just get used to it - its my home now.

- Now the whole point of this blog - The Western Expat greeting and PDA's... which is obviously similar to back home in RSA. What level of friendship does one start doing this?? Only after you've discussed the pros and cons of a mono brow? (DAMN still haven't tamed mine) or the first time you meet? or only with people you like? (Okay that could be rude - imaging meeting up with a bunch of people and you only like one of them - so you only PDA her... ROFL... oh imagine the scene!)

I was thinking maybe I'll just PDA the smokers (they cant smell me) which is a DAMN fine plan - cause I haven't met that many smokers here - but then I met a couple where the husband smokes but the wife doesn't so that could be awkward if I only PDA him - she might get a tad PO!

Then of course you have the whole elegant method of actually "arranging" a PDA, if you are walking in to a whole bunch of people sitting down its easy (ish) just bend down - go for the kill and greet - BUT BUT BUT - do you do a one sided mwah or both sides? OR what if one is french decent? then its a 3 some! ERG And then and then watch out for the coffee cups and chairs and handbags and wondering hands! (cause I will be the one to knock over something!) AND what about the person who tries to get up whilst you are heading down - so you end up head butting them???

Of course it makes for a whole different scenairo if you are sitting down - thats just harsh - do you start getting up and wait for the head butt??, do you move slightly to make it easier, WHAT DO YOU DO???

Of course you've JUST gotten over (ie the blush has died down to a pale red) the embarrassment of headbutting someone, knocking over coffee on someone else, and totally breaking the other persons toe when its time to say goodbyes and thank yous and you start with the PDA thing ALL OVER A BLOODY AGAIN...

WHICH - if anyone has wondered - I never actually want to leave anywhere - I will always be the last man (woman) standing - you actually have to physically remove me from the premises - Its because I dont know the RULES - do I initate the PDA goodbye and hope I dont break toes, spill something, headbutt the dog - or should I just hang around until they politely tell me to FO now you've over stayed the welcome... (MBABT - you KNOW what I'm talking about... ROFL)

Anyways - thats my random thoughts on the whole PDA thing - if I dont do it and I offend you I apologise - if you want to see how red I go when I blush just go for the kill (but dont blame me if it goes wrong!)

* Just joking - I loved all the hugs when we left - shows I was loved.. :)
** When I say I did a bit of research - I dont really mean I researched it THAT much - I wiki'ed and googled and binged a bit whilst enjoying a quick cuppa...

Anyway till next time... PDA PDA PDA... :)

Haphazard Thoughts

Its been a hectic week.. and I'm not really in the mood for putting my thoughts down in writing - but I'm not sure which is worse people complaining I'm not telling them news or having to sit my fat arse down and write... :)

So this will be a total haphazard bunch of thoughts and things that have happened in the past while..

So lets break the news down first shall we..

- Hubby (am trying to think up a better word - but that involves actual thoughts - so give me time - unless you can come up with a better one!) has pulled out of the business that he has set up here - and the first words out of one of the other partners (soon to be ex) mouths was "your visa will be revoked". WTF - was that a threat?
- The landlord has finally shown his true colours - he's of the dickhead colour varity - yes so we are sub-leasing - get over yourself - you must have approved it cause you didn't object before - but where the hell are you manners?? Sitting outside in your car, phoning the person who has rented to call us to tell us to come outside?? and then refuse to speak to us? WTH is up with that?
- I went on an outting with the school - and without my knowledge - hubby gets a bee in his bonnet and hires muscles to finally get the house sorted out - so it was a total mess when I got home and this the day after housework day!!! With Sugar spilt every where from upstairs all the way downstairs to the kitchen... ERG
- Hubby dear decides to go to Abu Dhabi - which caused endless logisital problems - least of all having around 10 young adults outside my house at 11 at night transfering the tow bar from our car to a car that has stronger towing power - Geez they can make a noise - HOWEVER - on a positve note - WHERE ELSE in the WORLD could you just leave 2 sets of car keys on a front step of a house and have them still there in the morning??? (although growing up in RSA - I didn't take the chance I went to fetch them... :))

So things are not going according to MY plans... and I have spent a few days spreading the hate and being totally GATVOL in Oman... However, have now handed over all my worries - and am in a better place (for the moment!) and am just waiting to figure out what His new plans are.

