Category Archives: Rants


technical problemsThis is the sight that greeted me as I went to VOX Cinemas in Muscat City Centre Seeb this morning to watch a movie.  The 2 workers at the bottom of the escalator explained to me that there are “technical problems” and (surprise surprise) they don’t know when it will be fixed.  You try to remain positive but when you’ve lived in Oman long enough you really do come to expect these types of things.  They told me to go to the website and that it will be announced when the problem has been fixed.  So far it’s not showing the timings.  I won’t hold my breath. Maybe tomorrow, “Inshallah“!

maf_mobile_430x356 “Marhaba” means “Welcome“, doesn’t it? Didn’t feel very welcome today!

AXA Insurance & Towell Co. Incompetence and Run-around

I was in a car accident on Feb. 25th. Unfortunately, the gentlemen at fault in this case is insured at AXA Insurance.  Of course one can never plan who you will be in an accident with (God willing you will never be in one in the first place!) but if you are ever involved in an accident with someone insured at AXA and they are at fault, be ready for the worst.  In my case, a horrible experience of run-arounds, lies, unanswered phonecalls, unkept promises and a very late return of your car, despite several promises to fix your car promptly. That is exactly what I experienced.

It is now Mar 17th and more than a week ago I was promised that the car would be repaired and ready for pick-up on the 15th. I actually gave them an extra day and called yesterday (Mar 16th) to confirm that my car was ready for pickup. Would you believe that the guy on the phone told me that my car had JUST BEEN APPROVED.  It took a while for what he was telling me to sink in.  They had NOT EVEN TOUCHED my car 3 week later!!!!!!!  Now after calling dozens of people and getting more of a run-around, I am “promised” (Hard to take a promise seriously now at AXA and Towell Ghala I’m sure you can understand!) that the car will be ready on Thursday. Of course no time is given, just “sometime on Thursday”.  I will not be holding my breath.  I will come back and give more details about the nonsense I’ve been through with both AXA and Towell Ghala when I get a chance.  In the meantime, I highly recommend avoiding AXA Insurance (and any repairs they offer in Towell Ghala) like the plague!!!

What is the motivation for insurance companies (like AXA) or shops they hire to repair cars (like Towell Ghala) to have any sense of urgency when they are not responsible to cover the 2nd party’s rental car expense?!?!?!  (I still can’t believe that that is a country-wide regulation!!)  “Frustrated” does quite capture the entirety of my feelings for AXA and Towell at the moment!

Bad Driving in Oman!

Y-Magazine captured some of my all time pet peeves about driving in Oman on this video they published yesterday: Tailgating, overspeeding and no use of indicators!

Dangerous driving is being talked about a lot on Oman Social Media this week as there was a horrendous accident in which 4 kids were killed and others injured involving a private minivan that was apparently overcrowded bringing kids to Pakistan School Muscat.  Driving in Oman is one of the major downfalls of living here in Oman. Oman can be at the top of the list for many factors (“best roads”, happiest citizens, financial opportunities….bla,bla,bla) but if it cannot provide basic safety on its roads all those other successes seem absolutely meaningless.  What is the point of having a good job in a beautiful city if one cannot have some peace of mind that their child has a strong chance of coming come home safely each day?!  Facts of Life 101.

Will Omantel EVER Get it Right?!?!

My problems with Omantel go back years here in the Sultanate.  First, it took weeks and weeks to get the internet set up in our apartment.  Then there was a problem because they managed to set up TWO ACCOUNTS in my name.  After more than 5 visits to their main office on the Nizwa Road and countless phonecalls, it SEEMED to be fixed.  Guess again!  The internet at our house has been shut down once again.  I STILL get 2 bills every month in the mail: one that is correct and up to date and another that continues to add another 20 rials to this mysterious 2nd account that refuses to die and is now at something like 280 OR (or around $700 US).  Every time I visit their office, they tell me not to worry; that the account has been closed and just to ignore such bills.  Once again, I will have to take hours out of my busy schedule to visit the billing department on the 4th floor and have someone look me in the eye and say, “Yes, your problem has been solved. No problem. You can be sure it’s solved!”  “Annoying” falls so short in trying to describe the frustration of dealing with this issue!

update 3 days later: I’m back on line! Big thanks to Mohammed Al Juma for sorting out the problems with the line, Khalid (the technician) for  sorting out the configuration problems once Mohammed took care of the line and also a big thanks to Adil Al Areimi (in the billing department at Omantel HQ) for constantly keeping me updated on the cell-phone.  There is hope for Omantel yet!  🙂  I was seriously impressed with these 3 men and their efforts to help.

“Maid to Suffer” in Y-Oman Magazine

Sad that there are countless stories like this, not only in Oman, but all across the Middle East.maid1     Kudos to Y-Oman for telling it like it is.  The fact that even one vulnerable girl would be used and abused like this and the sponsor would get away with it should make someone’s blood boil!