Friday, December 12, 2008

Holidays in Oman - why do people leave?

What a totally awesomely relaxed holiday this Eid is proving. No traffic, fantastic weather, and the red tide is abating. Beach, BBQ, beer, and outdoors living is the theme. I went swimming this morning, and it was wonderful. Ms. Dragon looked stunning, the breeze was blowing, and the world felt in its rightful place.

A beach in Oman at this time of year is possibly the best place in the world to watch a global recession happen from.

No other news, except the comments section in the previous post about alleged arrests of people for the crime of practicing Eid prayers a day earlier than officially announced, and as it happens, at the same date as in Saudi. Apparently a letter was sent out insisting Eid prayers only be conducted on the Tuesday, not the Monday, or there would be consequences. Amjad and Muscati think such arrests would be totally OK, as they had been warned, and if they went ahead and prayed is effectively political dissent.

V interesting. Though I still have not received any evidence of such arrests yet, which I'd prefer. Can anyone assist? email undercover(dot)dragon(at)gmail(dot)com


  1. Glad to hear that you are enjoying yourself.

    This really is a great place to live.

    Am enjoying it all before the "conference" puts my BP up again.


  2. "A beach in Oman at this time of year is possibly the best place in the world to watch a global recession happen from."

    rAmen to that !

    Precisely the reason why we're moving - it's for the view :-D

  3. UD,

    Glad to see you and Mrs Dragon had a good break. We did too. Superb weather, but it was marred by adjacent demolition works on a Towells site in MSQ.

    Glass windows up to 4/5th floors being broken by workers with hammers from 4am on the first day of the holidays for 12 hours. A quick visit showed no supervision, no safety netting, glass everywhere, faulty hoarding and not a pair of safety glasses between the poor unfortunate workers.

    Wish I knew who to complain to, but I will start with Towells. Why is it that small developments are deemed so important that they are worked on all through each and every public holiday. Surely there must be an approval procedure for such work in residential areas and restricted working hours?

    I can almost guarantee that the buildings will be knocked down crack of dawn Xmas day.

  4. it must have been very Brrrrrr out there, how could you stand swimming at this time of the year?

  5. JD,
    don't let the bastards grind you down. Chill.

    Indeed. Welcome. Grab a beach chair and a brewski.

    As I understand the local by-laws in Muscat Municipality, in a residential neighbourhood they are not supposed to start noisy work until 6am and should stop at 10pm Sat-Thur, with a 9am start on a Friday (inside work they can do 27/7). You can try calling the municipality hotline, LMAOFOFL. And take a video as evidence.

    Unfortunately, after 6am they can essentially set off small nuclear bombs right next door to you quite legally. And I'm not sure of the legal requirements for personal protective equipment, if any.

    And, yes, call Towells, as it's probably a sub(sub)contractor doing the actual demolition work. The reason they work long hours is because they can, and usually contruct a little sleeping dwelling for the boys on site to reduce commute times from the labor camps.

    Better still, as you're in fancy-pants MSQ, just find another neighbour who's Omani and has some wasta. That might be more effective...

    The ocean was brisk, but not too cold at 11am with the sun shining. At least I wasn't surrounded by bloated smelly dead puffer fish. (In fact, there was a nice big school of baby sardines.)

  6. When it comes to demolitions, before the actual demolition of building they first sell the usable scrap inside it. So the people who were knocking down the windows were probably there from the scrap metal trader who were are only interested in the aluminum frames. They usually try do to a super quick job because they pay in advance to the owner based on their estimate of how much usable scrap there is in the building and they need to get it out and sold ASAP before the price of scrap moves down. Quite often the entire demolition is done by them because their deal would even include the rebar inside the columns and even the wiring.

    BTW, when it comes to the municipality hotline (80077222), it's hit and miss. Sometimes you get someone on the other end of the line who will really go out of his way to help you, so don't despair of call them


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