Am sure that the new found happyness also has a lot to do with my recent coffee date with friends (I am now offically allowed to call 'em friends... whoop whoop!) Apparently once you've discussed the pros n cons of a Mono brow you can class them as friends - (note to self tame the mono brow!)

I have a whole list of things that I am wondering about lately..

I wonder...

- Why the muscles put the sugar bowl upside down in the bread bin while they were moving all my furniture the other day?
- if Rat poo size is relative to the size of the rat
- why I have suddenly developed Caffiene shakes if I have too much caffiene - is that old age?
- WHY (and yes this is a big WHY) is it that if I want something its up / down stairs - never on the same level as me
- why do I own 55 coffee mugs?
- why my wingman's kid always gets sick on coffee date day - is that a hint?
- why my cat is still moulting after 5 months of being here
- why do I always end up with 2 pairs of sunglasses on my face (one on my hair and one over my eyes)
- why are Jack Russels better rat catches than cats
- why I never get a phone call unless I have left my cellphone at home
- when will the festive cheer kick in
- why we haven't actually gotten around to fixing the washing machine yet
- when will I get around to actually learning this blog programme so I can attach links, photos n videos n things..

A BIG SHOUT OUT has to go to Lee and the HotShots and Brooklyn teams who have BOTH done RSA PROUD at the FISAF World Champs hosted in Martinique this year... Brooklyn took GOLD MEDAL in the Hip Hop Senior Category and Hot Shots took GOLD in the Juniors!! No idea how to link but here goes... HERE
(Lee correct me if the info is wrong..... :))
Congratulations to you all!!!

HEY WHAT DO YA KNOW - Thanks Delirious - I managed to get a link up... WHOOP WHOOP - not all is lost... :)

Saturday, November 28, 2009

Accents, Friends and Conversations

I'm in heaven - I really am... There is one thing that I have enjoyed all my life and that is listening to other people and listening to their accents...

And here in Muscat - if there is one thing that is NOT in short supply, it's the vast amount of different accents there are. Over and above the National's accents, you have the British, which as you know not one of them sounds alike, then there are the Aussies, the Kiwis, the American, the Candians, the Indians, the Pakistanis, in fact I dont think there is a country that is not represented here.

In fact, just looking at my kids class - out of a class of 20 - there are 17 Countries represented and 21 languages spoken - I cant wait to hear him in a years time so see which ones he has picked up over the year. Hubby and I have decided that the minute he stops saying "JA" but says Yeah or Yes - thats when we send him back to SA to get his Saffer accent back... Already he is dropping his "t"'s - I have to keep correcting him that wa'er is water and be'er is better... but then I find myself dropping 'em also!

What I find strange is back in RSA - people easily picked up that I was not South African, yet here - they all know I'm from RSA - weird that...

Anyway I could sit and listen to the various accents found here all day - I find it amazing - and I really want to get out there and listen to them all...

I used to think that any accent from the UK was the best - but I have to say that I have found a better one - Canadian... WOW - now if I could just find a Canadian who would be willing to talk all day... :)

Have you ever had to go out and make a whole new circle of friends? And at what stage can you actually say they are your friends? Whats the rules? If you've met them once are they "people you know", twice "acquintances", three times "friends". What happens if you exchange numbers, or facebook details - what are they then cyberbuddies? I find this a very interesting train of thought and its been on my mind a lot lately.

I remember moving from UK to RSA waaay back when I was a wee girl (yes I can remember that far back) and we had to make new friends - but seeing as I was in school it seems to be so easy - I dont recall my parents having problems either - but then again I was a kid - I was wrapped up in my own little world.

Then of course you go through your school life, early adulthood, work, etc etc and you always seem to be surrounded by friends - friends you can call for a quick cuppa, or the one that goes shopping with you for that perfect outfit, or the ones that come over to watch the rugby, and even the wingmen that you play drinking games with - but you always had friends. You might meet new people, but because you are surrounded by your other friends its not really noticeable.

Just try coming to a completely new place and having to start from scratch... its not easy - esp. for me.

