It’s the end of April (almost) and May will shortly be upon us. That means it starts to get serious if you don’t want to wait for the last minute to find a job. I won’t come back to Rustaq as I explained before, but I would stay in Oman. I have 2 cities I would try (Salalah and Nizwa) so I will call the agency I work for the beginning of May and tell them I will sign right away to work in either of those places. They’ll say, “sure”, or they’ll give me some garbage about having to wait until they see if they have positions available. I can tell you that they will have at least 1 position. I’d hate to leave Oman and my car but I’d be thrilled to leave this segregated man/woman society. I’ve learned so much and I’m glad I came here. I’ve come from being negative and afraid of Arabs and Muslims to respecting many of them and their religion. Their lives center around their religion and yet they don’t push it down your throat. They leave you alone to believe what you believe although they can’t understand how you can’t believe in the “Holy Koran” (never Koran but always Holy Koran). I think Oman is the best of the Arab places and if they are looking for converts, they are going about it in the right way. The people are good; their religion inspires them so therefore they set good examples. They’re not like many Christians (slam coming here) who tell you what to believe and if you don’t believe what they do then it’s straight to hell with you. (Hi to all my Baptist friends! Wait, I don’t have any Baptist friends).
So I am a “fan” of the Moslem religion and those that practice it. I don’t agree with all they say (they can believe in some pretty weird things) and they are baffled by my non-belief in a God but we accept each other. I had a student who asked me if I once lived in Israel and I said, “yes”. She said, “Palestine”. There was no point in arguing so I just said (and explained to her) that we will agree to disagree.
I would be happy to stay at a decent school in Oman even though the school won’t be great. The money will be fine and if the city is bigger then Shujie has a small chance of finding a job. I will hate the classes but I can’t imagine going back to $1000 a month.
I think about China a lot. It’s a great place to work (but not to get outside the University grounds). You do your classes and go home. You dress as you please and put on the show you want to put it on. You can have mixed groups. If Beijing University comes up again, we will seriously consider it. Why not work for a respected and prestigious University one time in my life? Omani’s (love them as I do) are lazy. The students are a joke (okay, only most of them).
If I want to do University it’s only China or the Gulf States for me. Saudi Arabia is out because I hear it’s hell for foreigners. They have morality police going around and yelling at girls about how to behave. Someone who taught in the U.A.E. says there is a lot of pressure. I don’t think the students will be better. The money will be a touch better, but I think (but can’t be sure) that the Omani’s are better people.
The school continues to be a bad joke. I teach Sunday to Wednesday from 12 to 4. Sunday at 2:30 they told me that my classes for the week were cancelled. This is something they’ve known about for weeks but they tell me after my first class has left for the day so they have to come back the next day to find out there are no classes. Some of them drive 45 minutes to get here. But who cares about them? It’s revolting.
I skipped school on Tuesday (you have to be there every day) and I skip on Thursday. What are they going to do, fire me? If I have to get out of Oman I’ll miss my car and the peace and quiet. I’ll start to worry about all this in May.
A “Pizza Inn” opened here in town. What a shock! It’s a small American chain that opened in Dallas in 1958. Shujie and I went last night and the pizza was quite edible.. Who knows, a Starbucks next?
Today is Muscat grocery shopping today. We don’t need much but we’ll get Tim Horton’s for the drive home and have lunch at Chili. Last week we went elsewhere in Muscat because I thought the Mall there had better eating choices. They did, but not by much. So it’s back to Carrefour (good supermarket) today and then 2 days of doing nothing.
It’s too hot to go out. It’s only mid-April and I swear you could fry an egg on the sidewalk. Even Shujie has the anti-air-conditioner on in the bedroom. She doesn’t venture out during the day and I can’t say I blame her.
So it’s 2 ½ months until the return to Toronto. I’ll have my heart tests and if all is well we’re going to Alaska on a cruise. If all is not well I’ll lie in the street and just wither away. I love to have choices.
So who knows (as always) what will be. Maybe something good will turn up. Maybe I’ll work in the Maldives.
Shujie would like to go to Canada but can’t seem to understand that I can’t really get a job. When you worked in I.T. and have been away for 3 years they don’t look at it as broadening your horizons but more as “you know nothing now moron”. I’d like to squeeze another good year out of this if possible. I won’t give up. If I was 10 years younger it would be easier for me to find work, but I’m not. This road has an end I can’t see it, but I know it’s there.
Who knows? Maybe I will write that book that no one will read. I’ve come a long way in the last 8 years. All I know is you never know will happen next.