We're moved into the new house, or viiiilla, as they say here.
It's beautiful and way too big for the two of us... everybody asks us where all our children are. They are very disappointed. There are so few people in Oman and so much space that the real-estate, if you can call it that here, is not really at a premium. Land is for the taking. Hell, the government gives each man land and builds him a house when he gets married. The idea of being married and living together as a family WITHOUT children is so foreign. Many people here can't understand having a fulfilling married life, even temporarily, without children. I think part of it is because in these small towns, there is really nothing to do. In the wadis, at least the women sometimes help with the goats and the farming. But here in town and the 'suburbs', without children there is really nothing at all to keep the women occupied. It's sad I think, if you can't entertain yourself and do something satisfying in life for yourself.
On another note: I say we are moved in, but we only have one air conditioning unit in the bedroom so it's pretty intolerable to even go elsewhere in the house now. The windows don't have screens, so it's full of flies too. But as everyone has noticed--westerners and non-Omani Arab staff alike, that the Flies of Oman are fat and slow. As George said yesterday, as he was going around with the fly swatter, it's not even a challenge hitting these things, it's just a chore. Nabil, an Iraqi collegue from last year, who incidentally did not like Oman, would regularly compare Omanis to their flies. Big and lazy!, he would say. In Iraq, you cannot hit them!
No I don't know if the man-fly comparison is fair, but he was spot on about the flies.