This time last year I thought I had won the lottery. I got the job in Oman and was busily preparing all the necessary documentation, envisioning at the same time the house we were going to build in 3-4 years’ time with the money saved here. Needless to say, this dream isn’t coming true and it’s highly unlikely that it will ever come true.
I’m kicking myself for being gullible and believing people who were saying what a great country Oman was, believing YouTube videos about Oman and not checking properly what kind of an institution my current workplace is. In fact, I have never done a proper research before moving to a new country, because I have never wanted to be prejudiced about a place, but I’ve learnt a valuable lesson from the current experience and not only this one. ‘Careful what you wish for’ – I really had been dreaming about coming here a while before I even got this job – is another one. And many others, for that matter. Perhaps we were supposed to come here to test the strength of our relationship – and oh boy! It has indeed been through a lot – our living here is a real clash between the European and Asian ways of thinking and B. is right in the middle of it all. Unlike me, he understands how things operate here because apparently it’s similar in Pakistan (though I never experienced it there but then I never went to work there), but he’s also trying to understand my objections as most of the situations which I encounter here are utterly unacceptable to me.
I don’t think it’s safe at the moment to write about our experience of living in Oman in detail whilst we are still here in Oman. After all, I still haven’t got another job though I’m desperately looking for one. By the way, it’s (not very) funny how it’s the passport and not necessarily the experience, skills and qualifications that can get you a job and how much harder it’s becoming to get a decent job these days despite an impressive CV. Unfortunately, I can’t bring myself to ignore the grim reality and focus on the beauty of the country which I’m not particularly pursuing to see either due to the resentment I’m feeling towards the treatment that we’re receiving (and also the fact that it’s the least beautiful country I’ve lived in). Let’s just say that after the initial nightmarish couple of months (October and November), which I wrote about here in detail, the fabulous trip to Salalah, which I have never actually finished writing about and the momentum, I believe, has passed, and a fairly decent, though hectic December and half of the January (I spent the second half of January in the UK on the PhD induction whilst B. was in Pakistan), the last 2.5 months have been a repeat of the initial two months without an improvement in sight.
I know that most people won’t believe me, but in my experience Pakistan is a far better place to live than Oman. I’m having a hard time forgiving myself for not accepting a very good job offer in Pakistan which we were given in May last year but turned down because we had committed to coming here and I don’t like going back on my word. Unfortunately, the loyalty which I demonstrated towards my then future employer hasn’t paid off and in fact the opposite has happened. Sad times.