Now, even back in RSA, I had an extremely low sense of self esteem, and it took me ages to feel comfortable that people liked me for me, and they weren't just feeling sorry for the weirdo, I worry that I have overstayed my welcome and end up irritating them, I worry that I contact them too often to arrange things. Of Course it doesn't help your sense of self esteem when ONE person, out of a hand full that you counted on as being your best friends, hasn't contacted you in all the months you've been gone.

What I have decided to do - is to just get out there and meet as many people as possible! And so far I think I'm doing a damn fine job! (even if I say so myself!) I cannot for the life of me remember who told me this - but someone mentioned once that the joys of moving to a completely new country is that one can re-invent themselves - OH WAIT - I think I remember now - sorry I sometimes suffer from C.R.A.F.T - but they were actually talking about jobs... (oops!) but anyway, I've decided to take that good piece of advise and shift it over to my personal life - I'm re-inventing myself - I'm gonna start being a more confident person - and just pretend everyone likes me... :)

Oh dont worry - in the dead of night I'll still wake up worrying I wont get invited anywhere - but at least I will worry with more confidence ...:)

I've met some really nice people since I've been here... some of them I have met via the internet, some of them from the kids class, some of them via introductions from other people - I'd like to say that some of them are friends already - again I'm not really sure what the rules are - at what stage can I call them friends??? But I will confidently say I'd like to call them friends.... :)

This place is weird for conversations with people you have just met - I can guarantee you every single conversation will have the following topics in it...

- Where you come from - this on is fairly easy to contend with - you are introduced as - This is Gatvol, she's from South Africa - remember the good old days when you were just Gatvol - then you became Gatvol, so n so's wife - and then you became Gatvol, so n so's mother - well here you are Gatvol from South Africa. Of course if the country does not come up in the introductions - the very next sentenace will be ... "so thats a south African accent... which part you from?"

- Where you live - of course this is what everyone wants to know... :) we want to know if you have easier parking, closer to the shops, are you closer to the schools, do you have to contend with the traffic - of course for me to explain where I live - they end up in Upington (now apparently I can like one of my older posts HERE... but I have no idea how... just go read the older posts DAMN IT!)

- Booze licence... This comes up all the time... It seems to be that since one is restricted to certain hours and value limits on your Booze - one tends to think about it more often... I know I do... I CANT FIND JAGERMEISTER HERE!!!! :(

- Dust - why's there's so much, how it gets everywhere, how it procreates and multiplys, how its family and friends come back to avenge the death of the dust you just wiped away with no thought to his wife and kids back at home waiting for him (you get the picture right?)

- and Finally when will your Residencey Visa / Work Contract expire... MY WORST NIGHTMARE... meeting new friends (whats the rules?? are they friends yet??) to have them disappear out of your life in a eye blink...

One thing I do like about meeting new people tho.... they haven't heard all my crappy stories yet... ROFL...

anyway till next time...

PS - you gotta, JUST GOTTA, go watch NEW MOON... TEAM JACOB!!!! :)

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Not sure if I'm cut out for this

I am not a bloggers arse... I realise this...

Geez - I have typed and deleted about 10 times now... (did I mention I'm not a bloggers arse?)

Anyway I decided to cut a long story short... Instead of making a short story long like I usually do... :)

Surfice to say since I have been in Oman I have discovered a whole new world of bloggers... I have done a complete 180 degree turn on what type of people bloggers must be - I WILL NOT tell you what I used to think of them - and seeing as I am now in that category - I had better do a 180 degree turn.

I wont bore you on how I came to the point of reading blogs - but I will tell you that now I am reading blogs I am enjoying each and every one of them and I really get depressed if none of them have updated for a while - I get offended... can their lives be that busy that they forget about their followers??

Some are funny, some are informative and a lot of them do a loooot of research before they blog - but all of them give a little bit of insight of life here in Oman, the ups and downs.

There are many entries that I want to scream at - shouting "that happened to me" or "I know what you mean" - its really weird - I feel as if I know these people. I also at the same time get a sinking feeling - there are so many things I want to tell you all - but they've done it first and they've done it better... :)

I am not sure of the ethics with regards to blogging, I cant seem to find any written rules or anything - so I am not sure if I am allowed to make reference to them in my blogs but what I can tell you is that I have certain blogs that I follow like a stalker... on the left hand side of this page is a list of those I follow - if you get 5 mins you have to start reading them - they are really good.

