Sunday, 28 February 2010

Omani Space Program

It is rumored that NASA has expressed an interest in setting up an Intergalactic Exploration Training College here, in order to expand the existing Omani Space Program.


NASA claims that the higher than average number of space-cadets in Muscat makes it the ideal place for a strategic interstellar launch site.


In anticipation of the opening of this new centre of excellence, a purpose-built "launch ramp" has been constructed on the outskirts of the city.


However, efforts to make Oman's first trip into space have been overshadowed by the loss of "Baisa Bus One" which having confused flag waving well-wishers for fare-paying passengers, veered off course during launch and exploded into the side wall of Mission Control.


OSP representative Nasser Bin Tumoon said that while the loss was tragic, that it will only go to further strengthen the resolve of the space team.

Thursday, 18 February 2010

Experiences You Must Have Before I Will Consider You An Oman Expat

Because of my job, I have to do a lot of meeting and greeting of new people coming into the system here in Oman.
Some jet-jockey types who high five a lot, some engineers and aircraft designers and the odd test pilot. All different types of industry folk - but the one thing that puts them all in the same bucket, is that over-confidence that every expat has on their first week here.

"No problems today. Went and got my resident's card. Very efficient."

"Driver's Licence? Yep! Got it! Had a laugh with the ROP guy. Nice chap!"

"I already found a villa! It was easy! The PRO had a mate who knew someone else who was renting!"

"Nah, thanks for the offer, but I'm on my way to Toyota now to pick up my Prado!"

"Barbecue at my place on Thursday? Brilliant! Don't bring anything! I'll get the beer myself! Going down to Ruwi to get my licence in a few minutes."

"I'm totally settled in here now and feel like a real expat!"

Yes folks. The all-too-common "everything is going along just fine" situation that all new expats find themselves in.

However....I have decided that I will not consider you to be a true "Expat in Muscat" until I hear you say the following:

"Jesus Christ! Who are those guys in the orange and white cars?"

"There has been no water in my villa since January."

"I saw people having a picnic on the roundabout at Seeb. Is that not dangerous?"

"My furniture hasn't arrived yet, but he said it would only take three days."

"The bank have cancelled my cards again."

"He has the deposit, but now he won't answer his phone."

"I hailed one of those red and white striped taxis but they never stop! Why?"

"What does he mean when he wobbles his head like that?"

"That Filipina took all my money and went home!"

"Who needs a trolley full of Vimto?"

"Why is the PRO ignoring me?"

I'm sure there's a few more quotes you'd like to add to this!

Tuesday, 16 February 2010

Update: Omantel Unblocks Community Queer Blog

In the light of what I assume were numerous requests and protests from the blogging community, Omantel have unblocked gay community website "Community Queer".

Well done Omantel and the TRA. In this blogger's opinion, you have made a very brave and very important, intelligent decision.

Congratulations!

JD

Thursday, 11 February 2010

Electrocution.....

The following story was brought to my attention last night and I was bemused that the incident did not make the papers - at least to my knowledge.

Apparently three or maybe four Indian or Pakistani building site workers were electrocuted a few weeks back while wheeling a scaffolding tower around outside and striking overhead lines in Mawaleh.

An eye-witness told me that they had objected to moving it because of the cable danger, but their "handler" (who wasn't going to be touching the metal scaff-bars anyway) told them to get a move on and that it was fine!

The witness said that there was a flash and all the men were burned and died.
(Sounds like they were high tension lines to me.)

Has anyone else out there got any info on the above?

Wednesday, 3 February 2010

Visit This Blog!

Well folks, I'm still doing the rounds and finding my feet again after a short hiatus from blogging due to mostly not having enough time to think about the site over the early part of the New Year.

Have been looking at some of the new blogs that have arisen and I want to stand up and loudly applaud Scudder and Finn for quite literally sticking their necks out and publishing what I can only assume is Oman's first gay community blog. I am proud of your bravery and your innovation.

Everyone should go and have a read of it, and then maybe email the folks there and give them your feedback.
The gay community in Oman is huge. The closet gay community makes up what I imagine is more than half.

Gays and Lesbians can put the average heterosexual to shame when it comes to support and engagement of those in need, so I want to see this blog eventually blossom into a website and a magazine with help and advice for those who need it, some interesting articles about the community in Muscat and throughout the GCC - and details for places to go, things to do and upcoming events.

No one can keep a lid on this for much longer. This country is tolerant - very much so, and while there's a lot of heads in the sand about the subject, I think that awareness and exposure will only benefit everyone concerned.

The blog is here: www.communityqueer.blogspot.com - go and have a look!

Scudder and Finn.......you're both awesome!

Monday, 1 February 2010

Sorry About That Folks!

Right! I'm back and with a vengeance.....but not just yet!

Have a few more things to sort out and then I promise I'll start pulling back this third world country's first world veneer.......but only enough that it doesn't get me sent home.

I love you all!

JD