Over the past few months blogging has taken a backseat to other priorities – gardening, yard work, training and finding a job. The last few weeks were especially hectic as I made a final dash to land a job in a warm destination before the first flurry hit the ground in Canada. I succeeded. A week ago today, I said goodbye to Golden Tips and headed off to Fredericton for the start of a long, 36 hour journey to Muscat.
After an exhausting flight, an hour standing in line waiting to pick up my visa on arrival I met Mr. Nasser who I assumed would be taking care of me for the next few days or at least until I got situated in Oman. Well, this is not exactly what happened. He took me to the Qurum Beach Hotel and then picked me up the following morning and rushed me to the nearest clinic to do a health check. After paying for the paperwork we exchanged numbers and he asked me to call when I was finished. Two hours later, we were on the road to Nizwa.
Before I knew it I was in the lobby of the Safari Hotel. Mr. Nasser paid for three nights accommodation, handed me an invitation letter to take to the college, suggested I take a taxi the following morning to work, told me to ask my colleagues for help in securing a place to live, and said “Welcome to Nizwa“. At this point, I realized that I was basically on my own and that Mr. Nasser was busy with his life and that I would have to fend for myself. Of course, before parting ways he assured me that if I had any trouble I could call him in Muscat.
Thanks to some very kind and helpful colleagues I managed to find an inexpensive and decent place to live in a brand new building. I even convinced the landlord to furnish the place for me. However, I am still waiting for the table and chairs but I am optimistic that they will mysteriously appear outside my door some day when I return from work. All I have to buy is a TV so this makes things pretty easy. This is my weekend project – get a TV and satellite dish so that I can watch European TV again. The building is by no means the prettiest building in town and may be one of the ugliest but it will do for now.
My flat (or maybe a small studio would be a better description) is located on the top floor and when I look out my window I can see the Pizza Hut directly across the road. (I need to avoid the temptation to stroll over there!) More importantly, my new “home” is a five-minute walk to a hiking path, and about ten minutes on foot to the Falaj Daris Hotel which has a swimming pool and fitness room. Non-guests can use the facilities for 3 Omani rials a day ($7), so I plan on training there a couple of days a week for the time being. As soon as I get a chance I will sort out a membership to the Nizwa Sports Complex which has a large pool, gym, and running track.