When I go out and meet people, if I happen to meet say a Greek, a Aussie or a Candadian - my mind goes into overdrive, looking for clues to see if I find out if they are the bloggers I follow.. YA RIGHT - I have an overactive imagination - the amount of expats living in Oman and I would happen to meet the very people that I follow... what are the odds??

I have also had a look at the amount of people that follow them - wow they have loads. At the last count - I think I have 5 followers - and that suits me fine... :) after reading how well written the other blogs are - I'm in no way or form competiting with them at all - I mean GEEZ - I haven't even got the energy to to create a logo for my blog nor have a learnt how to put up some pictures... so I guess you could say I'm not very good at this. (Just in case I forgot to mention - I aint a bloggers arse!)

But someone told me that to blog is good for the soul, you can rant and rave and get it all out of your system - and I must admit it works - everytime I tell a story here - I feel so much better... :) and of course theres the added advantage of when people ask me why I haven't emailed them - I just say - but all my news is up on the blog... :)

So I guess I aint gonna stop just - I'm just letting you know I aint a very good blogger... :)

Oh and if anyone wants to tell me how to load up pics or has the energy to create a logo... feel free...

It's Eid holidays here now - a whole 9 days hols (including weekends) so many ideas so little energy... :) One thing I do know is I'm off to watch New Moon tomorrow - cant wait... :)

till next time

Monday, November 23, 2009

The Brit and the Pea

Man - I have been meaning to tell you all about this and I keep on forgetting... It's called C.R.A.F.T people...

I was at a supermarket called Al Fair (although a lot of people here call it Un Fair no idea why yet!) they are about the only supermarket chain here that sells products imported from RSA (amongst other countries) So I pop in there every now and then to stock up on KOO cans and Today products, oh and Ina Paarmans, n Robertsons.. OH man lots of products.

Anyway - so the other day I was in there with my wingman, and I came across KOO peas... Now those of you who know me... know that I am famous for my cooking... NOT!!! but I do make a damn fine salad - as long as it comes out of a can... ROFL...

Anyway - one really nice salad is the KOO peas and Mayo...

So walking down the aisle with me wingman, and there on the shelf was KOO PEAS!!! so I started piling them into the trolley.... it's the done thing here - once you see something you like - take it all... who knows when you will see it again (you would think that the people here would use their initiative - if it sells make sure you buy lots more and keep it stocked - it doesn't seem to be the done thing here - one day its on the shelf and the next its gone for months.... weird really!)

Wingman was like Yummo you can make salad... and I was talking to the cans telling them how much I missed them...

Then this other shopper in the aisle asked what's that - so I explain about KOO being the best peas you can get in a can - mix it with Mayo and Voila instant easy salad - and she (amazingly a Brit!) started telling me how she makes the same with Mielie (corn for you non Saffer's) - SEE a woman after my own heart - quick and easy salads...

So she asked me if I had taken all the cans - but I kindly allowed her to take one.. and give my salad a go...

Hey who knows I might have started a trend here in Muscat... :)


Eish... it's been a weird day...

Well, I've sorta gotten over my I hate everything day, but I could add a few more things to that list... so dont get me started... :)

But I just have to tell you about my day today - it high-lights a typical day in Oman.. :) Okay well maybe not in Oman but definitely in my life at the moment...

Okay - so our mission today was
1) Renew Kids Passport
2) Amend plane tickets
3) go to DHL to collect a package - apparently - they DONT deliver here... WEIRD!!!
4) Do a deposit at The National Bank of Oman
5) pop into a mall we hadn't been in before - they had signs of 50% sale up!!! it was a must!

So we set out on our "adventure"

Before I get to the knitty gritty - I have to explain the roads here - if you want to go ANYWHERE you have to go VIA somewhere else (a good RSA saying explaining this would be you have to go via Upington to get there... ) a lot of the roads are one ways so you have to go passed / around the place you want to go and make your way back to it.. and of course you end up on the wrong road and happen to pass by where you want to be on the other side... It really makes for fun trips, we just pack in a picnic...

So - off we go via upington....

