Wednesday, August 11, 2010

And, That's It.

Today was our last day in Oman. It's been a hell of a ride.

My Freinds on twitter and in real life all deserve a huge thank you for putting up with my Non-Stop Bitching over the last month. You would Honestly think I am the only person on earth who ever moved country. THe move has been complicated somewhat by Stone being gone for the last 40 days. You heard me right, Stone was in Houston, working, while I was here doing the move, selling the cars, and Re-Homing the maid (It was Absolute Hell, thanks for asking). Anyway, all the cars are sold, the house is packed, the phones disconnected, and we are living it large at the Chedi, until midnight, when we go to Seeb Airport for the last time.

I've been here for most of my adult life, and Stone has been here off and on since the early 90's, we met here, fell in love here, I became a mother here. I have been absolutely awed and humbled by the generosity and kindness shown to me by so many wonderful people here, both online and off. I am honored to have an extended Omani family, who love me even though I am a total freak by their standards, and treat me like one of their own.

I have amassed a collection of experiences so wild and wide ranging, that I myself can hardly believe some of them. I have driven race and rally cars, Spent the night in a police station, cooked for royalty,and testified in an Omani court. I have shared fleabag hotel rooms near the Saudi border with 10 sweaty Arab mechanics, and partied like a rock star in palaces belonging to guys you see in the papers all the time.

I have watched 2 people die, one of them a child, both due to carelessness. I worked on a Yacht full of crazy people. I have walked in on a well known Arab Motorsport Journalist in a hot tub with 2  Moroccan hookers, and been astonished mostly by the tremendous amount of body hair the guy had. A former boss once tried sell me into an arranged marriage with some Saudi dude, and I will never be completely certain if he was joking or not.

 I've learned to pray, grown closer to god, and drifted away again. These days I try not to let organised religion get in the way of my relationship with god. I'll do my best, and I'm happy to be judged on how I live, breathe, and think, and not how pious I pretend to be.

One thing that has not happened, is acquiring a perfect understanding of how this place works. Just when I think I am getting close to really truly and fully understanding everything, something else throws me for a loop, and I'm left with one foot on either side of the world, not really understanding here, and too far gone from there to fully understand home.

I have been far too busy to really process what it means to be leaving, and when people ask me what I'm feeling about leaving this place, I make up something about how sad it is to go, but how much I"m looking forward to a change. But in reality, I feel absolutely nothing. It's been so busy, and I've been under so much pressure that It just hasn't sunk in yet that we are going, and unlikely to return. I expect I will be something of a basket case once we arrive in Stone's home country for some R&R later this week, and I can have a good cry and just let it rip.

The blog will continue, for the short term at any rate. There are a number of stories worth telling, the local media remains extraordinarily amusing, and Oman, I think will forever fascinate me.

I leave you guys with three images I snapped today that sort of illustrate how weird, happy, luxurious, sad, bizarre and all around mystifying Oman is. I hope you all have as many wonderful, mystifying, frightening, happy, sad, and baffling experiences as I have had here.

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

The Endorsement: Writer Relocations

First Up, a reminder about my AWESOME INDOOR YARD SALE on Friday Morning, from 9-12, at my house in Qurm.

Please come and buy some stuff at a great bargain, or bring some of your own stuff to sell if you want. If you have been reading the blog for a while, and just want to drop by and say hello, feel free to do that. Likewise, if you already know me in real life, come and say hi. The more the merrier, and I'd love to meet as many of you as I can.

I will post directions to the house on the blog Thursday night  / Friday morning, so check back then.

On to the Endorsement: I MUST let you all know how totally impressed I am with Writer Relocations. Really, they are setting a new standard for moving companies here in Oman.

They have packed, perfectly, about a zillion tons of crap and loaded it into a 40 foot container, in under 2 days.  5 years ago, when we moved from Qurm to Ghubra, another relocation company moved us. It took 7 DAYS, and I nearly killed the uncommunicative and surly guys who were doing the packing.

Write's account managers are great, infinitely flexible, and do amazing stuff like calling to tell you they are running late, BEFORE they are actually late.  The packers all wear uniforms, have been professionally trained in how to pack and label, and smell pretty good for sweaty guys.

My Crew of 6 Cheerful guys from Kerala have been the absolute epitome of good cheer and humor, singing and laughing the whole time they were packing. Writer was kind enough to offer to pack my house maid's things up, gratis, which has been no easy task given her increasing OCD tenancies and her increasing distress at the prospect of being sent home.

Later, an essay on how annoying it is when people show up while your house is being packed and ask to see all your stuff because they might want to buy it, and then proceed to trample on and ignore your objections that you are too busy, and could they please come back on Friday. That is Soooooo Annoying.

In case you are interested, here are a few photos from the Move.