Wednesday, February 1, 2017

Small Annoyances

I have several small annoyances, local to Muscat that are probably worth writing down, if only because it will serve to distract me from the shambolic debacle of bad policies spewing forth from the White House.

Before we get onto my various grievances can I point out how amazing the weather is? They are doing some excavation in the wadi  that runs from Sultan Center to CCC and then under the highway to the park, and as a result are pumping lots of underground water to the surface. It's like a small river flowing through there right now, and it's the perfect place to take your kids, spouse and / or dog for a stroll. I would love it if the Municipality could keep the river flowing and make a open park area, and maybe put down some soccer fields and maybe space for a community garden. Nothing that would be impacted if there was a flood, but when it's not flooding would provide a lovely place to walk and grow things.

  1. Being female in public: I don't know if it is because Bangladeshis now outnumber Indians as expats (A whole blog post on that coming soon), or if things have changed, or if I have just forgotten the total hassle of being female in Public here. Like, stop staring at me, please don't touch me, please don't ask where my husband is, or if I have one, or perceive that because I have the audacity to take my vagina with me wherever I go that that is somehow an invitation for your skeezy-ass come-ons or excessively touchy feely personal interactions. Gentlemen, raise your game.  
  2.  Parking everywhere, specifically the Beach One building near the children's museum. Y'all this is just bonkers. How are we still allowing buildings like this to be constructed with so little parking? you see the same thing in Bousher, Ghubra, and pretty much everywhere else where there is construction happening, someone proposes a giant building, and the powers that be approve it to be constructed despite a total lack of adequate parking. Is it Incompetence or Corruption? I have no idea.  Apparently all the approvals require the same amount of parking that would be required in the UK. This would make sense if our country was anything like the UK, with a temperate climate, good public transportation options, safe pedestrian thoroughfares, and people living near by where they shop and work. It doesn't work here. Over the past 10 years we've had the chance to build a thoughtfully laid out municipality, with good transport infrastructure and adequate parking / safe pedestrian access. Instead, greed has got the better of everybody, and so instead we have a total clusterfuck anytime you try to go anywhere or buy anything.  
  3. Have you all been through the newly constructed neighborhoods at PDO camp? If you want a master class in how to build a multi-cultural housing community right, look no further. Protected side streets, sidewalks, pocket parks, adequate parking, just the right number of speed bumps, good lighting, and construction sympathetic to the existing terrain of where they are building. Any future developments in the capital should be required to follow whatever design and density principals they used at PDO, it's just so gorgeous, and all the omani and expat families look so very happy playing together. Hence, by my bringing up the following, you will think I am being super pedantic. As you drive through the PDO construction areas, there are these pretty signboards hiding the view of construction activities. These signboards show pictures and silhouettes of men doing fun things, safety reminders, men working at PDO, men working in the interior, cute kids, men playing sports, men barbecuing, men having business meetings, renderings of the houses, palm trees, etc... People what I want to know is, where are my bitches at? The only women I can see on any of the boards is one silhouetted woman pushing a baby carriage, and one silhouetted woman doing traditional Omani crafts. I am sure this was not a deliberate thing, just an issue with availability of clip-art or file photos from whatever, but it annoys me just the same. Can we have some pictures of the ass-kicking female directors and managers and scientists and athletes and grill masters up on there please? 
  4. Taxi Drivers: When you think about it, a taxi driver basically has one job. To drive. So like, how is it possible that taxi drivers as a group are such abysmal drivers? Like, you only have one thing you need to do, and yet, rarely a day goes by without a near death experience courtesy of a taxi driver driving terribly. How do these guys even keep their licenses? The fleet of metered and monitored taxis cannot come soon enough. 
  5. When the muscat Municipality tried to shut down Souq es Sabat a few weeks ago, in order to basically steal the event for themselves and make it run under Muscat Festival. Why can we not have anything nice without some officious twat from a ministry trying to fuck it up?
  6. Why are the cashiers at Lulu so angry? 
  7. Will the cruise liner tourists ever leave so I can shop relatively unmolested at the Souq?  
In other news, the weather has been amazing, and I have a lot of stuff to write about in the coming weeks, and the time to write about it. I just had to get all the above off my chest first. Hope Muscat is being good to all of you!


melissa said...

Why are the cashiers at Lulu so angry 😂

Omani Princess (not Omani...yet) said...

Cashiers at Lulu in Muscat are always angry...Barka Lulu girls are like [shyly of course] hey white chicks, whatchya doing in Barka? Yallah come over to my house after you put your groceries away and visit my family for lunch;).

I did not notice the PDO signboards... or any extra man staring... Parking is... city planning is... [insert your favorite expletives].