1) At the SA Embassy - In TYPICAL South African Government style - when I collected the application form - they had forgotten to give me half of it, as well as the list of things needed - so we accomplished - NOTHING - however - I must admit it had me and hubby in hysterics on having a typical "South African Government worker" (wink wink) assist us - it was like being back home... ;)

Then over the road is the place to amend the tickets - but it took us many trys and errors, round trips etc to get to the Emirates Building...

2) Where I had forgotten our passports and tickets on the desk at home... oopsie daisy... (can I tell you how impressed hubby was....)

on to the deposit

3) we spent an HOUR driving up and down and round and about no avail no National Bank of Oman. Millions of other banks but NOT the one we are looking for - but we happened to pass (in the right direction) the Mall we wanted to go look at...

4) Zankher (I think you spell it like that) Mall... It only opens at 10!!!! and it was 9'o'clock...

WELL YES - hubby was not impressed with me at all... But what is it with this place - there is NO standard times for anything opening or closing here - its hit and miss and really really weird times. Our Local DVD shop only opens at 18h00???

So we go home..

We get onto the National Bank of Oman's website - click on the Branch Location Button - and it gives a list of all branches - NO OTHER INFO!!! WTF - so it says Al Khuwair Branch and thats it - well that was EXTREMELY helpful in finding out where they are located... not even a bloody phone number...

Then I had a brain wave - get hold of Oman's version of Wiki... OmanForum!! (hereafter refered to as OF) its a forum for both Expats and National's either in Oman or was in Oman (although we have one member who's never even been here! WEIRD!). You can paste any question, and you will get good answers within minutes if not seconds. Of course there is the social side of it too (DOH! like where I have meet all my friends... haha - yes I have had to scoop that low to make friends here... ;) (JOKING PPL you know I love ya!) but it really is the most amazing place to find really good info on Oman. And really within 10 minutes I had an answer and knew exactly where it was.

So then off we went again and started all over again,

We decided to not amend the tickets just yet - as we are still argueing on when we are going back on hols.... I will NOT be in Cape Town during the 2010 World Cup - forget it!!

SA Embassy - again - GREAT South African SERVICE... at least it was a laugh.. But what was funnier was that when I asked how long before the passport will be ready - she said 3 months... WOW! thats better service than what you get in South Africa... ROFL - I would recommend you all come here to get your passports renewed... :)

National Bank of Oman - I walk in and it didn't look like the banks I know back home in RSA... Opps after about 5 minutes of wondering around pretending I can read arabic signs I found the tellers right at the back around the corner (how weird is that!). Join the queue and wait my turn. Then some national female goes to the one teller JUMPING the whole queue... boy was I peeved... the audacity of it all.. but I let it go, deep breaths... Then the teller started banging on his window and tell me to come here - but he wasn't being that friendly - so I was like FFS what now... so he tells me, "why you standing in queue - this is a ladies only teller" and he helps me before that National who I thought was pushing in... GOOD JOB I held my words... hahaha

DHL - nothing major happened here - except the whole weird way you had to go to get there.. and you end up passing it 100's of times before you figure it out!

Then we finally got to the Mall - the sale was good, but oh my golly gosh the taste in furniture - erg disgusting - but I did see the most amazing desk I WANT!!!

Then hubby says we can have a coffee... Cant for the life of me remember the places name.. I ordered the Iced Chocolate Cuppachino... ERG it was disgusting... basically it was like Frisco instant coffee (for those who dont happen to know what Frisco is - it must be the worse instant coffee you can get (erm apologies for those who like it) its basically just chicory not even caffeine) so a cup of that coffee with 3 ice cubes in it... Where the hell was the chocolate??? erg I'm getting shivers just thinking about it...

Anyhoo... Off to a more decent coffee shop tommorrow - where I will make up for todays mistakes... Off to meet some random strangers I met on OF... erg hope they not mass murderers... but its all good - taking my wingman with me... ERG - I met her on OF too... ;)

Oh one other thing that had me giggling today....
Got an email from Kids teacher with "forthcoming attractions" And there was a note at the bottom - Swimming is stopped for the winter season.... WTF!!! it's over 30 degrees outside people... OMW!!! imagine having a school tell you they stop swimming when the temperature reaches 30!!!

