Sunday, February 28, 2010

Toddler Photography

When Stone and I went to Detroit in November, we purchased a Fisher-Price Digital Camera for the kid. It cost something horrendous, like $45 USD but that's a lot cheaper than replacing her grandfather's Nikon D80. Designed so any 2 year old can understand and use it, It's made of Sturdy, water resistant and shock-proof rubber and plastic, and has survived a few trips down the stairs.

Best of all, It did not come with some sort of totally fucking stupid disney-tastic crap software for downloading the photos. I use a USB cable, and treat it like a memory card. It's perfect.

The quality of the photos leaves a lot to be desired, but it's been fascinating seeing what the kid has been taking photos of, and seeing how she sees the world. She takes about 200 photos a week, the self portraits are the most interesting. Below are a few example's from this week's pictures.

Things That are Important to a 3 Year Old: A Triptych


Fish


The Television


The Rocking Horse "Flicka"


Our Second Series Highlights things you see a lot of when you are Two Feet tall.

Legs and Feet: a Visual Journey into the World of Toddlers







And to conclude our Exhibition:
The Most Important Things in the Entire World;
A photographic essay on Unwanted Wadi Cats.






If you have a Toddler, I cannot recommend highly enough the purchase of a Kid-Safe digital camera. We have had an Absolute Blast with it.

More From here soon.

Friday, February 26, 2010

On Identity, Mistaken and Otherwise

It's Been an Interesting week on the Identity front.

Recent Cases of Mistaken Identity:
  • Those of you who don't know me will find the following amusing, those of you who do know me will find it hilarious. I was sitting next to the pool the other day, watching the kid swimming. I was wearing a pirate bandanna, a light long sleeved top, blue jeans, and cowboy boots. I am sipping a Icy Cold Pint of Heinekin. A woman comes over and says, "Wouldn't you rather be in the pool? aren't you hot?" and I'm all, " I'm not really much of a swimmer, and anyway, I don't want to get cold" We chatted about this and that, the kids, etc... and as she walked away, she said "I don't know you Muslim women do it. Being all covered up like that" I think she had me confused for someone else... someone far more pious than I am.
  • Three times in the last week, someone has called me by the name of my former boss, or assigned her last name to me. Like "Suburban Al Zubair" for Example. We look a lot alike, and when we were working together, we were really inseparable.... But, I don't think she wants to be affiliated with me, and I'm perfectly happy being a Non-Wastafarian, and using my Non-Wastafarian Husband's Last name. Any advice on how to extricate myself from this particular association is welcomed. Likewise, and advice on how to have a lot of fun with this increasingly common mistake is welcomed as well.
On the Subject of My former boss... Despite all the insane shit in the company, and the total Friendship shut-down when I resigned, I miss her, and miss whatever questionable friendship we shared. How pathetic am I, Seriously?

On the subject of Social Media, I attended another Tweet-Up over the Weekend, and had a great time talking to (Talking At?) everyone there. You can Add road Safety and the 1979 Siege of the Grand Mosque in Makkah to the already comprehensive list of issues which I seem to be able to discuss at length with virtual strangers. Everyone was really polite, despite the no doubt crazed look in my eyes. It was a great event, overall, but I came away having learned a really important lesson in the reality of maintaining Semi Anonymity and a separation between my online or public persona, and my private, or real persona.

I Blog Semi-Anonymously not because I'm unwilling to stand behind the things I write. I blog Semi-anonymously because I need to protect my family from the sort of Wackos who send hate-mail and death threats, and the sort of Religious Nut-Jobs at Stone's work who would like to get him in trouble for the things I choose to write.

Having received One death threat, and the occasional threatening Nasty-Gram, I am selective about to whom I reveal my name, contact details, and identity, even more so where my family is concerned. I, (and now Stone) have unfortunately been outed, through my own carelessness, or via misunderstood implied consent, three times in the last few months. Stone is Absolutely Fucking Livid, and rightly so. Even the neighbors could hear him shouting this morning. He's pissed, because my dorky blogging and twitter habit shouldn't effect him.

You guys don't know the Kid's real names, and you don't know Stone's Real name. This is important to me because it's their privacy, and their safety. If I wanted them referred to by their real names online or in public, I would call them by their real names. So, Internet and social media Whiz-Kids out there, If I don't refer to myself or my family by their real names online, NEITHER SHOULD YOU. That is totally basic, elementary level Internet blogging and Twitter Etiquette.

