Sunday, October 11, 2009

Random & interesting bahaviour of a few expats

Living in Muscat has presented with its fair share of happy moments and challenges. We like the fact that the weather is hot, we can venture out of town on the weekends and see amazing beaches and wadis, and the people are great...for the most part.

Now I'm not talking about Omanis here...I'm going to reference some interesting behaviour by expatriates, most of which have astounded and humoured Duma and I.

Case 1:
I'm in the Qurum Al Fair during Ramadan, as my father-in-law is sick and needs some medicine before his international flight the following day. Its madness in the store and unfortunately, due to the retail store timings the attached pharmacy is closed. I can't find what I need, so I grab a few other things before I go on my merry way.

Enter Mrs British Expat...present in her sun dress (strapless and above the knees), wet hair and looks like she has just enjoyed a sunny day at the pool. She walks straight to the fruit section and picks a few grapes, tastes them and then doesn't hesitate to eat a few more.
I'm alarmed - ITS RAMADAN!!! You have the audacity to eat in public during the day and in front of all the Muslim staff and customers (and those others who are fasting)...and I might add that you are stealing in an Arab country!

She catches me looking at her, makes a face and then proceeds to ask "what are you looking at?" *insert snooty tone/accent* I replied "I'm just amused that you are eating in public during Ramadan". I shook my head, smiled and walked off. End of story? No.

She shrugs her shoulders and is back off to shop...but not before she starts following me through the aisles and making faces at me! This goes on for a good few minutes and then she stands opposite me at the next checkout line, while I chuckle to myself...are you serious lady? You have no idea who I am and I'm not timid, please don't make me embarrass you in public, lol.

Case 2:
We have had a few issues with the parking lot at our apartment. It's pretty clear that there is assigned parking, F2 = flat #2 people! So after a week of people parking in our space, I start leaving notes on the culprit car - a red jeep wrangler. Simple notes (not abrasive) educating them that we live here now and would like our space back. Case closed? No.

The red jeep of the SA expat just sat there for a couple days and it royally pissed us off - you removed the note and now know that we live here...but you choose to park there anyway on a daily basis...why? Are they messing with us or just don't care?
Another note alleviated the problem, but why should it have come to that? Next resort was Duma (in all his 6'8 masculine glory) paying a visit to this guys doorstep :-)

(sidenote - Duma made up a couple of 'don't park in our space' notes and kept them in the car, just in case lol! It was seriously getting that annoying that we had well thought out tactics and I was discussing it with friends. Duma even suggested that we put an orange cone in our space to 'send a message', whilst a friend suggested we put a cinder block in our spot as a sign - lol).

Enter British expat couple. We come home one night after a few drinks @ Pavo Real and its after midnight and another car (silver yaris this time) is politely parked in our spot. Bugger! There is only one place that we can possibly park in, though it belongs to another flat and we don't want to do the exact same thing to other tenants, but we have to as there is no other choice/place to park. We just figured we would move it early in the morning and no harm would be done.

WRONG! We wake up the following morning a little hungover and Duma wanted McDonald's for breakfast (which apparently doesn't exist in Muscat?) and upon walking out to the car park, we notice a white camry parked behind us, blocking us in and...wait for it...our windshield wipers are both up!!! Are you serious? Are these people trying to 'teach us a lesson' by putting our windshield wipers up? Wow...that was tough and so mature :-)

So after laughing about it, we got mad. We marched up to the apartment (obviously we knew who did it because we were in their spot) and knocked on the door. The lady scarily stood behind the door complaining "well we are just sick of it" and whilst we agreed, we explained what had happened and that we were victims of the same act. So her husband comes down to move the car.

Is he apologetic? No. Is he embarrassed? No. He just comes down and makes small talk and we explain our story of Mr. Red Jeep. "That's funny" he says "that guy is my neighbour and has his own spot"...excellent, so now we know who's door to bang on IF he does it again :-)
Then he moves his white camry. Case closed? No.

Yesterday we pull into the car park (about 1 1/2 weeks after the incident) and there is an SUV parked in their spot again...the white camry is parked behind it...windshield wipers up and all!

But here is the kicker - the SUV actually managed to manoevre out from the spot and the camry just sat there looking stupid and now blocking everyone else in on that end of the lot. And here comes the British guy with his tail between his legs, forced to move his car whilst looking like an a$$. Priceless! Well it made us laugh anyway :-)


  1. Haha.. your post made me laugh. SO typical.

  2. Thanks Nadia, I would be lying if I said I don't still chuckle about both situations...I'm just waiting to run into Mrs British Expat again at a restaurant or a social function = its on!!! :-)

  3. Love this post - I have also been amazed at the blatant disrepect some expats have for this country and / or culture... :)

    I'm british by birth - but let me tell you - I find the majority of them are down right RUDE and obnoxious... :D

    And luckily for me - it looks like I've havent done anything wrong cause you haven't written about me.. phew


  4. Oh Saffer, we are fellow coffee lovers so you are all good! :-)

    See you Monday morning.

  5. Interesting and funny adventures.. haha!!

    Saffer, I'm Omani and I don't want to be RUDE but my limited experience with British people makes me believe that they can be really RUDE sometimes. Of course, it's not only about my British teacher who kept calling me "The Mona" for a few months because of a grammatical mistake in which my mother tongue interfered and made me say "the Inspector Goole." *sighs* But I like him; he's a real intellectual.

  6. hahahahahah I love it- delirious you are fast becoming one of my favourite blogs :)
    I am secretly hoping for a future confrontation with Mrs Sundress British Ex-pat - p.s was she the leathery tanned variety who acts as if Oman is in fact Spain? lol