Till next time

Saturday, November 21, 2009

I'm having a "I hate everything" day today...

Erg, I woke up in a I hate the world kinda mood today and I cant get it out of my system - so I have decided to create a list of things I hate - hopefully this will help me to get over myself...

I hate
- waking up in a I hate everything mood
- housework
- dust - it procreates and triples every time you clean
- the size of my floor surface in this place
- that my washing machine is broken (again)
- that I still havent unpacked
- that I still dont have a kitchen
- that people some times dont catch my sense of humour - its not my fault its a British humour mixed in with a South African humour for good measure.
- the fact that we have put our live and soul into this freaken company - and its not working out yet
- the fact that we have left some unfinished "business" back in RSA and its all going to pot and I seriously doubt it will ever be rectified
- the fact that there are no decent sweets here - oh my life for a Rowntree's fruit gum, and son dear is constantly talking about Jelly Tots... bless him
- the fact that I dont have my own car
- the T-Junction at the end of the road - it links up to a main road - and to cut a long story short it must be the worst T-Junction I have ever had the pleasure to try and cross
- that the drivers here in Oman who are totally inconsiderate of anyone else on the freaken road
- that I have to go outside for a smoke

(having just gotten back from a smoke break and a deep breath)...

I hate
- that its overcast (wonder if that means rain in this place... rofl)
- that I eat too much when I'm in these moods
- that I'm over weight
- that I have a low sense of self esteem
- that I think the whole world hates me
- that I have just finished a whole packet of Timtams by myself... (oh the horror!)
- that my husband irritates me today
- that my dog is following me around like a lost puppy... oh wait... he is a puppy..
- that there are no libraries in this place
- that I have no money of my own
- that I cant afford books - erg... okay that just depressed me further

Geez I could go on - but I think I'm depressing myself further and I dont want that... I only have a couple of packets of timtams... :)

I think I need to seriously go and get drunk... but then I would have to add a few further things on my hate list...

- that I dont know if they sell my favorite tipple here
- that I dont think I could afford it if I did !!
- that I dont have my drinking partners / wing men here
- that my wing men have completely ignored me since I left RSA ... what type of friends were they... :(

Anyway - hopefully tomorrow my mood will be better

and then I'll start on a list of things I love PROMISE


Pro's and Con's of live in Oman...

Geez - I apologise for the mess this post is in - but I cannot figure out how to work this blog programme (feel free to send me hints and tips!) but what I can tell you is that this will be the last time I type it up in word and copy and paste - its a messs..... SORRY! :)

Well we’ve been here just over 4 months now – well – that all depends on when this blog gets put up on the net!

I started this blog to make my life easier with regards to sending out emails – and what do you know – I have writers block – that just SUCKS… I’ve got tonnes of things to tell you all – but don’t know how to put it down on paper – err blog…

What I can tell you is moving to a new country has it’s pro’s and con’s – but then again life in any country has it’s pro’s and con’s so I guess it’s really just a matter of over looking the con’s and getting on with your life…

And I can honestly say I am definitely still enjoying the pro’s of Oman.

One of the Con’s of living here is that I am really missing the news of friends and family – since I have been here – very few of you have written me more than one liner emails to tell me what is going on in your worlds – what little info I do get – I have to get it of your facebook status’s - So come on people please – send me some emails, letters, news anything – I am really starting to feel you’ve forgotten about me – it’s also kinda tough to write letters to you all without feedback… How do I know if I’m entertaining you…

Anyway – one EXTREMELY important factor to me with regards to where I stay is of course the COFFEE…. And this place is pure BLISS…

Coming from RSA where coffee shops are kinda thin on the ground.. erm what do we have there – Mugg & Bean and Wimpy are the only 2 good ones I can think off – Oh wait Mickey D’s made a good Cuppa too didn’t they? Anyway – this place is a coffee lovers paradise… I am in HEAVEN…

There’s Starbucks, Costa Coffee, Carribou Coffee, Second Cup, Coffee Bean and Tea Leaf, Coffee Republic – those are the ones I can remember and the major “Chain” like ones – there are also tonnes of little coffee shops every where – everyone drinks coffee – its amazing… OH and traditional Omani Coffee – Yummo!