It's fair to point out that I should be more careful about whom I share any identifying details with, and that I should, obviously, spell out my expectations regarding how my information is shared when the online and offline worlds collide. As a result, I'm tidying up my twitter stream, and editing down some blog posts which give away more information than I feel comfortable having in the public sphere at this time. Something I should have done a long time ago.

Guys, How do you balance the amount of personal information available about you online. Were is your risk/ reward bar set for being personally identifiable online?

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Open Letter to Young Men in Inexpensive Cars

Subject: Speed Bumps

Dear Young Man in a Clapped Out Toyota Corolla,

Driving over every speed bump in a painstakingly slow manner, while crossing into opposing traffic to complete your undercarriage saving Zig Zag Maneuver, is totally unnecessary given that your car has at least a foot of ground clearance from the wheels.

Driving a POS Sedan like that does not say "My other car is a Lamborghini." It says "I am a tosser with even less money than I have brains." Please modify your driving habits accordingly.

Kindest Regards,

Your friends at Other Oman.

Monday, February 22, 2010

News From Abu Dhabi


Hi Guys. How was your weekend? Mine was great, thanks for asking!

I Spent the weekend in Abu Dhabi, working for the organizers of the Aussie V8 Supercar race Meeting. It was extraordinarily fun. The V8 supercars are an Australian Championship that travels outside Australia for two rounds in the Middle East, Abu Dhabi and Bahrain. They race either Ford or Holden (Chevy) 5 litre V8's and they run on Ethanol, not Unleaded or Racefuel.

Best of all all the teams are Australian. You heard me right, 32 teams made up of beefy, handsome, Australian Mechanics. It's like being invited to manage the convention of sexy underwear models, if you are a man, except underwear models can't fix your car.

You might be pleased to know that I resisted the temptation to slick them all up in motor oil, throw them in an empty swimming pool, and then dive in and start rolling around. Stone certainly was.

Going to AUH is always interesting, for a lot of reasons. In convenient Bullet point form, some highlights and lowlights from last weekend.
  • The Abu Dhabi "Travelers Welcome" Campaign is too fantastic for words. The Imagery is really moving.
  • The new airport can't be ready soon enough. The place was heaving with people.
  • AUH is spending money faster than they can print it, and the resulting bonanza of jobs, combined with the perception that a White person is better for a job than a Brown person, has lead to a real Glut of absolutely useless chancers finding themselves in positions for which they would never in a million years be qualified for in their home countries.
  • The resulting Ego boost to them has made many into completely insufferable twats.
  • I was astonished at the level of racisim and condescension displayed by some of my co workers. It's not OK to abuse the coffee boy just to make yourself feel more important.
  • The Emirati's I dealt with were generally really great. THe track has a Volunteer scheme where Emiratis can volunteer as tour guides, VIP escorts, etc... All the Local I saw in those roles were really working hard, and the ladies looked stunning in their mis america style sashes that said "volunteer" Draped over the Abaya.


  • Speaking of Style, some of the Emirati girls who are employed by the circuit have had personalised abayas made with the circuit logo on them in glittery crystals and perfect embroidery. They looked so fantastic that I, and a few of the other girls have ordered some for ourselves.
  • Things were extremely social. Despite 14 hour working days, everyone partied until the wee hours most Nights. Many, Many pints of beer were consumed catching up on what everyone has been doing, and the latest scandals and gossip.
  • I've been working with and for most of these guys for the last six years, and there is a certain comfort and intimacy that comes with that. I hardly have a real friend in Muscat, but I have 10-15 people who are true blue friends in the UAE, through work. I feel privileged to be a part of such a cohesive, fun loving and unpretentious core team.
That's all I can think of for now. I'[m attempting to plan my weekly meals, (with the help of the internet) and shop just once a week. I'll be updating on how that works out next week. Maybe.

Hope you enjoy the upcoming holiday.

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

My Q&A with the Times Of Oman

I thought I would publish the content of my interview with the TOO here as well, if only because I really enjoyed answering the questions, and thinking about the answers. Although I didn't feature much in the actual article,it was a neat project, and I'm really proud of the Journalist who wrote it. I would imagine it took some balls to convince the guys in charge to even touch the subject of blogging. The second and final installment in the series was published in today's TOO. Please excuse any grammatical or spelling errors, they are entirely mine.

