Sunday, 31 May 2009

Oman Air's New Buses

Oman Air have finally begun flying their Muscat to London route using proper airplanes.
Two shining Airbus A330s have now replaced the two piles of shite that were the Airbus A310s belonging to wet-lease company HiFly from Portugal. 

For those who flew on the Portuguese aircraft, and mostly got off it saying "Never again!", I would recommend a trip on the new offering which will give you a far more pleasurable flying experience, although not quite as excellent as it is going to get when the custom ordered fleet starts arriving in September.

Oman Air crews are particularly instrumental in you having a great time on board, and without them providing their excellent service on those Lisbon buckets of bolts, Jet Driver can only imagine what that seven-hour horror would be like.

Congratulations Oman Air!

Tuesday, 26 May 2009

Markaz Al Madness

Have been meaning to blog about this one for a while:

Jet Driver took a trip to Markaz Al Bahja a while back, and witnessed the following scenario unfurl on an otherwise dreary day.

In an effort to expedite his arrival, one of the ROP Fire Service trucks, while on its way to an incident (sirens and blue lights a-go-go), attempted to rat-run through the car park at MAB, only to find that some inconsiderate twat, had parked, or should I say abandoned, their vehicle by the side of the road - thereby blocking the route for the truck. 

Then, as the truck attempted to reverse out of this predicament, a black jeep with three women inside, drove up the inside of the truck......and parked - with all three females summarily disembarking and heading towards the mall - oblivious to the fact that they had just blocked the truck from reversing. 

It gets better.....

In a panicked effort to get the attention of said women, the driver goes to get out and call them, only to find that he now cannot get the door open! So the guy in the passenger side, who has now discovered that he has the same problem, gets ordered out the window.  

Then, as everyone stands there gawping and distracted, three more cars come and park behind the jeep!
Loads of screaming, arm-waving and finger-pointing later, there was still no sign of anyone's car being moved.
At that stage, a now near doubled-over Jet Driver walked the 50 metres to his car, and drove away along the back road.

This place is so random. 

Wednesday, 20 May 2009

Racing In Muscat

I'm in the process of designing a new computer game which will make me millions of dollars!

You go down the road, down the road, faster and faster.
Then you turn a sharp 180 degrees and you go up the parallel road, faster and faster, and then another 180 and you do this 300 times and "oh, this looks familiar" - and then as you progress further you have to start dodging different vehicles coming the opposite way. 

You get different points for dodging different ones - Smart cars, Echoes, Getz (all "trainer" cars) then you also have Camrys, Avalons and Optimas with a smattering of Hi-Luxes and Prados (you get mega points if you can dodge one of these!).

There are also "baddies" that run out in front of you. You are allowed to use any number of high calibre weapons to blast the hell out of these. You can also go back to basics if you want and use knives or even a lance or spear which you can put out of your car window.

Finally, there is a "twilight zone" that you can fall into where all the exit-sign arrows bring you back to the same place - except for one which will give you freedom and win you the game trophy.

Yes folks, "Grand Theft Auto: Lulu's Car Park" - Coming soon to a computer store near you!

Tuesday, 19 May 2009

Home Centre - The Land of Fabrication

I bought a new bedroom set at Home Centre - and two days ago, after a six week delay, it arrived at my house.
"Lying Scumbag Indian Centre" is what I have now taken to calling this company.

What the fuck is it about Indians and their seemingly genetic inability to tell the truth. To admit mistakes. To say "Sorry, but I fucked it up."?

What is it about their inability to say "Sorry, but this piece of furniture is out of stock and will be for the next six weeks or so, but I will be happy to order it for you, if you are willing to wait." instead of saying "Yes, sir. 550 rials please sir, and vee vill deliwer it tomorrow, sir, of course, yes please sir and vat is your good name?"

