Jillian R.
I know I haven’t been updating much these past couple of weeks, we have been quite busy sorting things that go in the moving truck, things to discard and of course, things which go with us on the plane. Unlike other countries we’ve been in, namely Korea and of course Malaysia, where one could use the services of a “normal” moving company, here in the dessert, one could have one of these two choices; (a) pay an arm and a leg (800 rials to be exact, which is approximately US$2,000 ) for a shipping company to move our stuff OR (b) pay a quarter of that and hire a person with a pickup truck to drive our boxes over to the United Arab Emirates (U.A.E), which is only a 4-5 hour drive from Muscat. Also, a fun fact; ONLY Omani citizens are allowed to purchase a pickup truck, so you know what I’m getting at, option (b) involves dealing with a local company which will probably be a pain.

We were supposed to have moved two days ago, but because of a combination of incompetence, laziness and generally not giving a sh*t about others, our paperwork never got processed and we’re stuck here in Oman for another week. I suspect it will be more than a week because of course, there will always be incompetence here in this part of the world.

Because of the sheer ridiculous amount that is option (a), option (b) became the obvious and only affordable choice. The would-be movers came this evening to inspect our things which needed to be moved, and to give us the final amount. They saw the boxes I’ve carefully put together and labeled, stacked in one corner of the room, the lack of furniture (TWO small cabinets) we will be bringing and got the idea of how many boxes that would be going, which is really not much and would fit snugly in a regular-size pickup truck.

Then came the following discussion (or something like it, with less understandable English):-
Mover: We will charge xxx rials including boxing everything, but you have to carry it to the truck yourself.
Eric: What?
Mover: Yeah, we don’t carry stuff.
Me: Ok, how about WE box it ourselves and you carry it downstairs?
Mover: Nonono

After a while of haggling prices and a lot puzzlement from our side; because really?! A moving company who will box for you but WILL NOT carry the boxes onto the truck for you? Wow, this really is new. My perception has been right all along, these people CANNOT exert themselves, and God forbid they sweat while carrying boxes – which is their job! I never wanted them to box for us in the first place, I don’t want anyone’s sweaty hands touching my clothes or any of my stuff! They were probably going to throw everything in boxes and break them anyway. We finally agreed on paying a little more and for them to hire people to carry our stuff and us boxing everything ourselves, we were finally set.

They took a deposit and left. They also didn’t have a receipt to give us so Eric wrote a note and made one of the guys sign it. Now it’s time to hope for the best.
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