Sunday, August 26, 2007

It's good to be home, except my truck is still not running

So, We're back.

New Zealand was great, Australia was great. I love Australia because people laugh at my jokes there. Seriously, the moment I step off the plane I am transformed from Weird and frumpy to brilliant and witty. Bizarre. The plane ride there was about as much fun as can be expected with one infant and a handful of surly teens. Yes, I can even complain from the comfort of my Business class seat.

Because the Car Fairy didn't visit and miraculously repair the beast in our absence, I am still driving the BMW. I hate it's German engineering, random error messages, and crappy handling with the heat of the seventh circle of hell. Random things keep breaking, like yesterday it was the Parking brake cable . Also, I will die if I don't find a car to drive with cup holders soon. What is it with European cars and no cup holders? I had an Audi TT in the UK, and paid an extra 75 pounds for the cup holder option. The cup holders were absolute rubbish. useless, twiggy things that wouldn't hold anything. I sent them back to Audi R&D in a box.

Anyway.... My rig is still at Chevrolet, awaiting the instillation of a new computer. The dealership wanted RO300 for a new one, we got one from a junkyard in the states for RO 100 including shipping. Once the computer is installed, they will be able to give me an estimate on the cost to repair it. I will then sell my daughter to pay for the repairs. Could everyone please send healing thoughts and prayers to my truck?

Hey, and how famous am I? Just kidding, but I was really happy with the article the Week did on the car import saga. I've had a lot of good feedback from friends who don't know I was the blogger behind it, which was thrilling. I notice the silver mustang featured on the cover has yet to be sold, bet you can get a smoking deal on it now... Ha. If you missed the article, you can download it in PDF here

What else is new? I'm working on a post over at the ocb which is sort of a tour of dodgy bars, exploited women, and men behaving badly. Look for it sometime in the next week.

Also, I was lamenting to a friend the lack of Egg Nog (A product I fell in love with in the states, it's like a spicy sweet drinking custard) and they suggested I email the American embassy to ask if they could lay on a case or two as a sort of grassroots goodwill thing. SO I did, but so far no reply. And goddamn it, it was a really funny email!!!! I laughed like crazy writing it! If you look at the embassies on Google earth, the American one is the only one without a swimming pool. Which speaks volumes, I think.

I think I have just about covered everything, look for more substantial news and rants in the coming days!


Amjad said...

Welcome back home. Hope you had a great time in your vacation! :-)

BTW, few weeks ago there was a report on The Week about an issue you brought up once in the Oman Community Blog, about that shop which sells second hand cars coming from the US through Dubai and the website you provided to check the cars' history by typing their VIN.. Anyways, a whole report to that issue was on The Week and they mentioned that they got to know about that website and matter through a local blogger, whom is you I assume...

Anonymous said...

Welcome Back Suburban!!

Yes, your blog has tiggered panic selling of flooded/wrecked American imports... and has hopefully ended a rather nasty little scam being purpetrated on the rather naive Omani Public[I'm incl. expats in that description BTW] by equally nasty UAE organised crime types. Still, it's not like you can trust second hand car dealers anywhere!

Does show perhaps how 'Consumer Protection' law and enforcement has a way to go here.

I've got news about the 'exploited women' saga that happened while you were gone too. Interesting...


Suburban said...

Thanks Guys, It's so good to be home.

The article for the week was a lot of fun to research and complete. I'm glad they took up the subject, and I thought the graphics made a complicated issue understandable to a layman. That said, I was hoping for something more hard hitting, and focused on the safety aspect of wrecked cars not being repaired to a roadworthy standard.

JP, Always interested in scuzzy bars and exploited women. Call me?

Anonymous said...


The interesting happening was the Human Trafficking thing.

The issue was the interesting way the Oman establishment reacted to the recent U.S. State Dept Trafficking in Persons Report, June 2007, lumping them with such great places as Sudan, Saudi, North Korea, etc on Human Trafficing and the statement that Oman "do not fully comply with the minimum standards and are not making significant efforts to bring themselves into compliance".

The actual detailed report seems pretty accurate. The Omani Gov don't seem to see that keeping the passports of expat workers, not prosecuting anyone for abusing their philipino maid, not advising Indian workers of their rights, not doing anything to really tackle the problems, etc etc is actually something that should be addressed, and that many Governments find Oman's attitude rather backward and extremely ostrich like. Certainly the report seemed to touch a bit of a nerve!

Quote "The Government of Oman does not fully comply with the minimum standards for the elimination of trafficking and is not making significant efforts to do so. Oman did not report any law enforcement efforts to prosecute and punish trafficking offenses this year, including involuntary servitude or trafficking for commercial sexual exploitation. The government also continues to lack victim protection services or a systematic procedure to identify victims of trafficking from among vulnerable populations, such as illegal migrants and women arrested for prostitution. Oman should significantly increase prosecutions of trafficking crimes, institute a formal victim identification and referral mechanism, and cease deporting "Unquote

Here's the link to the full report