Then we have the guys who came to put it all together. 
More lies, more half truths. 
I gave him a drawing of the bedroom with descriptions of where I wanted the wardrobe and the bed - making sure to clarify that they knew where it all needed to go. 
Came back two hours later to find that one of the windows had disappeared because the wardrobe was in front of it, in the opposite corner and angle to where it was on the plan.

"You'll need to move that and the bed to where I told you to put it on the plan. That's the whole idea of a plan, dude."
"Cannot moo da now. Heavy sir." 
"You need to get you and your two mates, and the fat lazy specimen sitting downstairs in the truck and get your asses together and move that thing to where I asked you to put one of us dies."

Eight screws per panel in the wardrobe - "Vee vill just use four and save time." and THAT was the real reason why they dared not try and move it!

"No sir. (More lies coming.) That is design sir. Denmark. Very gooda qwalitee." 
Turn my back for two seconds. Unmerciful crash. Wardrobe in pieces on the floor. 
All four twats now standing in a line in front of it, in a pathetic attempt to hide their gross incompetence, now realising that all screws and the metal support beam they left standing in the corner were indeed necessary for the satisfactory construction of said piece of furniture.

"Get the fuck out of my house!" 
"No but sir, please."

New stuff arrived yesterday. No carpenters. Will do it myself. It really is the only way.

Monday, 18 May 2009

Being Cool at the Café

Jet Driver is still noticing this on his regular drives around the hippest joints in Muscat: Shatti, MQ and City Centre. have to get a grip on this one, especially if you want to impress the chicks.
You've got the freshly pressed dishdasha with the customised trim around the sleeves and down the front to match your headgear - you look the part. 
The Porsche Cayenne is parked on the curb outside: ain't no sense in using a parking space because the fine is only 3 rats, but yet - you still insist on buying a takeaway coffee and using a seat.......why?

Seats outside are for folks who pay a surcharge for seats. If you want to roll with your latté then go ahead and do so, but if you wanna sit and chill with it homie, then ya needs to pay for da mug!

All to save a hundred baisa? FFS!

Friday, 15 May 2009

Shape Problems In Muscat

All around the world, there are clever little devices for controlling the flow of traffic crossing junctions, rather then having to invest large amounts of money in traffic light systems which need constant monitoring and maintenance - you just build this thing, and you go. Nothing to worry about - except, as far as I can see, in Muscat where you get to spend more money cleaning up the car wrecks instead of mending traffic signals.

They are called roundabouts, with logic dictating that they should be "round", however here in Muscat, a lot of our major ones are "oval" or if you were to track the movements of my steering wheel, sort of "splash or puddle" shaped things.

They are lethal. In Europe, you go on the roundabout (and it is round - they have instruments to measure that), you track the car in front and you lock the steering wheel to follow the curve and you exit.

Here, you take your eyes off the curve for even a second, and you are either in the wrong lane, or doing car-rolls into the flyover support at Lulu's (which is by far Muscat's most prominent ovalabout).

Please get them fixed. I see that you are replacing all of the ovalabouts on the coast road and at Qurum........well done!

Oops, I did it again.....

.....I crashed into the barrier, now what will I do?.......

Oh yes indeed, there has been another collision at the "safety" barrier outside Carrefour - but this time, the amazing forethought of the designers was brought into play as the vehicle in question only hit the first "Warning" barrier, which still happened to be made of heavy grade steel and did just an efficient job of thrashing the cab of the vehicle in question.

The next question I have now is......are these barriers legal? Who puts them up? Is it Carrefour? is it Muscat Municipality Road Section or whatever they are called? Is it really the truck driver's fault for slamming into an unexpected  mini-steel bridge while still technically on the road to Carrefour?

Here's my solution. If you look at the total cost of the barrier, versus say, the 60 rats a month that they pay one of the Kalhat "Boys in Blue", then I reckon a flag waving wee man from the Sub Continent would do a far better job of policing the strip than a silent but potentially deadly red and white steel RSJ through the cab of some poor bastard's truck.