1) As someone who has lived in places that afford more freedom than Oman, how do you reconcile to the lack of freedom of expression here? I was born in Saudi, and spent most of my childhood listening to my mom describe the kind of restrictions on expression that existed in Saudi in the 70's. Moving here, it was a pleasant surprise to see that the personal freedom of expression, while severely constrained, is nowhere near as bad as Saudi. That said there is a lot of room for improvement, and I think the government is failing massively in helping to grow a truly free press, or a truly free society where people can think and say what they want. I find the recent arrests trials and questionings of journalists and forum moderators here to be extremely worrying, as well as the blatantly cowardly self censorship that the press applies to itself in Oman. I worry that as dissenting voices continue to be silenced, and as people grow more and more accustomed to never hearing anything Bad about the country that we will end up living in a real world parable where the emperor really does have no clothes, and nobody is willing to get up there and say it.

2) You're extremely balanced and mostly objective in your view of things that you decide to discuss and critique. Thanks. I really try hard, but often my own bias shines through. It's important to be somewhat objective, or the message one is trying to communicate will fall on deaf, hostile ears.

3) How long have you lived in Oman? Almost my entire adult life.

4) Are you completely unrestrained in your blog? Or do you exercise caution so as to not offend anyone? I am completely unconstrained in my Blog. I can write whatever I feel like. I do exercise some self censorship, in that there are some stories that would only cause trouble if given publicity. I recently chose not to post on an issue being stirred up in Muscat that was very similar to the Sudanese Teddy Bear Named Mohammed Saga. There were a bunch of attention seeking religious nut-jobs with their Wizzars in a knot over something completely innocuous. As much as I wanted to name and shame them and tell the wider community what a bunch of overzealous fanatics they were, it would only achieve giving them the attention they desperately craved, while potentially blowing up a story that was better off remaining buried, for the sake of the country, and the people involved.

5) Have you ever gotten into trouble because of any entry? No, although sometimes my mom or dad are surprised by some of the stuff I write. Mom will call me and say "Sweetheart, I love you, but don't think you should be putting things like that on your blog..."

6) How do Omanis respond to your posts? Generally very positively. I have had one veiled death threat, and the occasional Nasty-Gram but that's about it. What is interesting is that the posts which have generated the most Hate Mail were the ones where I used the relative death toll in Palestine and compared it to the death toll on the roads here, and another series where I talked about Human Trafficking and Prostitution in Oman. I got massively flamed via email for it. Like, are we all so coddled that we cannot even talk about the blatantly obvious, and the blatantly true, in honest terms, using numbers and figures? It's worth pointing out that the vast majority of my Hate Mail comes from Western Expatriates living here. Some of those women really hate me.

7) Is your blog a place for venting or do you use it to bring about some change, however minimal. Mostly it's for venting. I sincerely wish my Blog had the power to change big things here, and maybe someday it will. I think Blogging in Oman is important because it has the opportunity to shine light on subjects that the Print and broadcast media cannot. Some good examples were the leaking of the documents from the ministry of education showing the various kids of Wastafarians were getting Scholarships to study overseas, although they did not earn them. Another good Example was the publicizing of how the Mimister of Tourisim (Ex PDO board of directors) obtained the land on which she is building her new house, and the attempted Land Grab going on right now between the MOT and the Capital Area Yacht club. I think the government needs to know they are being watched, and that a lot of people are tired of the corruption and opaque way that business is done here. Every minister and undersecretary in the country should have the following tattooed across their heads after they are appointed. "Just because you are important, does not mean that your failures cannot be criticized, and your decisions questioned"

8) How has your experience been within the blogosphere here in Oman? It's a generally supportive group, we try to fact-check for one another, and publicize important issues when they are blogged about elsewhere. It's still the domain of the Upper Middle class, Young, Western-Educated Omani, with a significant number of blogs written by overseas Expatriates. I'm excited to see a lot of recent growth in local blogging, both in English and Arabic.

9) Are you firmly anonymous or do people mostly know who you are? I'm Semi-anonymous. I change locations and other facts to obscure my identity from complete strangers, but if you were a personal acquaintance and you read my blog, you would know almost immediately it was me.

10) Have you seen any tangible fallouts of what you've posted any time? Good Question. Not much, The story about the flooded and wrecked US spec cars being imported over here and resold as New was a good one, that I think helped protect some local buyers. The ting I posted about the tecent Nawras Twitter Fail may have significant fall out for the guy who was managing the account. I hope that some of the people in higher positions read these blogs and are more careful where opaque decisions are concerned. I would like to think I have helped the Omani Blogging community to be a little bolder in what they choose to publish, but maybe that's just arrogance on my part.

11) Do you speak/read arabic? Really Badly. The guy who created Google Translate should win a Nobel Prize.

