Saturday, January 10, 2009

Be Your Own Detective

So this morning I was up on my house's rooftop while a handyman was finally putting a clothes line. Yep, 11 months after moving into the house we finally have a sturdy line to dry our clothes on. Anyway, I was looking at all the construction around my house. We're practically living in a construction zone. There are more than 15 houses being built within less than 200 meters walking distance from my house. The empty plot right next to my house is a dump. There are three houses being built in the line behind my house and all of them are dumping their crap in this empty plot. By law they will have to remove all the crap when they finish building or the municipality won't give the site completion certificate, but until that time I have to suffer. So today, my "all around the house" guy U (I refuse to call him a "house boy", I hate that phrase, and one day sooner or later he'll pass his driving exam and become a driver), told me that the construction workers in the house exactly diagonally behind us, sit up late at night singing and clapping and he can't sleep well because of him. Then he shocked me by telling me that they drink all night. I asked where they get the alcohol and got a bigger shock when he told me that there's a car that comes to the neighborhood every day and sells booze to all the construction sites.

As soon as the handyman finished his work, I got into my car and went to Bausher police station to complain. The policeman just looked at me and said he needs more information before he can do anything. Like what, I asked. He said I should give him, at the very least, details on the car that sells the alcohol. It's make and model and car number. I said, isn't this your part. I give you the complaint and then you as police investigate? Apparently not. I guess, I'm gonna have to set up my own stakeout and find all the details for them. Once I have the car number, they will trace its owners and do their part.



Muscato said...

Good luck on that... In my first neighborhood here, we had a similar car regularly make the rounds (a very nice elderly Omani gent and his sons), and the biggest takers were our neighbors, all senior or retired police officials...

Kishor Cariappa said...

With chill getting worse, you can expect the car doing more rounds behind your house.

Lost in thought said...

This is something that surprises me too. The role of the police is to investigate on complaints. This is the norm everywhere. So why is it different in Oman ???

Suburban said...

Let me know if you need help with that, I love a good stakeout.

I don't hold any hope for the municipality getting the crews to clean up the mess they have left behind. My neighbourhood is a tribute to unethical contractors and an uncaring municipality. Let us know if you succeed, and if so tell us how you did.

sythe said...

Muscati - Good luck with the undercover operation :)

Angry In Oman said...

I'm totally in if you need some one with an attitude problem to shake things up a bit.

MNB4800 said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
MNB4800 said...

I am facing an exact and maybe worse problem. The land next to our house which is in the middle of the Suq is a warehouse, dump, truck park, shelter...etc for an un-ethical contractor who has been there for more than a year now. My father called the Municipality and they said they will send someone to investigate and till now nothing. We plan to take photos of the place and go shake the municipality a bit. Maybe, just MAYBE, we get something. At least, I won't bloody sit around and do nothing!!!

ColOman said...

if they ahve not caused you any problems, then leave them alone. Have a talk with them and tell them to keep it down. If they dont call the cops other wise let do their thing as long as dont harm anyone

muscati said...

ColOman - It's illegal to sell alcohol in Oman. Why should I stand aside while illegal activities are being conducted in my neighborhood? Should I wait till one of the drunk construction workers actually commits a crime?

Would you be OK with it if it was drugs instead of alcohol so long as they don't harm anyone?

AkaRound Peg said...

There are a couple of slummy houses behind / next to Arab Weavers on Dohat Al Adab street which houses unskilled labourers.

My maid went to check out the accomadation there and she said she had to literally run away because a semi clad drunk Omani made a beeline for her.

When I asked her how it was possible for an Omani to get access to liquor she said she later found out that a car carrying liquor regularly made the rounds and anybody was free to buy from them.

Needless to say she dropped plans to trying to find a house in the vicinity!

MNB4800 said...

lol, must we wait for others to cause problems so that they can be considered at fault! No I won't leave them alone simply because using a land space that should be empty as what I stated before is not right and I bet illegal too. Do note that they have been there for more that a year. The primary material for a building doesn't require that much time to be consumed. It is very obvious the contractor is using the space as a hub for many other construction activities.

SK said...

is there a problem with the Oman community blog? I'm trying to access it but the following comes up:

Important Notice: The funny thing is the category they have assigned to it is

trying to access:

get this message:

Check it our yourselves. Any updates?

Blewyn said...

Oddly enough I can see how this would work well within the local culture - because it means the alcohol is being delivered straight to the home by a 'known', and presumably trusted, vendor, thus keeping it out of people's faces.

Pixels said...

Haha, booz ? Sold behind your house ?
Tell me, do you consume no booz whatsoever ?

Anyway, to get rid of them, you simply rush out with a camera that has a flash, take a pic of them and next evening should be quiet. Repeat offenders ? You print the pic and drop it off a copshop.

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