Sunday, November 28, 2004

What help?

Having been away from Oman for a year till September, this was the first month that I pay bills again. I noticed on my GSM bill that Omantel now has an Account Number where the Contract Number used to be. I was afraid that if I pay my bill online without changing the contract number with the bank the payment won't register against my account. I called OIFC's call center and the woman who answered my call surprised me by saying that the account number changes with every bill and it shouldn't matter to me when I make the payment at the counter. She had no idea about internet banking. She said "go ahead and pay". So I called Omantel's call center, and the woman there had no idea that there used to be a contract number. I could almost hear the gears jamming in her brain.

So two calls, two so-called help lines, and I got absolutely no help at all. In the end I went on internet banking and opened a new bill payment with the account number. Hopefully, the money will find its way to my account.

Speaking of mobile phone companies....

Nawras Telecom

It seems like everyone and their mother is applying for jobs at Nawras. The company's apparently paying crazy salaries and their post box is getting jammed with applications. Someone told me so many people apply for every opening that they're discarding applications without reading them. A friend told me about someone who doesn't even have a university degree and barely has a couple years' work experience who's getting paid more than I am. Some good that MSc did me, ha?

Thursday, November 25, 2004

In no sense.. nonsense

1. Headline in Tuesday's Times of Oman:

Omanisation of English newspapers not imminent

You can almost hear the reporter's sigh of relief, can't you? I don't mind that the press here is all Indian. I mind that they the majority of them write only for Indians. I mind that most of them write in Inglish, not English. And I really do mind that even if I were to cut and paste all three daily English papers into one I still find a need to read the Khaleej Times or Gulf News, and that's for getting just the Oman news, let alone the rest of the world.

I know.. I know.. we're lagging behind. Yes, we've ranked the worst in the Arab world when it comes to freedom of the press. But no one's asked these fuckers to criticize the government. I don't care about that. I'd accept local coverage of the stuff they're allowed to report.

Today, the Times' Thursday magazine is celebrating its 5th anniversary and they have write-ups by every single person who works in the paper. It starts with the chairman and his three sons patting each other on the back, and then it's page after page after page of Indians (and a couple Philipinos). The first Omani appears on page 40!

2. I honestly can't remember what the second thing I was going to write about is :)

Friday, November 05, 2004


No, we have not abandoned our blog. At least I haven't. I was too busy finishing off my dissertation while OD was packing our stuff. I submitted on September 15th, and we were on a flight back to Oman the very next day.

Our graduation ceremony was yesterday. Couldn't make it. We're just waiting for our degrees to come in the mail towards the month's end. We've passed! And God forgive Dr. Liu, my dissertatin supervisor, for blowing my slim chance at a distinction. He went AWOL on me!

Anyhow, we've been back home for a month and a half. I've been back at work since September 25. Lots of things happening. Lots of things which are supposed to be happening aren't. Still haven't started the process of looking for a place to stay. Quite enjoying the living with the folks thing again.

I've been writing lots of things which were intended for the blog. I may or may not post them eventually.