12) When you began, did you have any ambitions for the blog? I wanted to try and keep my Sanity intact after giving birth to my youngest daughter.

13) Have you met them? One episode of Psychiatric counselling aside, yes.

14) How important, or not, is The Other Oman to you? It's not that important. It's just a way to pass the time

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Local Media Highlights

Boring Post today, as I'm packing for a weekend in Abu Dhabi, Working the Aussie V8 meeting. I really need a dose of Vroom. I'll try to take pictures and write down some notes so I can blog about it when I get back.

Just a couple of Local Print media and Blogging highlights for you to chew on over the weekend.

First Up, local weekly rag Y ran an article about a child being the victim of a hit and run by a Quad Biker on Athaiba beach last week. They are appealing for anyone with information about it to come forward. I am really getting fed up with the menace that Quad biking kids and young adults are posing on the roads and on the beaches. It's really sad and cowardly that the ROP and other authorities are doing nothing about it. It's not particularly surprising, given what happened the last time the ROP tried to stop a couple of kids on Quad Bikes.

For those of you who are not familiar with the story, A few years ago two teenage kids were racing on Quad bikes, and the ROP tried to stop them. The kids ran, and the ROP gave chase. In thier haste to escape, the kids on the Quads blew through a red light, and were killed instantly by a big car driven by (oh, The Irony) another unlicensed Teenager joyriding. It was tragic for the parents and families of everyone concerned. Bur guess what, The ROP guys were the ones blamed for the accident, not the adults who allowed the kids unsupervised access to the Quads.

It's time to require Manditory registration and Liscencing for Quad Bikes, and time for the ROP to pull their collective fingers out of their asses and start enforcing the law.

A silver star to Muscat Daily for being the only Media outlet in Oman to attempt to publish something factual regarding the Toyota Recall, and if it affects cars here in Oman. I believe they even got a Waffley quote from some guy from Bahwan. Now, to get your gold star, publist the obvious article expressing some outrage at the lack of communication coming from Bahwan regarding the recalls. Bahwan Deserves a hard slap.

Next up, an unhappy journalist or editor from Muscat Daily Lashes out at Muscat Confidential after being criticized for running PR drivel under her own Byline on the FRONT PAGE. I am deeply amused... Hand Bags at 20 paces ladies.

Lastly, the Times Of Oman, a newspaper known mostly for it's mediocrity, nut-ball letters to the editor, and anti Zionist rants from the Editor in Chief has gone and done something really fantastic. They have interviewed a bunch of local bloggers including many who have been critical of TOO in the past, and discusses (Very Gently) the concept of personal freedom of expression, and Blogging as a source of information. I'm genuinely proud of the reporter, who I think took a big risk in writing the two part article. I think the second part will be published tomorrow.

And from the I am an Asshole Department: Despite my frequent rants regarding the quality of press releases and corporate drivel published verbatim in the papers here, some of you might be interested to know that the Drivel-tastic press release I sent out last week was picked up by a Whopping NO ONE. Yes, I am enjoying my humble pie, thanks for asking.

Have a great weekend Muscat. Look after the place while I'm gone.

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

The Security Guys are watching too much TV

The security guys have been rather subdued of late, for reasons I don't understand. I almost never get break dancing demonstrations on my way to work anymore, and nobody has collectively referred to me, my children and mother as "Stone's Bitches" in ages. I was beginning to wonder if they didn't like me anymore.

I needn't have feared, because today they really outdid themselves.

Driving toward the checkpoint this morning, the guys recognized my car and raised the barrier while I was still 100 meters away. Awesome. as I approach the guard house, all of a sudden the door to the guard house flies open and the security guys perform the most amazing series of rolling, jumping, special ops type moves I have ever seen outside of action movies. They looked like the penguins from Madagascar, where they are about to hijack the ship.

I Lock my brakes up, and squeal to a halt, as they reach for their holsters, pull out their weapons, and open fire on me. Thankfully, their weapons were 4 staplers, shooting out little bitty staples which tinkled off the hood of my car as the guards collapsed in a heap of laughing snorting, brown uniform wearing hilarity.

"Suburban! We are ambush you!"

"Suburban! I am James Bond!"

"Hey Suburban! mamma Said Knock you ouuuut!!!"

"Nice one guys, you'll be promoted ISS in no time with skills like that."

I love those guys, they made my day.

Monday, February 8, 2010

Corporate marketing via social media. It's not as easy as it looks.

