Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Eid Al Fitr Holidays Announced

If Eid is on Thursday August 8th, then holidays will be Wednesday 7th to Saturday 10th. If Eid is on Friday August 9th then holidays will be Wednesday 7th to Monday the 12th with work resuming on Tuesday. It makes no sense whatsoever, but hopefully the moon will cooperate and give us Eid on Friday!!!

Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Don't go to Rakhyut!

The road in the direction of Rakhyut yesterday (past Mughsayl west of Salalah towards Al Hotha village in the Wilayat of Rakhyut). Our heavier-than-normal monsoon season this year has done some damage...... PS (thank you Amer whoever you are for the pictures) ....

Wednesday, July 17, 2013

Public Holiday

And we can officially say 'Public Holiday season is BACK'. Tuesday July 23rd marks Oman's 43rd Reniassance Day (to mark the day His Majesty overthrew his father in a bloodless coup in 1970 - yes Uncle Mti, you can comment and tell me power was handed over peacefully and lovingly as much as you like). Government has declared next Tuesday a public holiday for the private and public sectors. Yipee.

When I say 'public holiday season', I mean the following:
- Reniassance Day - July 23rd
- Eid Al Fitr - August 8-13 probably
- Eid Al Adha - October 14-18 probably
- National Day holiay in November
- Islamic new year holiday
- Ehem... a month of annual leave for me sometime in the next two months

etc, etc,

For the first half of the year we get nothing. Then suddenly all the holidays come piling on.

Sunday, July 14, 2013

People Gone Mad

Why the heck is everyone so obsessed with the Sohar story this morning? Apparently a mad blonde woman ran into a mosque, grabbed a Quran, ripped it a part and wrapped it around her feet. Judging from the photos, she looked a little mad. I've received at least ten WhatsApp messages today about the incident, each with different details. Some say it was Saham. Others say it was Sohar. Some say it was a mosque. Others say it was a bank. Then another weird photo appeared of the same woman inside a building wearing a Burqa. It's all very weird. ... but who cares?
Why is the whole of Oman up in arms about this? I saw some really disturbing messages on Facebook from people calling for her to be killed. Is this what we waste our time on in Ramadan? People have gone mad. The reason nothing changes in the Arab world is because we are completely illogical and defensive to the point where we can't see straight anymore. It's a shallow view of religion and Islam.
Minor rant. Back to my sit-ups.

Monday, July 8, 2013

More On Ze Mall

So .... the 'girls' and I went to inspect Salalah Gardens Mall a couple of days ago to see what there was to see. And there was a lot!

First and foremost, Costa is almost ready:

The arrival of Costa in Salalah marks the arrival of decent coffee in this town (and no Browniz doesn't count - their coffee is terrible). Remember, I said 'decent'. Costa isn't necessarily my favorite, but it'll do for the moment.

Several shops (including watch and jewellery shops) are already open. The banks appears to be open. Omantel's branch is opening today as far as I know. City Cinema opened last night according to my WhatsApp updates that I skimmed through at 5:59 a.m this morning when I stood at the coffee maker waiting for my espresso. McDonald's is also open (blah).

Carrefour has been open since May. Lulu appears to have succumbed to competition and are now selling STARBUCKS SUMATRA COFFEE BEANS (oh yes they are. Saw em with my own two eyes on Friday morning... packets cost a rial or so more than Muscat, but I don't mind. As long as I have my extra bold coffee beans).

Home Centre is a miracle. You can actually now buy decent furniture, duvets, sheets, kitchen stuff, and about everything else you need for your home. The overly-huge vase and 'decoration' section at the front baffles me but once you get past that and into the home section you'll be happy. Prices are actually decent (ever been to Cavallini? Don't). I was on the lookout for three things though that they did not have (French coffee press, frother, and wicker laundry basket). Oh, well.

So, that's my report on the mall for the moment. Things are looking up.

Now .. back to reading about British concentration camps in South Africa in the Second Boer War over my second cup of coffee. Damn you Wikipedia. All I wanted was information about typhoid symptoms and look where it got me.