Saturday, August 14, 2010
37
The great thing for me about Ramadhan is my working hours - they're reduced. The bad thing is my workload, it increases. Which will undoubtedly have an impact on the blog, and hey it's a hobby so it's going to play second fiddle to work, as always, so advance-apologies if the blogs slow the next few weeks.

A few observations today though:

1/ Traffic accidents. Here we are, on Day #3 of Ramadhan, and I've already seen 2 accidents, one fender-bender and one nasty-looking T-bone at a junction. Both were in the afternoon around 3pm. Keep your eyes peeled.

2/ Horny taxi drivers. In conversation with a friend of mine, she told me the adventure she had on Thursday night. After working late, and taking a taxi back to her house around 10pm. This cabbie apparently took a liking to her and placed his hand on her upper thigh - and would'nt remove his hand! So another case of the horny taxi man groping their female fares. This story, however gets worse - the woman opened the door and jumped out of the car while it was still moving as her fear was that great of this obvious sexual offender - thankfully another car was coming and the taxi slowed down to a near stop allowing her to jump out. Quite rightly, she called the police and reported the taxi driver, and gave the plate number, and this is the most alarming part of the story. Are you ready? The ROP sent a female officer to see the woman (who had made her own way to a police station) who advised her to withdraw her complaint against this man because he was the sole earner for his family. What?! With that logic applied, it's a miracle rapes are not more common here, or maybe they are? Have you experienced wondering hands from a taxi driver, or someone else? I'm just blown away that the ROP asked someone to withdraw a complaint on a taxi driver for sexual mis-conduct - in Ramadhan. It's just staggering.
le fin.

37 comments:

Omani Princess (not Omani LOL) said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Nadia said...

The taxi driver story is hilarious. God the ROP drive me nuts

MaRia said...

I'm just shocked from the ROP reaction!
and it was a "female" officer who suggested the withdraw of complaint!
EXCUSE ME! what kinda officers are they hiring there! O.o
I hope the lady didn't witdraw her complaint! Or did she?

Omani Princess (not Omani LOL) said...

http://howtolivelikeanomaniprincess.blogspot.com/2010/08/horror-stories-involving-omani-taxis.html

Rummy said...

I'm not even shocked to be honest. It's such a norm over here to be asked to withdraw your complaint.

@varun_kv said...

No surprises here on the taxi driver thingy, but the police'woman's reaction was a shocker.
Besides,there's always this saying to never sit on next to the taxi driver. And this saying holds for both the man and a woman.

Anonymous said...

One of my friend's mom had to ride in a cab to get to her workplace one morning. The cabbie didn't physically harass HER, but was very comfortably pleasuring himself as he masturbated while driving her to her destination.
and this is my friend's MOM, mind you. She's 50+ and the cabbie might have been a few years older than her oldest son!
DISGUSTING!

Maya Rao said...

ROP reaction is nothing new. But that does not make the reaction any the less horrendous.

The Hatat House offender who very nearly molested a girl child but was caught and handed over to the police was released immediately. The police said it was Ramadan, the month of forgiveness.

Anonymous said...

In my experience far too much leeway is given to the individual to make decisions / propose solutions everywhere in the Omani governmental system. The 'law' is not seen as all that important, personal judgement rules ... unfortunately
But I'm shocked to hear that the Hatat House story was resolved like that? This was a CHILD, for heaven's sake ... and a very young one at that ...

ynotoman said...

yes - not nice at all
a small suggestion
pretend you are the Queen of Britain &
if you are a female NEVER sit in the front with a Taxi driver
the back seat is better for women - out of hands way and safer in one of those accidents
or if you don’t like the idea of being Queen for a day – see where Omani women sit as a passenger in a car

Anonymous said...

i think its shocking my wife from the Philipines refuses to get into a cab without me or unless she knows the driver in advance.
the quicker the metered taxis get here the better. Just now anyone with a taxi can drive

ynotoman said...

Ive just read http://howtolivelikeanomaniprincess.blogspot.com/2010/08/horror-stories-involving-omani-taxis.html
not even the back seat is safe ! are the dial up taxi companies any safer??

