Saturday, 21 February 2015

Life in Oman: One-year

Today marks one year since I have been living in Oman. I remember landing at 10.30pm and being surprised it was still warm at that time. My brother-in-law collected us and dropped us off at our new home. The place was pretty much empty with just the basics in place and even after spending the next day unpacking my huge suitcase it still looked empty! 
Honestly, the transition has been tough, and I although people told me it would take at least a year to settle I am not sure I have fully. Expat life is very much a lifestyle of its own, but I will save discussing that for another post.

I blogged at the six months mark my thoughts on life here and wanted to do the same again, just to see what's changed. Once again please keep in mind this is a very personal experience.
On the whole my likes and dislikes have remained the same. I started enjoying Oman more once we came back from London in October, the weather was just right and we could start going out and exploring. My parents came to visit for three weeks in November and we ticked a lot of attractions off the "to see" list. My sister is here at the moment and my aunt will be visiting in April. I love having my family around and it gives us the excuse we need to get out all the adventure gear we have slowly built up and hit the road.

Speaking of roads my dislike of driving is now a borderline phobia. I travel between work, home, and the supermarket fine. Anything beyond those two roads fills me with dread. I just don't trust that other drivers are actually looking out for each other. All the roads are dual carriageways or motorways, the etiquette isn't the same as the UK, and I am constantly scared of being hit as other cars join the road and change lanes. My husband reassures me that people are very good at using their breaks here, but that's not something I want to rely on.
I started working in October; I was very fortunate to get a job. The job itself I really like, and I am much less bored and happier having a routine. That said the difference in attitudes to work between the UK and here is quite startling, and office politics can be frustrating. I'm not in a position to do anything about that though so I just have to adopt the way of thinking here, that things will get done when they get done. The law also states that you can't take any annual leave for the first six months so I currently feel like I am waiting for my parole. I will start getting my leave after May and I already have three holidays in mind.
One other thing I have noticed more recently is that I feel I have lost my ability to hold a conversation. Realistically, my husband is the only person I speak to daily and although I speak to family over Google Hangouts/WhatsApp, I don’t have any friends here that I meet up with regularly. When I am around other people I have found myself getting tongue tied and nervous, and dwelling on my words later. I’m not really sure why, I’m not an extrovert but I’m not shy either.

We have paid another years rent for our flat, which means we will be in Oman at least another year. Yes, you pay a year up front here. Madness. I’m not sure if I will do any more updates, but I may take some time to dwell on different aspects of life here, and expat life specifically. If there is anything you would like to hear about let me know.