How many of you have heard of Twitter?

In brief, it's a Micro-blogging site where you share what's going on RIGHT NOW in 14o letters and spaces or less. It's a little bit like what would happen if Blogger shagged a chat room. If you are lucky, your Tweets will be replied to, or if they are interesting enough, Retweeted by your followers to their followers. This is useful if, for example, you are looking for a stolen car, or if you want to know how the traffic is in Ruwi, or if you are a business who has something interesting to sell.

From a corporate perspective, twitter is a tool to supplement Broadcast or print Media. Instead of just Yelling At people about what you are selling, you are Communicating with customers. Twitter provides a Low-cost opportunity to relate to customers and receive 360* feedback, while hopefully building a loyal customer base who will follow you, and your tweets.

But social media can bite back. By providing a public forum to interact with customers, you are also providing a public forum for customers to air grievances, so you had better be prepared to solve problems, listen to your customers, and take criticism like a Big Boy. Let me give you some examples of how it's working here in Oman.

Here is a great example of an Omani company using social media to connect with their customers. Go have a look: http://twitter.com/OmanAir Yes, that's right, Oman Air, our stogy, unfriendly national airline is using Twitter to fantastic effect. Whomever is managing their twitter account is so good, that I am actually considering flying with them again.

But sometimes, you can Fail, and Fail big. The conversation pasted below reads from top to bottom. The characters are

Nawras: The newly launched corporate twitter identity for Nawras Oman. Have a look, they are not following anyone, or replying to tweets directed at them.
Beyrouti: One of the senior guys who works in Marketing and Branding at Nawras. The fingers behind the Nawras tweets.

Developar : A young Omani Blogger, Twitterer, and a web, desktop &mobile games developer

Muscati Sangeetha BaderHinai and Otheroman : Omani Twitter Users, and Bloggers. Smarter than we look.

The scene below is what happens when your followers provide helpfull suggestions on how to be better on twitter, and the Branding manager looses his temper. It's a Fail. Remember, read top to bottom.





















That tweet from Nawras was their last tweet to date, but there has been an awful lot of discussion about the meltdown on twitter, and now, Youtube! Clip credits to @Developar Hilarious!




For those of you who are looking forward to what I can only assume will be another massive Social Media Fail, Omantel has entered the fray with a twitter account for what is without a doubt the most hated company in the entire country. And they are already making the same mistakes Nawras did.


And if you want a laugh, have a look at the (totally fake) Original Omantel Twitter page http://twitter.com/omantel which is, in my mind, a far better representation of Omantel's customer service abilities. Really, go. It's hilarious.

Even more hilarious, is that a lot of people read that and think it's actually Omantel. That's how bad Omantel is.


Saturday, February 6, 2010

On the precipice

After spending almost my entire adult life here, the time has come to pack up and leave for different pastures. We have had a good run here in Oman. This is where I met Stone, where I had the most amazing career ever, where I became a wife and a mother.

As you have no doubt guessed already, Stone's career takes the lead in our relationship. This is a good thing, because if it was up to me to provide for our family, we would most likely starve. Stone being an Expat White Guy, he works for an international organization that likes to move their assets around the world periodically. This is also a good thing, because just by marrying him, I also get to live all over the world, on the company dime. Not a bad gig, really; the corporation is my motor-home.

So this week, we are beginning the process of relocating elsewhere. Tonight, Stone is going to come home from the office with a list of possible jobs and possible locations and we're going to decide which ones to apply for. Half of me feels like it's the right thing to do, that the time has come, that we need to get out before we become as fantastically jaded and racist as some other long-term Expats. The other half feels like, maybe we are just making headway, like we've finally settled, and like maybe we should stay, because this is home. My family and friends are here.

I have plenty of time to get my head around this, the earliest possible move date would be all the way in May, and more likely, August. I wonder if my perspective on the everyday annoyances will change somewhat knowing that they will soon be replaced by new and different annoyances. Time will tell.

I fear this is about to become a blog about the satanic people in Human resources, and the fun of packing. Stay tuned.

Friday, February 5, 2010

An Open Letter to the White People of Muscat

Dear White People,

There are so many more of you around these days than in the past, and I feel it's timely for us to have a discussion regarding your behavior, if only to ensure that we are all on the same page. Because, Why have you guys been so weird lately?

Seriously, I have had like a month of non-stop WWW encounters (Weird White Wanker) and I'm kind of beginning to wonder if, like, we have collectively forgotten that we are effectively guests here. I know, I know, you are here helping the country with your important White People Skills, Saving the native savages from themselves, etc... but really, we need to talk.

