May 11th, 2014 | Sunday Sunday’s in Oman are the beginning of a work and school week.  This was a recent change in everyone’s schedule because the Sultan of Oman decided it.”Effective tomorrow immediately.” Easy as that.  So after Tara and I dropped her son, Trey, off at school, we meet up with a few of her friends, other Oxy wives, and headed to Ruwi. Vita explained it as, the business district of Muscat. So. Many. Shops. In Ruwi, there is the Souk, which is full of little booths and vendors that have cashmere scarfs, jewelry, home furniture, souvenirs, clothes, shoes, etc for locals and tourists.  It was one big bargaining game.  “How much?” The Indian guy may say that dress is 5 Rial, and Vita would suggest “No too much, 3 Rial?” Then they would normally meet in the middle at paying $4 Rial for the dress. The currency is 2.6 US dollars equal to 1 rial so, when they tell you in rials, to play it safe, multiple everything times 3. It was really interesting.  Also, the Souk is huge! We probably spent 3-3 1/2 hours in it and barely made a dent. After shopping, we all went to eat lunch. Eating at Roadside grill, which has a variety of foods, similar to Chili’s back home, Tara tries to order Orange chicken and fried rice. “We don’t have,” the waitress replied. It’s on the menu. Hmm. That’s another thing I’ve learned…Don’t get too comfortable or picky.  They may not have that particular dish, not because they really don’t have it, but simply because they do not want to make it.  Seemingly keeping the customers on their toes. What exactly can I order consistently? Nothing. Sparsity at its finest. It is so different in comparison to retailers and restaurants in the US, where the customer is always right and you do whatever it is to please them.  Americans get so used to always having it their way, so I can imagine how this might throw some for a loop.  Tara explained that you can’t let the little things bother you here. What may seem rude to some, it is completely normal here.  They don’t mean to be rude, but there is no filter there. To finish the day, we spent an hour or so in Lulu’s Market.  Every day the supermarket looks like Walmart’s black friday.  Chaos. This store is primarily Indian dominated with the clerks and customers in particular.  Being an ex-pat, we looked like a fish out of water. Ex-pat: “An expatriate is a person temporarily or permanently residing in a country and culture other than that of the person’s upbringing.”  I guess you could say I’m in ex-pat for the time being, J


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