The policeman calls me friendly to him and hands me my driver’s license with a smile on his face. It took an hour to get it. In Oman everything works a little faster and above all with a lot of calmness! On 22nd January I moved to Oman to spend some time here. I want to know more about this country, which appears like an oasis of peace in a stressful world.
Oman – Now I’m living here
The first time I was here was five years ago. I knew then that I’d be back. The second time, I came to do research for a report. When the plane was about to land, I started crying. I didn’t know why, but it felt good. I cried with joy. The only country where this happens to me all the time is Bosnia and Herzegovina, where my parents are from. So I spontaneously decided to learn Arabic in this oriental paradise and work from here.
I’ve been here two weeks now, and it feels good. I have the great fortune to be allowed to live in the house of an Omani family in the capital Muscat. I am actually a part of the family and included in their everyday life.
Quickly one of the SUV’s was also registered on me, thus I can drive it. What? You haven’t even seen how I drive and give me the car? And of course I wasn’t allowed to pay for the insurance! The navigation was set up with the two most important addresses, so that I do not I get lost. The key was handed over to me with a warm smile and everyone wished me a lot of fun driving. I’d like to have a lot of fun driving. How many men would give their car keys to a woman in our country without knowing how she drives!
Relaxed traffic in Oman
The Omanis drive fluidly, but adhere to the speed limit. Motorways are mostly congestion-free, the roads in the city are quite busy. Traffic jams during rush hours are not uncommon. There are hardly any traffic lights, but a lot of two-lane roundabouts. Also, the main roads through the city are usually two-lane with a permitted speed of 100 km/h. It takes some effort at the beginning to enter the roundabout, but quickly it is gone. Although it seems hectic, a clear system is recognizable. And one thing is conspicuous – an Omani will never try to dispute his right! He is a fair driver. If you enter the intersection, you will be let pass. If there is a slow car in front of me in the right lane, the faster driver will brake in the left lane so that I can drive in. Everything runs smoothly. Not once I feel stressed or unsafe.
Still relaxed at the gas pump
And the fuel prices … What can I say – of course they are lower compared to us. One litre costs 48 cents constantly. For the Omani that’s a lot by now. Some time ago the fuel cost half. I can still laugh about the price and am always happy about the trip to the gas station. The refuelling is also pleasant. I don’t get out of the car – it is refueled and I pay directly at the gas pump.
My car, the Nissan Terra-X
Currently I am on the road with a Nissan Terra-X. Most Omanis drive SUV’s, which are actually needed here. Less in the city. On some roads only SUV’s with four-wheel drive are allowed. Safety is a top priority here. Punctuality too, but that’s another story.