learning · Oman · settling in · travel

a week in Oman

Today marks the first whole week we’ve been in Muscat, Oman. The flights from Amsterdam – Abu Dhabi – Muscat were easy peasy though Rob’s beard caused some issues and required extra security checks (sigh).

Within 24 hours of arrival in the country, our shipment arrived and a crew of hot and sweaty men emptied the container, delivered everything to our 3rd floor apartment, and unpacked hundreds of boxes (did we really have that much stuff?!) Within a week, we had everything put away in it’s new home (where did I put the coffee again?!?!) and are just trying to figure out where to place all of our artwork.

This week has been a whirlwind of businessy stuff. Rob completed medical checks, received his resident card, and participated in a boat load of orientation work. The kids and I continued to get things settled and made friends with the neighbor kids (who just moved here from China). At night, we explored the city’s vast malls as we stocked our fridge and pantry with necessities.

Each adventure out of the house has been an exercise in patience. Our waze GPS has been helpful but when she urges us to turn right, we’re not sure which right she’s referring to as intersections include a menagerie of right turns, most of which lead you on to some expressway or on to the wrong side of a concrete divide. We’ve definitely spent more time going in the wrong direction than in the right one!

New staff orientation visits have included drinks (read: beer!) at the American Club, a traditionally lavish meal at Kargeen, and our Australian buddy, Peter, inviting us to visit the fish souk early Saturday morning.

The fish souk near the port in Mutrah (about 15 minutes from our house) is a real working market. Though smaller than I had imagined, it gave me a real insight in to the size of Muscat (small) and the Omani people (friendly!). The vast amount of fish (tuna, squid, shrimp, shark, lobster, mackerels, and sardines) was impressive, but the genuineness of the place was unmatched. We tromped through salt water strewn floors and negotiated our purchase with Omani men perched on small benches (the occasional cat eating a small fish at their feet). For 1+ kg of tuna and 1 kg of shrimp, we walked out having spent just under $20 with the idea of dinner quickly taking form in our mind.

Just a few kilometers down the road, we were enjoying fabulous views of beaches, forts, and mountains all while trying to add as many locations to our GPS as places we have to get back to!

Can’t wait to see what fun week #2 brings!

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