Anonymous said...

I was harassed verbally and physically by a cab driver as well ,until I hit him in the face and jumped off the car as he didn't agree to pull over.
p.s: I am a guy

Non-Crowned Princess said...

This makes me feel sick!!

B said...

I hear many stories about cab drivers. As an Omani the rule is; don’t take taxis. Luckily, because we have a family network here, we generally don’t. However, I understand its not the same for everyone especially expats. The rule is don’t sit in front and be assertive. If he does anything, don’t just sit there, give him a piece of your mind and leave immediately. My friend once had a similat incident. The taxi driver claimed he couldn’t hear her from the back, so she sat in front and he started. I told her, next time, I don’t care what time it is. Call me and I'll come and get you.

Omani Princess (not Omani LOL) said...

Yeah, the backseat isn't always safe. I always sit in the backseat and still had troubles. Don't take taxis unless you have to, or ask friends if there is a good one they know and trust. I.e a taxi driver related to or friends with an Omani friend ect will have a reason not to harass you and you'll have back up if anything goes wrong, and save the numbers of the good ones.

Shout out to fahad from Al azaiba and and Badr from Al fair parking lot lol the two sweetest, least creepy, won't rip you off taxi drivers I've found. Though ****Badr*** does have an odd obsession with photographing anything to do with water, and he may pull over to take pictures of puddles. Strange, but totally harmeless unless you are running late. :D

Olga K. said...

Still does not surprise me at all. It is simple. Don't use the taxis unless in a group, or accompanied by a man. Because if you are a female expat you are just handing yourself over to them on a silver platter. If you absolutely must, call a taxi- ya it will be a little more expensive, but well worth your safety! However, to be fair, this does not ONLY happen in Oman. Taxi drivers are creepy.worldwide. or maybe it's because us girls are such easy targets? Be safe.

Olga K. said...

Did anyone hear that story from a few years back (6-7?) about a taxi driver who kidnapped a woman working at Crowne Plaza and ended up raping and killing her, in the wadi near Sultan Center Qurum? That was horrible... Not to scare anyone, but it did happen!

Sythe said...

18 Comments! wow!

OPNO - Thanks for sharing your story, disturbing as it was. I still say mace / or oven spray! Funny to read about Badr and his obsession with water!

Maria/Nadia/Rummy - I know!!!

Anon posters, B - thanks for sharing your experiences too, it seems there is a valid problem with Taxi drivers here that deserves more attention.

Maya Rao - I didn't know that's how the Hatat house thing ended - that's bad, really bad.

ynotoman - I'd say the back seat was safer, but not safe. Better to sit in the back and be able to see it coming.

Olga K. - I've heard many of those similar stories which result in the person being raped being killed in the wadi behind Sultan Center - but no idea if any of them are true.

Thank you all for your comments!

Groped in Ghubra said...

Hey! I am the Mr Sythe's friend who got groped in the taxi last weekend. I prefer remaining anonymous because of certain reasons. But I just popped in to say that I was sitting in the back seat when the guy reached behind and groped me. At a bloody roundabout! I try and not take cabs but at work we are encouraged to take cabs if there's work to be done. Even though they know how unsafe it is for women and that one of our colleagues has had trouble a few months ago.
The thing I find works is wearing an abaya and sheila! They rarely every take liberties with Omani women.

boxster said...

One thing you all should know is that a significant number of Omani cabbies are ISS (Internal Security Service) informants. That's the source of the sense of entitlement and being above the law; that's why the ROP will plead with you to drop charges.

Oman Collective Intelligence said...

Sadly Boxster's comment says it all...

Omani Princess (not Omani LOL) said...

Groped in Ghubra: I wear abaya and sheila and people think I am Omani sometimes---my accent on my Arabic is Muscati Omani and I DO use that. That is no guarantee, as if sitting in the backseat. But knowing you might have a male Omani relative or husband ect DOES help.

Omani girls just don't TAKE taxis unless they are accompanied by a group of related persons [family, work, friends].

@ Boxster: And an awful lot of them ARE underpaid ROP guys.

A good taxi driver from Al Bahrimi named Mohamed is also ROP. When your salary is less than 250 rials driving a taxi is often an option.

