It’s hard to find a cohesive theme for posts, so here are some disjointed observations about our life in Muscat:
- All of the outlets in our apartment have an on/off switch.
I’m sure the reason for this is immediately obvious to some people, but I didn’t figure it out until I pulled my laptop plug from the socket without first flipping the switch, and I got the same spark I always get when I unplug my laptop. Aha! It makes perfect sense to stop the current before connecting to or disconnecting from power. Obviously. This should be standard everywhere.
- The mangos from South Asia are superior to the mangos from Mexico. There are more varieties, and they all have a higher flesh-to-pit ratio. And they are really delicious. I often cut one up and put half in a container for later, but this is folly because I always go back and finish it in the same sitting.
- The vast majority of local businesses have little to no web presence, so google maps isn’t particularly useful. Also, most shops keep strange hours, especially during Ramadan, and often the only way to know if they are open is to call or go there. This took some getting used to.
- I know people complain about drivers everywhere, but the drivers here don’t stay in their lanes. This is particularly noticeable (read: terrifying) on the tortuous, two-lane roads that snake up and down the hills in residential areas. Also, outer lanes on the highways don’t always merge gracefully into traffic. Sometimes they vanish into the retaining wall.
- Victoria’s Secret at the Qurum City Centre mall appears to be a purveyor of body wash and handbags. I assumed this was some kind of modesty thing, but there’s a lingerie shop directly opposite, so who knows. I don’t shop at VS anyway so my curiosity about the lack of bras at the bra store is purely academic.
- The vast majority of Western expats in Muscat clear out during the summer to go home or on holiday. When I first arrived and was researching Arabic courses and TESL programs, it soon became clear that nothing is happening before September. I have realigned my expectations for the summer. More on this coming soon to a blog near you (this one).