Monday, January 10, 2011


Somehow, 100 people out there in the blogosphere have decided to follow my blog. I am also amazed at the facebook followings as well... at the time of writing this it was standing at 284 people. I'm vain and like to be followed (!) so a big thank you to all of you who follow me and my blog!


I want to share a story with you all about my good friend "Dave" (thats not his real name, and I often use Dave as a replacement name for many people). Christmas, 2007. Dave was driving back from a meeting in Sohar and was being harassed on the road by this dude in a Swift. There were a lot of trucks in one lane and he was driving at 130KM/h but the swifty wanted to be more... swift? This Swift driver was blaring it's horn, shining it's full beams in his rear view mirror permanently, and tail gating Dave.

Finally a gap between trucks that Dave felt was large enough for him to safely move into materialzed in the left lane and just as he was moving into it, the swift undertakes him and draws level with him. The driver is shaking his fist at Dave and blaring his horn. Dave had not been in the country for a very long time and so reacted how he would have where he grew up - he flipped the swift the bird!

The swift driver got even more mad and then went in front of Dave and then slammed on his brakes, nearly causing a major accident and kept telling Dave to pull over to the side of the road. Dave thought this guy was a lunatic and just wanted to get away from him and so ignored the nut case and carried on driving back to Muscat. He told me the story when he returned and I told him.... dude you cant flip the bird here, you'll get in trouble.

Sure enough, he got a call from the ROP in Sohar - he had to report to the Sohar police station and bring his passport. Off he went with his PRO, and the ROP confiscated his passport, but the swift driver didnt come, and so after waiting for 3 hours he returned to Muscat. This was repeated, and then on the third time, the so outraged (but can't be bothered to show up) swift driver turned up.

And then the stories began. Apparently Dave was spitting on his car, yelling obscenities about the drivers family and goats, everything you can think of. Thankfully Dave had the foresight to bring his PRO who translated all of this and afforded Dave the chance to deny these accusations.

A long story short, Dave got shaken down for RO 1,000 to make that Swift driver drop his case.

Now I shared that story with you for 2 reasons -

1) No matter how bad someone is driving and how much they may be irritating you, keep those fingers around the steering wheel!

2) I read with some amusement at this story in the UAE. A Pakistani man appealed his sentence and deportation order to the highest court in the UAE, the Court of Cassation. However this court just rubber-stamped the previous ruling. Madness, but there you are.

Have you ever been in trouble for flipping the bird?

le fin.


Omani Princess (not Omani LOL) said...

Mabruk:) It was only a matter of time.

I've enjoyed reading your blog alot and the current events is very good.

I originally found it googling "Cost of Living in Oman" :)

LOL, about the finger, you know, I could always get away with it from Omani guys, because a. I am a women, b. the police generally believe the case when they have a white woman in an abaya telling them she was being harrassed [if they life first, I don't mind exagerating back] and c. ALWAYS bring an Arabic speaker with you to the ROP. Preferrably Omani if you are able.

I knew a guy who beat up his girlfriend and we got into a rent dispute. He brought me to the ROP, and I agreed because I wanted the rent dispute calmed down legally. There, he told the guys (in Arabic, which my command of is weak) that the bruises on his girlfriend were from ME BEATING HER UP!!!!! The ROP guys were glaring at me.

When my Omani friend got on the phone to translate the charges to me, and to tell the ROP my story, the ROP changed the direction of their glare to the woman-beater as they deservedly should have been.

CRAZzeeeeeeeeeee. Your poor friend.

ciba said...

Obviously, an expat flipping the bird is so much more deserving of monetary compensation than almost causing A FUCKING LIFE THREATENING COLLISION ON THE HIGHWAY.

Oman Collective Intelligence said...

Well, firstly, where i come from we settle these type of disputes in a different way, not sure whether better or worse but definitely more...manly.
Secondly, many CONGRATS, this is probably my favourite blog, always entertaining and worth stopping-by. Next milestone 500...:) All the best and keep up the good work.

Rizzla said...

yeah, I gave the finger to a moronic local who stuck his head out the side of his window and leered very leerily! Anyway, he car chased me all the way to the Radisson where I was working that evening. My argument was how dare he be so disrepectful and would he have done the same to an Omani woman or indeed, if my husband had been in the car? His argument was I shouldn't have flicked the finger. So..after a bit of to and fro, I crossed my fingers on my left hand, hid them behind my back and placed my right hand on my sternum and apologised. He drove off and I had a good old chuckle. Prick.

Andrew Brown said...

Wow! Thanks for sharing! Your friend's story sounds a lot like mine a couple of years back. In my case, I put my fingers up to my head as I looked in the rearview mirror as if to say, "THINK about it". (As there was nowhere to move as a car was ahead of me and there was a car in the next lane!) I had 3 visits to the police station and had to explain things over and over. There was no fine in my case...But I would agree to avoid hand motions as much as possible in such cases. Nowadays I just smile in the rearview mirror and slow down as I pull alongside a slow moving truck blocking the next lane, ha!ha!

Anonymous said...

Hand jestures and f words i try my best to refrain from instead i now clap (when safe to do so) as they deserve the (w) anchor award and think what a twat.

Anonymous said...

Yep I broke and flicked the bird to a cretin too. Got pulled over by the ROP, I denied everything and had to go to the police station.

While there I called a friend who was a policeman, he had a quiet chat with the Warrant Officer and explained that this is not an offence to be dealt with by the ROP.

If an individual wishes to accuse you of an offensive gesture they need to go to the Public Prosecution.

Cretin duly put in a complaint and I went with PRO and a lawyer.

My bribe only cost 100 OMR to get him to drop the case.

It was worth every baisa let me tell you.

But probably best to not react and rely on the law of averages to deal with dangerous drivers here in Oman.

Anonymous said...

i didnt even flip the bird at anyone!!! i was walking away with my friend after being continuously sweared at and i told her f*** it, lets leave......a month later ROP got involved and there were 3 guys wanting 1500 RO, they didnt realize im omani
eitherway, the system is screwed, its a case of who goes to complain first, and they didnt take account of witnesses and treated me like the bad guy......
for now, if anyone cuts you off or looks at you with that way, call 9999 and tell them, 90% of the time they wont do anything anyway but at least if you get called by the ROP you have a record of being 'first'
gosh, i hope this system changes......its allowing anyone without a life quick access to some cash

Ian Anthony said...

I'm visiting Oman in March 2011, so i think I'll just drive with my hands in my pockets!

Anonymous said...

This happened to me a few weeks ago. I knew what could happen but after these two young idiots just about ran me off the road it was just a reflex. I had to stop at the next roundabout and they ran up to my car, opened the door and tried to pull me out. I stepped on the accelerator and got out of there. At the next set of lights they pulled up next to me and lowered their tinted windows, gave me the finger and brandished their cell phones at me, I suppose to show they were calling the ROP. I had a few sleepless nights but nothing came of it.

Lesson learned. Unfortunately I have one more year of my contract to work out in this charming country or it would be masalaama Oman from me.

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