Jillian R.
We are finally here in Muscat, Oman and so far, I only have good things to say about this amazing city.


Okay maybe the Internet isn't all that great; an unlimited monthly plan is almost non-existent, the best plan so far is a 20GB-limit per month package but it's not available in our area because they have reached their quota. Currently I am using one of those USB modem thingies which gives me a 1GB per day limit. No more streaming all day on Youtube! It's a far cry from what we are used to in Korea (unlimited, fast connection - and comes FREE with the apartment!), but I guess one can never have everything...


Besides the minor inconvenience, Muscat is truly a great place to be.


Going to the supermarket for example, there are aisle after aisle of local and imported products with labels in both English and Arabic. Again, this is a very refreshing difference from Korea where we have to play guessing games each time we go shopping. The cereal aisle has always been my fascination everytime I go grocery shopping. There are hundreds of choices and I just can't say enough how amazing it feels to be boggled with choices instead of just being forced to choose either the ONE imported brand or the 4-5 Korean brands which I knew would be terribly sweet. And of course, the fresh produce aisles are absolutely normal - bear in mind that in Korea, the only greens available are radishes and 3-4 different kinds of weeds! When I saw the few different kinds of small, green chili peppers, I knew I was home.

Muscat is truly a beautiful city; all the buildings are no taller than 10 storeys (it's a law) and are all painted either white, tan or beige (again, it's a law) and during the hours of sunset or sunrise, the shadows cast upon them gives the city an almost mystical look. Even after seeing these buildings everyday for the past week, I still find myself holding my breath in awe every time drive past a cluster of houses.



Another change which I still need to get used to is the kindness of the Omanis. So far all the people we have met were so genuinely kind that it seems almost unbelievable. First of all, let me say that besides taxis, there are no public transport available here. The reason is, I am told is that the Omanis would rather drive any where because gasoline is so cheap here (approx. US$0.30 per liter). So, we were walking around for hours looking at different apartments and I was slowly dying inside (luckily it wasn't that hot, it was in the mid 20's Celsius that day) because I couldn't seem to find a public bathroom that wasn't locked! Anyway, a taxi driver had seen us walking around quite aimlessly at that and had offered us a free ride to search for the place. I didn't hear the initial conversation but later on Eric told me that the taxi driver stopped and asked where we were heading and he offered to help. When Eric asked how much, the driver said "No no, don't worry about it, you look like you need help, I want to help you". Later on that day, again we were lost and we stopped an Omani passer by to ask for directions. He tried for a few seconds to explain and eventually just took us to his car and drove us there. On another occasion, when we were eating at a coffee shop, a young man came up to us and started chatting with us, inviting us to join his horse/camel riding party, and then when we told him our plan was to spend some time at one of the malls, he drove us there, for free. I am sorry to say that at first when he asked if he could sit down and chat with us, I thought it was to sell us something. But like I said, the kindness and hospitality which the people here show are absolutely unbelievable. It's a bit too much to take in sometimes.


Anyway, with the limited download on the internet, I will need some time before I can upload some pictures. Do expect lots because there sure are some amazing things to do here! 
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