So there we were sitting in a cab, with no way of getting across the barrier without someone letting us through. Emma was getting increasingly frustrated, I was hot, stressed and out of options and eventually I had to finally admit defeat. I asked the taxi driver to take me home, he stared at me as though I asked him to take me to the moon. “Home”, “take me back”…..he gave me nothing. I got my phone out and opened google translate choosing the English to Arabic option and tapped in the magic words ‘please take me home’ and showed it to the cab driver (the wonders of modern technology).
He smiled at me as though I had clicked my ruby red shoes together and said ‘ok’ – at last, a sense of relief came over me.
20 minutes later we pulled up outside my new home, the taxi fare came to 10 rials (approx. £20) which, fair play, isn’t bad for a 40-minute taxi journey.
Emma and I got out of the heat and into our cool abode, I felt massively deflated. I had text Danny on route home, and he called me to say that he was taking me to Avenues Mall in his lunch break so I could get a Oman sim card, to ensure I wouldn’t have any ‘phone’ issues again.
Walking into a mobile phone shop in Muscat is not too dissimilar to a UK phone shop, apart from instead of salesmen approaching you immediately as you walk in, you have to take a ticket and wait for your number to be called…I was number 11 in the queue. 30 minutes later and hey presto I had a sim card sorted and would finally be able to access the internet without it costing a small fortune.
We rushed back home as the gas man was coming over (by this I mean a man who delivers small gas cylinders to be fitted).
He was a friendly chap who spoke English (always helps, as my Arabic isn’t quite there yet).
After he fitted the gas cylinder and opened the valve to test the cooker he could hear a hissing and smell gas…the oven top hadn’t been connected property...queue ‘oh no’ and another thing to add to the ‘issue’ list. By the end of the day the ‘issue/oh no’ list comprised of the following:
1. Gas cooker not connected properly
2. Losing new sim card, searching for it for one hour and then finding the sim card once I stripped off (I have no idea what happened here)
3. Phone not supporting the new sim card
4. Water boiler not working
5. Breaking Danny’s Father’s Day present from last year which Emma made (I cried…a lot at this point, but things could only get better, right?!?)
Monday morning was a new day and I still felt upset from yesterday. Danny had said the property manager was coming around in the morning to discuss the issues we had. Mr Mohammed arrived at 10am and introduced himself and behind him were five guys who, he said, were at my disposal for the whole day to clean the house…
halle-frikkin-lujah something amazing after the comedy of errors that ensued yesterday.
Seven hours later (which includes a one hour lunch break) the chaps were finished, at this point I just want to say that our new home is big, but it’s not 30 hours’ worth of cleaning big, but I am in no way complaining as at the end of the day I did not have to do it!
Tuesday came and went in a blur as I spent the day completing the onerous task of unpacking and spending some time with my little munchkin, who I have to hold my hat off to, as she has taken to the move like a duck to water. We decided to get her a proper bed with side guards when we moved out here and I am amazed at how she has settled in it so quickly. It also goes without saying that she loves the space in the house!
On the Wednesday, Emma and I went to Panorama Mall (one of the many malls which is a five-minute drive) to go to soft play at #yellowsubmarine as they have a mum and tots group on a Wednesday morning. Now, I have been to several soft play places in Manchester and I can safely say this is one of THE best ones I have ever gone to. It had so much to do for kids of all ages and also smelt super clean, so you don’t get the fear that two days after you leave your little one is going to get some sort of bug!
It is also on this day, that I made my first new friend as well (hopefully first of many), things were starting to look great!
I spent the rest of the week getting more bits for the house which is now starting to look a bit more like our home rather than a shell, it’s amazing what some cushions, rugs and soft lighting can do.
By the time the weekend came around Danny and I were both ready for some R&R and we decided to spend the afternoon at the #RadissonBlu pool. We paid 8 rial per adult for pool access which also includes a mojito (alcoholic – whoop whoop) and a bar snack. This is exactly what makes the lifestyle here so great, you can go to a pool at the weekends and it feels like you are on holiday for the day so you can completely unwind.
So, to sum up our first full week, have there been challenges, of course, it was inevitable as we were moving to a new country and into a new build house. The key thing is have we overcome the obstacles and I would say we’re nearly there. What I do know for sure is that, at this time, I am loving our new life out here and I’m looking forward to what the next couple of weeks hold…
Next post coming w/c 30 September!