Saturday, August 22, 2009

Internet Challenge

Alhamdulilah! There is wifi in the office building this year. I don't think I can express how radical of a technological advancement this is for our dear college. I'm used to having to share a line with my officemate. While this wouldn't be so bad if internet was easily accessible at home, it is here. That's the good news of the day. Probably the week.

On a related note, at home we've been using a USB dongle thing to access the intermittent internet. Because it's a USB device, only one of use can use it at a time. Due to domestic sharing stress and maddeningly slow speeds, I have given up using the internet device at home. It has such miserable download speeds that it's not even worth fighting over, but we do anyways of course.

Now I would call myself a Luddite exactly, but I also really don't like constantly being hooked in with TV, internet or cell phones. I'm actually looking forward to the extra time I'll have because I'm not mindlessly staring at a loading Gmail screen.

Nevertheless, it will be difficult to not look up Rachel Ray or or (much more worthwhile by the way) or whatever other drivel I look up when I'm bored.

Any sort of connection to the outside world is welcome here, so I might fail. I'll keep you updated.

Friday, August 21, 2009

First Day Back at Work

Ramadan Mubarak. It's the first day of Ramadan today, and incidentally the first day of classes as well. Theoretically. As we all learned well last year, the students don't come for the first semester until they're good and ready. Additionally the Ministry of Education, in conjunction with the Ministry of Health (swine flu concerns), has canceled school for all K-12 students until the end of Eid al Fitr (a month from now). Given the family culture here, having all your siblings at home during Ramadan is even more incentive not to come to the college. So I'm not expecting much action around here for a month.

Other than that, it's good to see friends from last year and be back in the system that I don't understand but am oddly accustomed to by now.

Hopefully we will move today to our new house, but we'll see. As I said, nothing works on my schedule here. Things happen when they happen, and you can spend massive amounts of energy trying to make things happen when they 'should', or you can just sit back and drink some tea. Secretly for now. (It's Ramadan).

Thursday, August 20, 2009

Back in Oman: Round 2

We arrived safely a few days ago in Oman, exhausted and sick, but at least we have some down time before everything starts up again.

Everything is same old same old here, except maybe the internet is actually worse. Idle promises of 3G coverage were thrown around last year, getting our hopes up. No such luck. I've been trying to load this internet page for 2 days now, only now succeeding.

Our new place is all finished, except air conditioning units. Were anything else missing, we could move in, but although the heat is better, that's still not a possibility. We'll be moving in sometime this coming week. We hope. Ramadan starts on Saturday, which always throws a wrench in things. It will happen eventually.

I think it's finally sunk in. Nothing is going to work on my schedule here. You'd think I would have learned that by now, but my worker-bee mindset still kicks in. Maybe I've got it now. We arrived to find a little problem which helped drive this point home. Again.

At the end of last year, George and I bought a nice (faux, but IKEA) TempurPedic bed. We had arranged to store it over the summer in a vacant apartment below. It stayed there for the last month of last year, so we trusted all would be fine over the summer. We arrive back to find it gone. Our company's go-to man who we're close with had no idea where it was. The landlord of this building and of our new house had no idea where it was. Jetlagged and sick, I was livid. Finally word comes around that it was put in a store. Sold. That's it. I was really angry.

As usual, my anger was wasted emotional energy, as anger usually is. They said the store...they meant the storage. "Makhzin". Storage. That's my new word of the week. I should have seen that one coming.

Now the question is: would the anger still be wasted energy if they really had sold our bed??

Well, for now, we're hunkered down in our packed apartment, inching around boxes, but mostly staying in bed and watching movies, trying to shake this cold/flu before school may (or may not) start on Saturday.

Nobody knows really.