The difference is day and night

My dramas in Oman didn’t stop after the misguided marriage proposal. After getting home from the impromptu tour with my driver, the watchman of the house called saying that he had a missed call from me. I politely told him that I hadn’t called and perhaps the missed call was from the day before when he asked for my number. He went on to say that he had a missed call from me and was I okay, I’m all good thank you but I didn’t call… have a good night. A few minutes later he called again to say I should come down and have coffee, but it was past 9pm and I can’t even drink coffee past mid-day so politely declined. 

About an hour or so later he knocked on my door continuously until I answered, he had brought me dinner. Awkwardly, I’d already been dining on shawerma and dinner is not included in my stay so wasn’t expecting his generosity. I politely accepted only because he’d obviously spent money on it and felt it was more rude to decline than to accept but barely ate a bite. At 2am he was knocking on my door again and said that the air con in his room is broken, can he sleep in my room. I told him that I didn’t feel comfortable with this (and seriously this is a huge house… he could sleep in the lounge with aircon without an issue if that was genuinely a problem), through broken English and saddened eyes he left me alone. I then locked both doors to my room and was silently seething.

As I packed everything in preparation for my trip to Doha, I checked my passport… in doing so I couldn’t see the arrival stamp into Oman. I checked it again.. and again and holy crap there is no stamp. At this point I start freaking out, I do not want to be an illegal immigrant in this country. Its now 4am, I haven’t slept and I’m trying to reach my sister for help. The nearest NZ embassy is in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia… a country that I can’t get a visa for because I’m a woman travelling alone. Fuuuuuuuuck!

I’m laying in the darkness of my room, not wanting to turn on the lights incase the watchman sees this is an indication that I’m still awake. I turn my phone on flashlight mode and take another look at my passport… and there plain as day, is the faint blue inky stamp on a faint blue page. Jeeeeeez! What a relief but argh! Its now 5am and my driver will be here at 630am.

After no sleep, I wait for Dawn to break and listen to the athan. I can’t wait to get out of here. My driver arrives and I pass through customs without a hitch. 

2 flights later I land in Doha and catch a cab to my airbnb digs. The driver is Kenyan and we have a great chat about life on the way. Immediately I’m so at ease by my surroundings and this fresh slate. By the time I reach the apartment, I’m smiling again and I’ve convinced myself that I’ve left all the bad juju of the past couple of days back in Oman.

My apartment here has full kitchen facilities, a gym, pool and has a large mall at the bottom. After picking up fresh fruit, vege, fish, hummus and water I think that this I’d the perfect environment to kick-start the kind of life I want to live back home. My commitment to a healthy, well balanced life fell by the wayside when I sprained my ankle a few months back. Pile on uni and work pressures, then mix in a hectic social life laden with boozy nights out… I feel like it’s time to take stock and focus on what kind of life I want to live. 

Beyond nutrition and fitness, my travels are the perfect opportunity for self reflection and to think about the people in my life. The experiences of the last few days have taught me some strong lessons about myself and has helped me shake off a few toxic people in my life that just don’t need to be influencing it.

I had a nap this afternoon and cooked fresh salmon, baby asparagus and mushrooms for dinner. Washed down with cold water and half an avocado on the side. I’m going to take this time in Doha to normalize my days a little. I’m here for a short time, but it’s enough to straighten a few things out. My over-all feelings between Oman and Qatar are like day and night. This has nothing to do with the countries or it’s people, purely the energy that runs through me. Happy days.

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