And to add to that – Second Cup has a DRIVE THRU!!! (apparently) I say apparently because I have only ever heard about it and driven passed it… its on the other side of town from me on the way to the boat club, so if I go that way I’m with husband dear – and do you think he’s gonna stop so I can getafix???

Due to the weather tho’ I have gone of hot coffee – I am now enjoying the range of Iced Coffees that everyone sells – at the moment – my fav’s are Mint Condition from Carribou Coffee (mint flavour with crushed peppermint crisp on top), Mocha Frappachino from Starbucks, and one I found last week from Coffee Bean and Tea Leaf – I have no idea what it’s name is – but its basically Iced Coffee with extra kick – double the caffeine… er…I’m drooling whist I type this… LOL

So this is definitely on the Pro side

HOWEVER have you seen the size of my hips lately??? Maybe I should change this to the con side….

One thing that will definitely go onto the Con side is this house I am staying in... I am STILL not unpacked - and I still do not have a kitchen... erg... No I have no been taken over by aliens, No I am not going crazy - but DAMN I am missing my kitchen... :)

For those of you who have not received my "installment" emails - let me explain... Hubby's business partner rented this house years ago, then the company took it over for offices, and now we have moved in - so for the past few years - the kitchen in this house has been used by men only - and if you had to see the men in this part of the world you would understand why I would not touch the kitchen when I moved in... erg - I get shivers just thinking about what it looked like. We have had someone in, plus ourselves, scrubbing it down top to bottom with special chemicals a few times now - I think its been scrubbed a total of about 5 times now - and its almost up to my standards - there are a few things that need to be done still - like change the basin, change a part of the counter top, put in a aircon, get a stove and fix up the window and back door - so its still not livable - and yes as weird as this may sound I miss it - I am sick and tired of cooking on a teeny weeny table and washing the dishes in the bathroom basin.

Why haven't I fixed it up you ask? (you didn't?) oh! oh well I'm gonna tell you anyway - it would cost in the region of OMR 500.00 (that's around ZAR 10 000.00) to fix up the kitchen still. and that's a lotta money!!! We had the landlord around recently pointing out all of the major maintenance problems on the house - his answer??? "I would rather have the house stand empty then spend money on it".

Now if you are wondering why he has that attitude - I have no idea - if he maintained the house properly he could get a WHOLE lot more moola for the place - I have compared rentals - and we have a 4 bedroom Villa, 4 stories, with a HUGE basement - and we are only paying OMR 320.00 a month - that's around ZAR 6400.00 a month - now compared to what I have heard - that is CHEAP!!! :) yay me - usually the houses our size goes in the region of around OMR 1000.000 per month (ZAR 20 000.00) sooooo yes - we will have to put up with the cheap crappy house... :)

So that actually falls under both the Pro and Con of living in Oman... :)

Oh oh - before I end of this blog - I gotta mention the weather - that is definitely a PRO!!!! WOW - its the middle of winter here - and the temperature during the day is around 30 - 35 deg c... :) okay the mornings are a tad cooler, around 17 - 19 degrees. BUT wow man imagine being able to spend the day on the beach during the middle of winter... yay me! :) (pity I hate sand doh!)

The other day - I had a Blondie moment (yes I am prone to have those lately!) I went for a shower in the evening and was TOTALLY frozen... I ended up getting winter tracksuit pants out of the storage to put on, as well as my slippers... when hubby saw me - he was shocked - so I explained to him how cold the shower was... and I think the geyser was broken... :( until he kindly pointed out to me that we haven't had the geyser on since I got here... DOH!!! so.... yes now its getting kinda cold - so we have to turn the geyser on about half an hour before we want to shower - that's not such a bad inconvenience for a warm shower now is it...

Anyway - till next time... xx

Sunday, November 15, 2009

There's a Rat in mi kitchen what am I gonna do?

Firstly, my apologies to UB40 for using their song title! :)

We have rats, big ones, little ones, fat ones, thin ones, young ones - ALL of them - in fact I think all of the rats in Muscat have decided that my house is the place to party. Seriously tho' - our house is a semi detached house, and the house next door is being used as a office cum kitchen for a whole bunch of male office workers - and we assume that the kitchen part of it - which obviously will have large catering size bags of rice, flour etc, - is a nesting zone for these little buggers, and of course they just walk over the roof onto our side.

