Everybody who has spent time in a different country knows that expat life is not quite like anything else in the world. The confusion of the first few days and weeks, the slow, but steady process of acclimation, the little peculiarities and quirks that might strike you about your new surroundings: almost any situation you encounter can make for a great story. If you are so inclined and want to blog about it, of course!
Our InterNations recommended blog section features talented expat bloggers from around the world. Their offerings to the blogosphere have been selected for their great entries and high quality, whether they may be funny, informative, interesting, deeply personal or a combination of all of the above.
Let’s hear from our featured bloggers in Oman:
Oman is a nice country and easy to adapt to. The landscape is majestic. In general, the Omani people go out of their way to be helpful. The summer weather (with temperatures between 45-50°C) was the biggest change. There are some major cultural difference between the West and Oman; however, it’s been interesting learning about them.
Moving to a country that is so culturally different from the USA was also a stretch. I remember food shopping at Carrefour was very overwhelming for me at first. Dealing with the large amounts of crowds and unfamiliar foods with Arabic labels, wobbly wheeled shopping carts, figuring out the foreign currency and trying to convert things into the dollar amount. I had to learn fast!
In my classroom at Northern Virginia Community College, I had state of the art technology and the ability to talk about any subject under the sun, with absolutely no restrictions. If the pay hadn't been so bad, I would have stayed there and I will eventually go back. I also miss being able to wear anything I want, without worrying about offending someone. In Oman, what I have enjoyed most is getting outdoors for hikes and exploring the country. And I have most definitely experienced culture shock in Oman, mostly in the attitudes of students.
Very big difference and change. This is a Muslim country so there are many differences, even the weekend is a Thursday and Friday. However the people are kind and friendly so adapting was not too difficult.
On arrival at the visa desk in Muscat airport an Omani Immigration officer decided to quiz me on my Arabic skills so I muddled through my very basic phrases but he kept saying “more..”, I was running out of words and then next one fell out of my mouth before I could stop it. I thought I was being clever with “ehh…Schwarma” but as soon as everyone exploded with laughter I realized this was wrong thing to say. Schwarma is a Turkish kebab! Luckily they found it amusing but he made me promise that I would learn Arabic before finally letting me through to the arrivals hall. Even now I can only say a few words but I am making the effort to learn something new every week.
Life is very different here in Oman than back home. Living in a Muslim country as a single woman has its challenges at times. It took a short while to get used to the culture difference of having to be totally covered in dressed, Hearing the call of prayer 5 times a day and the instant stares of being a foreign women in a foreign land.
Life here is different from life back home because it is more conservative here as opposed to what we have back home.
‘Inshallah’; the only difficult thing to adapt to, is the very slow pace of life. Living in the UK teaches you that you have to get things done yesterday, faster, and by no means beyond the set deadline.
In Oman, everything is totally different. The country is in touch with nature, traffic jam is scarce (except during rush hour) and it's safe to go around no matter how late it is. And this is why I love Oman, although I have only been here for 8 months.
The biggest shock was the heat and humidity, but you learn to hide. The thing I still struggle with is the isolation and the loneliness that can just descend on you out of nowhere. When you don’t have a support network to lift you out of that, it is really difficult.