Saturday, October 17, 2009

Now they're stealing....

So before we left for Dubai, I woke up to discover that my music player in my car was gone.

Those children who had woken my husband and I up the night we went searching through the neighbor for the rascals had stolen it from my car. We had seen them run out the gate of the yard, coming from the area where I park the car, but naively (or just sleepily) hadn't thought that they would have stolen anything.

George spoke to one of our neighbors and told him that he expects it to be returned in a few days, but what's the "or else"? What kind of sway do we hold? We don't have a picture of the boys, so we can't go to the police. We don't know which family. There are SO many children here that God knows which house they belong to. What CAN we do? Basically I think the kids just got away with it. Who is going to own up to it? Who's going to admit stealing (totally haram by the way)?

I think it's gone. But really I care less about loosing my music player than the fact that they just learned the lesson that they can walk on us. We just don't know the families. Accountabilty here comes from being known. Who knows you? Who's it going to get back to? That's what keeps things in check and we just don't have that.

So what can we do?

I bought a pad lock. I hate to be more isolated but I'm sure as hell not letting anybody in our yard until it gets returned. Otherwise there was no "societal consequence", you could call it, to disrespecting us.

Any advice? Seriously.


beefriends said...

This is not the advice you were expecting, but this is my take on the situation. Last year in your apt. you and G. were happier (so it seemed to a blog reader), safer, and less stressed out. I mean, the plants and the yoga room you have now are nice, but they're not protecting you. Advice: move back to an apartment. You can't change those kids, but you can change your own situation and thereby save your energies for your work and your sports, instead of wasting your energy being stressed out.

ynotoman said...

have you involved your Landlord ?
What about the area's Sheikh? its part of his responsibility to maintain good order (check in the Wali's office for contact details)
.... and have you considered moving?
It sounds as if the families are not going to support you .
It possibly takes an adult to initiate a music player theft and then to make use of it - its a specific target

Moe said...


Just started reading your post today, and some quite interesting entries. Right about the interaction with the locals, you seem to be in a remote location where the locals haven't had interaction with expats before.

I am an american who was in Oman for a few years and had the chance to travel around and co-habitate with locals in different regions of Oman. I admit that I have never ran into troubles like you did, but I was warned. children can be a nuisance, and with the stealing they have really crossed the line. I believe its beyond the stage of complaining to Mom or whoever.

I do not know your level of command of arabic, specifically Omani dialect for your particular region. But I recommend that you get the PRO (or whoever is the Public relations person is) involved so he and your partner can communicate clearly to the neighbors what has happened and how it is totally and utterly unacceptable. Hopefully the different families can have their children present during this sit down. I would also recommend that you have the police come and visit, and even just attempt to do a thing or two. Their presence will echo the message of seriousness to the neighbors. Would be great if they can go and talk to a few Neighbors.

I know that Omanis in general tend to be friendly and very courteous, but unfortunately it seems that your neighbors are pushing that line just a bit. I hope it doesn't change your outtake on the country which i regard as an amazing melting pot for cultures, races and religion.

Hope it helps.

Undercover Dragon said...

I'm sorry Claire, but beefriends advice is a serious suggestion worth considering, IMHO.

Don't be too patient. Set a date and if it isn't better by that date, LEAVE.