Oh, I hate taking taxis. Oman needs a safer transport system in Muscat and to the 'burbs for sure.

Anonymous said...

I think if you actually sit right behind the driver you will find they can't touch you at all, no?

-No Means No

kelly said...

I have a better suggestion - females of all ages and nationalities should NEVER EVER get into one of those orange and white taxis. The horror stories including murder and rape by these predators have been going on for more than twenty years. For goodness sakes use the private cabs which are radio controlled and have GPS such as Swift Cabs etc.

kelly said...

Olga K. said...

Did anyone hear that story from a few years back (6-7?) about a taxi driver who kidnapped a woman working at Crowne Plaza and ended up raping and killing her, in the wadi near Sultan Center Qurum? That was horrible... Not to scare anyone, but it did happen!

Yes I was around when that happened. My friend was the police hospital surgeon who had the awful task of examining her body. The taxi driver had driven over her head repeatedly....

My English teacher friend had the dubious distinction of being allowed to attend the execution of the perpetrator, a police officer married with six children.

Omani Princess (not Omani LOL) said...

Anon 2:18: Nope, that is NO guarantee.

Kelly: If it was always affordable, yeah, I would. But for some people like my old maid, it isn't.

The Crowne Plaza story, Oh my God that is horrible, absolutely horrible. and is WHY I do support Capital punishment in Islam, sorry to all those who dislike me for that.

@groped in Ghubra: do not drop the charges if at alll possible. Sexual offenders are usually repeat offenders and often get worse, not better.

scarlet pimpernel said...

They abuse men too!!! and please dont drop charges

theomanibrit said...

I echo those who say please don't drop the charges, I have had similar run ins with taxi drivers and even been told "but you are white, you like sex yes?" I mean seriously, what are you supposed to say to that apart from "pull the f00k over NOW" I am lucky enough to have a friend in the ROP who I called upon a few months back after a taxi driver refused to stop the car, wanted more money and said he now knew where I live. I called this friend while I was sat in the back of the car and the taxi driver got blasted on the phone. I also know male friends who have had their legs rubbed and been offered money to "sit a little closer". I am sorry to hear about your friend's experience and hopefully talking about it all will make people more aware. Most drivers I hasten to add are good, decent guys. But there is always one... :(

Expat Mummy said...

On the Wiki tourist site it says catagorically for women not to get into an orange and white taxi because it isn't safe!!

So the much needed tourists are being warned off using taxis, shouldn't the ROP drop their narrow minded view and start acting, because if people don't think it is safe they won't visit with their tourist dollars!!!

Anonymous said...

OK, this is so depressing to read when I had such a positive image of safety here - and I've been here for a few years now!

Can somebody please post the numbers for Swift Cab and other reliable firms please?? And is it possible to text/mail bookings as well as calling?

Thanks

kelly said...

Having a false positive image is downright dangerous. Reality and truth are the only things that can save you.

kelly said...

The number for Swift cabs is 24 777 779

Anonymous said...

sad but true unfortunately omanis are worst than the rest of the other so called muslisms

Anonymous said...

Yes this may be a problem ,but the solution for working women having no transport is be extra vigilant as you cant avoid Taxi.Save nos of good taxi drivers i have few good ones i lways call them when i need one.I FACED ONLY ONCE A INSTURCTUR of driving school tried placing his hand on my leg that was very scarry i stop going for practice afterwards .......Thank God i have licence now .......

Anonymous said...

Hey Im in New Zealand, other side of the world, and I run a programme called Konfident Kidz, we teach kids and adults if they are catching a taxi by themselves to sit in the front seat next to the driver, for a few reasons. In NZ they have child lock on the back doors which means you cant open them from the inside....cant get out, and windows are electronic and controlled from the front.
It means that you have to travel to wherever they want to take you, maybe other people waiting for you.

Atleast if you are in the front seat, you can see where you are going, you can use the horn, the steering wheel, the hand brake, the doors, and hit the driver, and people can see you through the windows!!!


Soooo I think it's a better idea to sit in the front, but I guess it's different in every country!!

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