Thursday, April 14, 2016

Life as an expat in Muscat (part 1)

"I only need 2 weeks in Kyoto to see the beauty in it. But it took me 2 years to do the same to Oman"

That was my testimonial on my second year living in Oman. Perhaps I took too long to adjust. Or maybe I focused so much on domestic issues like (the most obvious) how people here tolerate patience and the F1-excellent-driving skills they have!

Here, getting honked by vehicle behind you right after the traffic light turns green is just like music to your ears. Watching people quarreling about a parking spot is also normal (We have had an experience with a very very rude parking lot steal-er too!). Oh, the most ordinary scene here is that you'll find gigantic-expensive vehicles parked ON the pavement/sidewalk. Also, people here multitask a lot during driving! I wonder whether or not they notice that their expensive cars are equipped with bluetooth app for hands-free!

Well, if I were to compare between Muscat and Kyoto, that is so not an apple to apple comparison. Like, come on! We all know that Japanese are among the most discipline people in this world. You nak compare with the arabs? Hahahaha - evil laugh (I hope no arab ever read this). But if you want to compare between Oman and our beloved country, and Omanis and Malaysians, that one sure can loh!

But to tell you the truth, Oman is actually the nicest country among the GCCs and other Arab countries!

*Looks like someone's in love with this country already! haha*

As a start, there are a lot of things I like about Oman:-

1. Beauty and nature

"Beauty has an address"

This tagline is made to advertise Oman for its tourism...And yes it is true.
You can find beaches everywhere, even in Muscat (the capital of Oman). They are open beaches so do not expect for any toilet or changing rooms. The beach nearby our house is actually a fishermen's area but it is till nice and people still come for activities. They are also some beaches that accommodate recreational purposes such as for picnic, BBQ and gatherings, hence some simple huts were built. 

Recently I went to Surr (outside Muscat). It was about 2 hours driving from home and we were simply entertained by nature along the way! Oh I love the ombre colour of the beach, the coastal, different colour of rock mountains, and even the goats, donkeys and camels that contribute to spectacular nature scenery. 

this photo was taken on our way to Sink Hole. just the beach along the way.

Another pit stop with amazing scenary, somewhere in Surr

Other than beach, Oman is famous with its wadis (a valley that is dried at most place but has small amount of water stream). People love to do wadi bashing or camping there. However, during rainy days, wadi can be the most dangerous place for people.

Mountains are also popular as tourist attractions. We have two most popular mountains, which are Jabal Akhdar and Jabal Shams. 

Jabal Akhdar, credit photo to Mr. Hubby

And not a lot of people know Oman has cherry blossoms in Wekan Village. Though you have to do some off-road and walking a few kilometers to reach the destination, it's all worth the effort!

There are other beautiful places to visit in Oman such as Salalah, Nizwa, Wahiba Sand, some villages and whatnot. But one can only appreciate this country and its nature if you are a nature lover. If you love shopping, tall building, etc, than this is not the place for you.

Oh anyway, you will not find sophisticated buildings in Oman, even in Muscat; its capital city. Most of the buildings, especially the government offices, still preserve the Arabic architectural at least to its minimum level.  

And Muscat is a clean city. Truthfully, it is not because of the people here. If not for the municipality, I don't think this place could be this clean. But I salute the government for taking cleanliness as serious issue. 

As-Sahwa Park, Mawaleh South (about 3-5 minutes driving from home)

Sink Hole, Najm Park

Al-Hazm Castle, Rustaq

Grand Mosque, Muscat. credit photo to Mr. Hubby

I think I'm getting too long if I continue here. In shaa Allah I'll continue in the next entry :)
Oh my, what a formal essay! When I re-read this, I imagine myself holding a hailer in front of a bunch of old people with cameras and maps in their hands (tourist laaa), and reading this outloud! Urghhh... my writing is getting worse, and so does my language skill!


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