Saturday, February 23, 2008

Briefly

In the two months that this blog was offline:

- I sold my trusted and beloved car of 9 and a half years (the one that I didn't give up on even when it was almost made into a pancake) and bought a used Land Cruiser. I sold it to the first guy who made an offer on it for 2.5K. Six weeks later I found out that the dude had sold it for 3.3K. Oh well, no regrets. I wish the guy driving it all the best.

- Went to Al Nahdha Resort & Spa for eid. Not bad at all, except for the horrible location. I liked the rooms. The food was quite good. I like the idea of having bicycles thrown around all over the place for the guests to use to get around or exercise, but the bikes were in pretty bad shape from the humidity. There were no children's activities available at all. And worst of all, the pool wasn't heated so not only was there nothing for Faisal to do, he couldn't swim either. With a little work this place could turn into a really great weekend retreat kind of place. Maybe they should lower their price a little though.

- I answered some of life's most difficult questions like "plasma or LCD", "curtains or blinds", "gas or electric", and other really perplexing and time consuming questions.

- I gained new knowledge, like for example I now know that all the transport companies that people use to bring furniture from Dubai like Road Runner Transport, are in fact not insured for any damage that they do to the furniture you buy with your hard earned money. Unless the damage was caused by an accident.

- I also learned the hard way that although Serta have the slogan "We make the world's best mattresses" and hang a giant poster in their store which says "Our customers are our most valuable asset", the people who run the company's operations in Oman and the UAE (Dubai Furniture Manufacturing Co) are assholes and don't give a damn about you once you've swiped your credit card and signed on the dotted line.

- I booked some time off from work in January for the purpose of moving into the house, but ended up instead traveling to Paris and Frankfurt. Paris is my favorite city in the world, but it actually sucked being there in the cold of January when all I could think of was home. On the plus side, massive sales everywhere so I picked up just about a year's supply of clothes for Faisal from Galleries Lafayette and lots and lots of brownie points for the Mrs from Gucci (50%) and Louis Vuitton (never on sale).

- I was away on our 5th wedding anniversary :(

- I got examined by a Professor of Neurology in Germany who told me that neurologically I have nothing wrong with me and then advised me "don't take medicine, and stay away from doctors". Fine advice indeed.

- We drove up and down town so many times that I put close to 8000KM on the car in the two months since I bought it. With it's thirsty V8 engine, I sometimes have to fill up the Land Cruiser every third day.

- Despite the above, we still haven't finished furnishing our house. We've still not found a sitting room set which we can satisfy our taste and still fit our budget. We have a dining room without chairs (didn't like the ones BoConcept was displaying with it and thought we'd find something nicer at IDdesign here, but the ones at IDdesign don't match in color). We're also looking for a carpenter to do the two person desk for the office, but that's another story.

- By some freak coincident I found myself on the jury of a major award thing which is going to be announced soon. (I'm not sure I can talk about it just yet).

- We went to the Desert Nights Camp for V day. It's supposed to be a luxury camp in the Wahiba sands. I liked the concept. The tented rooms were really well set up. But the whole experience was a bit lacking- "Wahiba Lite", I guess. The food was a huge let down. Like Al Nahda, I think with a little more work they can turn this project into something much better. They should add more activities and make it into a more authentic experience.

Yeah, it's been quite busy around here lately :)

10 comments:

aamnaa said...

the German professor's advice.. it is priceless. have you listened to him?

Congratulations for the move

Beautiful Stranger said...

@ Desert Nights Camp and Al Nahdha resort:
The problem with Oman is that it has all desirable resources, but most of the time it lacks good project management.

Suburban said...

A Landcruiser? Wha? Wha? So Reliable, Such a good Investment, So Boring.

We have six spare tastefull dining room chairs you can borrow for a while.

muscati said...

Aamnaa- Yes, I actually did. And thanks :)

Suburban - I bought the Land Cruiser because there's not a single car out there which I really like and I've been waffling for so long about which car to buy. Unlike 99.9% of my fellow Omanis, I think that 15 or 20K rials is a LOT of money and I can't part with it so easily (even if it's a bank loan) on a car I'm not so sure about. I'd hate to be paying 300 or 400 rials a month in installments every month for 4 years on a car I'm not in love with. With indecision like that it looked like I was never going to buy a car. One day my dad told me he was selling his Land Cruiser, which is only 2 years old and has just 45K km on it, and just like that I said I'll buy it.

I don't really like the Land Cruiser. I think the steering is way too soft. I hate how there's no place in it to put my phone except in the cup holder, and that the sunglass holder is too small to fit any of the sunglasses that I have. The sound system does not belong in a 22,000 rial car. The navigation system doesn't sync often enough with the satellite so sometimes when I go to Shatti, it shows that we're in the sea. There's no way to manually refresh it so you just have to wait 15 or 20 minutes till the next time it syncs. And God damn it, it's such a gas guzzler. If I were to buy a brand new SUV of my choice, I'd probably buy a Yukon. Bur boring as the Land Cruiser is, I know I can sell it tomorrow and get more than what I paid for it. And I can't deny it's built like a house.

Suburban said...

Muscati,

SOrry it took so long to reply.

I totally would have done the same thing in your shoes. I would drive the landcruiser, feel smart about the investment and reliability, and die a little bit inside whenever someone passed me in a Yukon.

...And I couldn't agree more that 20,000 rats is too much to fork over for transportation.

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