Prior to me moving here, hubby dear was telling me the rats were a major problem running through the whole house in and out of extractor fans, windows, doors - you get the picture. So we bought over our cat and dog in the eternal hope that the rats will stay away - why else would I have paid such a bloody fortune to get them here... But now we have to leave the roof door open so that the dog can go to the loo (why the roof ?? thats a story for another blog!) so the rats are coming through that door too.

But we are happy to announce that the animals are doing their job - since they have been here we have only spotted one rat - although hubby dear believes its a little mouse - DAMMIT thats part of the rodent family isn't it?? And this rat / mouse didn't last long - the dog got him fairly quickly. Although it was rather strange - the cat strolled into the room - promptly fell on the floor and fell asleep - the dog was chasing the rat around the room trying to catch it - it even ran over the cat - who didn't flinch... (where was I??? outside looking through the window!)

But since that episode not one rat - nor evidence of them (ie rat droppings!) :)

Yay us! the animals - well the dog anyway - has earned his air ticket.....


I woke up yesterday morning and toddle off to the bathroom to attend to my morning ablutions - whilst I was on the loo my young son wondered in and stood in line.... Now I might be a weird mother - but one thing that irriates me is a 6 year old in the bathroom first thing in the morning - he just has NO IDEA on how to get that thing aiming straight - so seeing as I was there - I thought I would keep an eye on the proceedings (as you do!)

IMAGINE our surprise when the toilet paper I had just used moved... YES Ladies and gentlemen it was a rat... somehow it had gotten into the toilet bowl - we assume it fell in through the extractor fan - which was on at the time... anyway.... I instantly hit the flush button and WOOSH away it went... flash backs to the Movie Flush Away flashing through my mind.. :)

TODAY... another rat - although hubby is again convinced its a mouse - whatever - its a rodent dude get over it - was found this time by the cat in our upstairs passage - we moved the furniture away and the rat / mouse made a mad dash for safetly... the cat just sat there !! whats up with that??

Poor dog got into attack mode again - managed to get it and after a few choice karate moves the poor little thing was dead on the floor.... and what did the cat do??? walked up to the dead rodent gave it a good whack with his paw to make sure it was dead, put his paw on top of it and looked at me as if to say "Look what I caught for you"....

Blasted cat - I'm off to call up Cats R Us - to see if I can get a real cat...

Identity Crisis

Just a friendly warning to all I've advised that this is my post... if you leave any comments and reveal my true identity...

1) they wont get posted here - I have to give permission
2) you will have to bail me out of jail when the ROP (Royal Omani Police) arrest me
3) you'll be off my Christmas card list...

Just enjoy the blog and try not to tell the world who the hell I am... :)

New to this whole blogging world....

Well, what can I say... I thought I would give this all a bash... see how it goes... :)

Since I have moved to Oman, and found all this extra time on my hands, I've discovered a whole new world - called Blogging..... :) There are some really great bloggers here in Oman and I really get upset if they don't upload new info every day...

Anyway, one Aussie Blogger told me I should start me own - and I didn't really take that seriously - I mean really now - who wants to follow what happens in my little world - but then I had the misfortune of having 2 email servers crash on me in the space of a week. (Thank goodness for clever family and my cuz in UK has rigged me up with a new email - which hopefully will be up n running soon... :)) So I was in a panic of how can I send out my adventures / installment emails without having emails - DOH!!! I'd write a blog...

This blog is mainly for all my friends n family where ever they might be in the world, and it is just a glimpse into my really really really weird warped mind, my thoughts and views on life in a foreign country, that I LOVE like mad - but it frustrates the h*** outta me at times.

I have no intention of insulting anyone or anything - everything I post here will be tougne in cheek, and should be taken as such - however feel free to leave a comment if you are insulted - I will just delete it... :)

So - hows that for a boring first blog - I'm off to get my dear son from school now... and will have a whole afternoon to entertain him.... Gotta love Cartoon Network...

I am creating a whole list of thoughts n things and am sure I will blog again soon with more ramblings...