  • First off, many of you White People have taken to driving like locals. Just because you will likely never receive a ticket for driving like a total twat does not mean that it's OK to whip through my quiet neighborhood at warp speed. Furthermore, when you drive like total Assclowns, your license to stand around at cocktail parties and bitch about the appalling driving standards of the locals is terminated. Seriously, your bad driving is negating my ability to feel superior, and yours as well.
  • Ladies: While a miniskirt and tank top are possibly appropriate for Rock Bottom, or lunch at the marina pool, they are not appropriate for the grocery store, the souq, or the mall. It's not because it might offend people, but because it reflects badly on you and other people like you. If you cannot even grasp this most basic courtesy that comes hand in hand with living in the GCC, I shudder to think what other basic issues regarding life here you have failed to grasp.
  • I'm not even going to mention the topless sunbathing, but girls, you really should know better.
  • White Men: bringing prostitutes to a business dinner is not classy, it's weird. We all know they are prostitutes. I wholeheartedly encourage you have sex any way you can, but a business dinner? Get some class.
  • White people: Be nice to the waiters, seriously. It is not the end of the world if your special order was not fully understood by the waiter, and as a result, your food is not exactly perfect. I know it's frustration, but for the fucking love of god, show some compassion, and demonstrate your "civilized" heritage by acting like a civilized adult. And work on your communication skills while you are at it.
  • Stop acting like you are doing the country a huge favor just by gracing it with your presence. You are not. You are here doing a job, which I hope you are doing well, and for which you are being paid. You are not doing the country some enormous favor.
  • Which is not to say, don't complain. Please do complain about the stuff that is screwed up here. The list is long, and everybody, locals and expats alike is entitled to an opinion.
  • White people: You are not entitled to expect that every single person serving you speaks English. International hotels and major businesses excepted, this is an Arabic country, so learn some fucking Arabic or get really good at charades. And suck it up.
Enough ranting. For the record, I know that everything I wrote here applies to me as well.

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

ROP, Your Road Safety Experts

I post the following with great thanks to the sharp eyes and brilliant wit of Muscati. Have a look at the road safety advertisement below, and tell me if you notice anything wrong with it.




Did you spot it yet?

No? Take a look at the kid's seat belt.

See it?

Yeah, it's been photo-shopped on. The wrong way. Nice... Oman's Road Safety education has a long way to go.

Bahwan Toyota are Muppets

Not that this is news to anyone who has had the extreme displeasure of dealing with their service department.

Nor is it news to anyone who has tried to get a reasonable price on a hard to find spare part for a car that is a whopping 8 years old, the difficulty of which leading me to believe that perhaps I asked for the Holy Grail and not a mass produced, available anywhere else on earth, steering box.

But that's not what I'm talking about today. What I'm talking about today is the ongoing and expanding recall of various Toyota Cars in the US, Europe and Now it seems, The Middle East. According to Arabian Business

A massive recall of Toyota Motor Corp vehicles could extend to the Middle East after the carmaker admitted a number of the affected models, 2005-2010 year Avalons and 2009-2010 year Sequoias, had been shipped from the US for sale in the region.The rapidly widening recall, currently thought to affect more than 4.4 million cars, follows news of a possible fault in which the accelerator can get stuck in a depressed position preventing the driver from slowing down.In a statement Toyota said the fault – which is thought to be caused by worn accelerator pedal mechanisms – affecting cars in North America, Europe and China was unlikely to occur in the Middle East because of the difference in climate. No further details were given.
Bahwan Toyota has been on the record in all the papers for a week now saying that there are no cars in the sultanate subject to a recall. Everything is fine and rosy here thank you very much. Really, guys? How sure are you? Sure enough that you are willing to risk the lives of your present and future customers? I don't know who manages their PR, but they should find someone better.

Difference in climate? I'm not an expert on cars, and it's plausable, but what if you live in Salalah, Rust Capital of the GCC? Or Jabal Akhdar, where things are generally a bit nippier, and the roads will shake the shit out of your car?

What if you are drive one of the thousands of Grey-Market US export Toyotas on our roads? There are thousands EX-US cars cars on our roads, many of them already of questionable integrity. Don't believe me? Got a lot of spare time? Read This:

Most importantly, what if you are just concerned for the welfare of your family, and would like someone with some expert knowledge to check out your accelerator, free of charge, just to be sure?

Too bad, Bahwan knows best. Pitiful.