Jillian R.
I know everyone has been (anxiously?) waiting to read the next episode of my experience living in Muscat. Well here it is; and no, it’s not a pleasant one.

Last night was one of those rare occasions which we eat out. We usually eat at home or wait until the odd weekend (Thurs and Fri) where we try a new restaurant. Foods here are typically fried, grilled or pickled then served with bread, therefore we choose Health by eating at home.

Anyway, last night we were at an open air coffee shop; a restaurant where they do the grilling by the entrance and has tables and chairs set up outside. There are always a few tables inside the restaurant which are mostly empty, customers who sit inside either get to enjoy the A/C if it’s switched on or cocooned in hot, damp air.

We always sit outside.

As we waited for our food to arrive, Eric had his before-meal cigarette. I could never get him to stop doing it. Bear in mind that smoking in coffee shops is NOT prohibited here in Muscat, furthermore, we’re in the open-air section. Cigarette butts could be seen on the ground around our feet. Shortly after Eric lit the cigarette, a waiter immediately brought him an ashtray. As we were talking, the same waiter came over and told him very politely and apologetically that “certain” customers were complaining and could he please put it out. Eric did. We looked around and everybody seemed to be talking and/or enjoying their food. We guessed that it was two Omani men sitting closest to us.

It is NOT rude for a person to ask another to put out a cigarette; it was just that the situation last night was extremely rude due to these circumstances:

1/ We were in the open-air area

2/ There was the smell of insecticide in the air. The spraying truck had probably left less than 30 mins before. Insecticide = Poisonous Fumes

3/ The sent a waiter over instead of telling us themselves while pretending to be deep in conversation the whole time.

4/ The grilling was ongoing as we speak. As far as I know, Grilling = (Oily) Smoke

5/ Instead of asking him not to light another one, Eric was asked to put it out. Asking another person to put out a cigarette is just plain rude.

And finally;

6/ The coffee shop was situated by a busy street; where people (who can’t walk 5 feet) pull up (in front of a coffee shop!), honk for the waiters and wait in their cars with engines running while they wait for their take-aways. Car engine running = Carbon Monoxide

With all these elements in the air, you would think these two Omanis would just get on with their lives and not bother another patron who just wants to enjoy a cigarette (I really wish Eric would stop, but that’s a separate issue). Also the pure rudeness of the situation was simply aggravating. I have seen people coming up to Eric and asked if he could step further away from them while he smoked because of their sensitivity to cigarette smoke, kids, or some health issue, etc. He is not an unreasonable person; he would always apologize and get out of the way. This however, is new. Customers from a table that wasn’t even that close, in an open area, by the street, with insecticide in the air, asking a waiter to ask another person to put out his cigarette!

I don’t know what else to say about Omanis. I HAVE met some really nice ones, like the taxi driver who drove us for free because we were wandering in the heat or the one who offered to take us in his car when we asked for directions, but the nice ones are extremely hard to come by. It’s the unreasonable, probably uneducated ones whom we meet every day.

These days I live by this one thought; it must be hard being an Omani (man), having to muster so much grumpiness on a daily basis. Well you know how the saying goes; it takes more muscles to frown than to smile. I don’t think these people get it.

Maybe it’s the heat. 
Tags | edit post
Rate This Entry 
0 Responses

Post a Comment

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...
Creative Commons License
The Blog You Care About by Jillian is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 United States License.