Monday, 9 June 2014

Passport renewal

Whaaaat a clusterfuck.

The Canadian Embassy in Riyadh (Oman no longer has a Canadian consulate) told me I need to send my passport and renewal forms and bank order etc by Amex, which is in al-Qurum.  So I walked and took a taxi and took another very expensive taxi and then spent two hours walking around in the sun trying to find the damn office.  It was 48C that day.  My map was wrong.  Nobody knew where the Ernst and Young Building was and when I finally found it it was on the wrong side of the highway and I couldn't get a taxi.
I called Amex twice to ask for directions, which would have worked if I was driving a car, but not on foot.  There was no way I could take exits or cross the highway and I called twice begging the office not to close, I was almost there.  I didn’t have a lot of dignity left by that point.
I got there, fucking finally, and someone was waiting outside the Amex office for me and let me in the back.  He may actually have been an angel.  I continued having a meltdown in the office.  At least it was air conditioned, and they gave me a glass of water.  Having to do major stuff while autistic really sucks sometimes; I only have so much go and when I run out of go, that's it.  He asked me how much I needed to send and I told him I needed to send my passport renewal forms, the embassy told me to do it here, and he told me I needed the *Aramex* office.  Which is in Khuweir, and I don’t know where Khuweir is much less how to find the office.
Two very kind Amex employees, a Syrian and a Pakistani, took me to Khuweir, where I paid fifty-five rials to send my application.  That’s like 15% of my monthly salary.  I hope they don’t charge me on the return trip too.  And I really pray that nothing else goes wrong because I need a passport to renew my work visa and I have to start doing that in July or August at the latest.
The guys were trying to immigrate to Canada, since work in Oman has gotten worse and worse and they can't change jobs here (neither can I), and had a lot of questions about immigration which I couldn’t begin to answer because I was born a citizen.  They were puzzled about how I ended up in Oman, and I didn't want to discourage them, but I told them I came here to work, and people aren't always accepting of Muslims in Canada (bit of an understatement, where I come from.  I did not mention fascists or Nazis).  But their situation is not the same as mine - they're able young men with business degrees and good English and the whole world before them.  If they're lucky and they work hard - which they clearly do - they could make it.  You'll never make it if you stop hoping.
They seemed cool.  I would like to be their friend, but I am a lady, so that can't happen.  Which always seems stupid and wasteful to me, but it's how it is.
I saw what must be the largest pedestrian bridge in Creation, you could drive two cars along it if you could get them up the stairs and avoid the square holes down the middle where trees were supposed to go but aren't.  I'd be surprised if nobody's tried it. This picture doesn't show how it arches or do it justice, but:
The Qurum shopping centre had some cool mosaics mixed in with a lot of ones that didn't work so well:
Hadith 19 from the Imam an-Nawawi's 40 hadith is always a comfort to me.  It's one of my favourite books and one of the few that I own in paper:
(Translation:)  In a version other than that of al-Tirmidhi it reads:
"..Be mindful of Allah, you will find Him before you. Get to know Allah in prosperity and He will know you in adversity. Know that what has passed you by was not going to befall you; and that what has befallen you was not going to pass you by. And know that victory comes with patience, relief with affliction, and ease with hardship."

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