Saturday, August 14, 2010

Horror Stories Involving Omani Taxis

Sythe from Muscat Mutterings on this post asked about taxis. They are a problem here. A big one.

I have HORRIBLE luck with taxis. Absolutely freakin' horrible luck with taxis. One out of three is CREEPY BEYOND BELIEF and stalker material. Two out of three is kinda awkward-ish. And the third type, the good ones, I save their numbers and cherish them, and pray they'll be free when I need to go somewhere.

I take taxis alot. Up until recently I had no choice. So don't judge me. I honestly have had people [Arabs] say I was asking for trouble because I tried to go out live my life, ie work, have friends, see the occasional sports match. To do these things, I had to walk, or take a taxi. Um, hello! As one of my ROP friends said, you should be able to walk around safe in Oman. Alhamdulilah I have had friends in the ROP or else, maybe I would have been considered "one of those girls" who derserves what she gets because she dares leave her home unprotected by a man.

In Islam a woman IS allowed to go out of her home without a male protector unless she is on a journey of such and such a distance, i.e Oman to Nizwa or something, not the local Lulu or whatnot. And I am an orphan by Islamic standards. I have no maharam, so SHAME on those who try to say some creepy pervert taxi driver is any way a woman's fault because she has a life. Seriously. Enough ranting, back to stories about said pervert taxi drivers.

One night I walked from my old home to Centerpoint. I bought a few items and they were too heavy to carry home. So I waved down a taxi and bartered my fare. My taxi driver's name was Mohamed. He gave me his card, with his phone number on it. I always ask at the beginning of the drive so as not be harassed for a "missed call". I sat in the backseat, I always do. I put my shopping bags down and held my purse. I was fully covered, abaya and headscarf, no hairs loose (even if a woman is not no man should TOUCH her, certainly not a MUSLIM MAN!!!!). I spoke English, so he thought I was easy or something. Or not a Muslim, which was later his excuse. As if it were okay to feel up Non-muslim women in Islam. Which it isn't. Anyways, back to Mohamed. He started asking me something is Arabic. I was new in Oman but knew the Saudi word for cat is "bisa". He was saying "boosa". Trying to be helpful, I said, confused, "cat? You know, meow?" And he reached back from the front seat and reached under my abaya to my inner thigh. I SCREAMED and hit him with my purse and yelled stop in Arabic. I leapt out of the car, as angry as I was afraid, while we were slowed at the corned in MQ just past the turn off for Al Fair and Kargeen.

"Shame on you!" I yelled in Arabic. "May Allah forgive you and guide you cause I don't!"

"You are a Muslim?" He looked confused. As IF is made a difference. I was more mad.

"English language doesn't make a woman a whore!"

"Am sorry then sister," he said. "I love you then."

I wanted to shower, I felt so dirty, but I was so angry I spat on him and turned my back and peeled off. Only five minutes later I relaized he still had my bags. I phoned one of my ROP friends who, off duty, went and got my things, and said the man wouldn't be touching ANYTHING (I take it his hands were out of commission) and that he wouldn't be "boosa [kiss] - ing" anything for a while. I didn't ask any more. This is how Omani big brothers deal with things.

Allah bless THIS particular Omani big brother of mine, because all the others said it was my fault for walking taking taxis anyways. Even if I would have no food if I didn't do this from time to time????

A few months ago, on my way to the Radisson hotel for a meeting, the same thing happened, the taxi grabbed my thigh AND my breast. And wouldn't let me out of the taxi. I jumped out while it was moving and took down the plates. I reported it to my ROP friend and let him take care of it. I went to the meeting, pretended this didn't bother me, but then after, went to the restaurant washroom, and fully bathed. An Omani woman told me, she believed me but I shouldn't make another police report because if I did they would think I deserved getting molested since it had happened more than once. WHAT THE HELL?!!!!! That is happens a lot indicates A CRIME TREND, not my character, as alhamdulilah, enough ROP officers KNOW my character not to assume evil of me and place it where is belongs: with the pervert.

The worst case though was, after these incidents, I figured it was safer to take the baisa buses taxis, since then, Iwould not be alone on the buses. Safer in numbers theory. Which worked for a long time until one day, near Al Wizarat, the driver was listening to Khaleeji music blaring and couldn't hear anything, and I was third seat back. An Omani man in a blue dishdasha came in. he sat half over my leg. I climbled up the side of the wall of the bus to move away in case it was a mistake. He put his hand on my thigh and I threw it off and back onto his lap and glared at him. He then grabbed both my wrists and pinned me up on the wall of the bus. Three Indian or Pakistani men were sitting behind me and I was screaming to them and the driver for help. the driver couldn't hear me. The Indian men, one of them joined in with evil blue dishdasha creep, and all I could do was scream because I realized no one was going to help me. We slowed at a roundaboout and I escaped out a window, then to be nearly hit by a car. I staggered to my work, walking in the heat dazed, and then proceeded to wash all the dishes in the sink at work because I just couldn't deal. I knew I didn't have the plates of the bus as I was nearly struck by a car escaping so I knew there was absolutley nothing the ROP would or even could be able to do, not even my friend.

I don't take taxis anymore unless it is the three men I trust. I forced my work to hire me a driver. Or else, well I wouldn't work, and my ROP friend drives me for anything now that I need, but he is the first to say, Oman shouldn't be this way and NO ROP has the right to say, WHY WERE YOU OUT ANYWAYS? A woman's answer should be: Isn't Oman safe?

To the woman on your post Sythe, tell her to press the charges. If he is the sole provider for his family, so what. Under Islamic law the punishment for what he did is pretty damn harsh so my Muslim response is don't be quiet, take it as far as it goes, because it isn't even the punishment the creep truly deserves.

There are charities for poor families. We don't sheild criminals as an act of charity. That isn't Islamic AT ALL.

-Princess of OPNO


Sythe said...

Shocking story there - I'm sorry you've had to deal with that stuff. Perhaps packing some mace will help dispense instant-justice next time (hoping there'll never actually be one)?

Omani Princess (not Omani LOL) said...

Sythe: actually I was working on drafting a bunch of suggestions for laws for registration of taxis ect and taking away taxi lisences after complaints ect to get an ROP friend to give to the Diwaan in a request for new laws to prevent such instances in the future.

Oven spray works too, and is available at Lulus;P

IamSilla said...

OMG!! dat is so scary sister.i hope u wont face any of these again in the future inshaallah .

Crabby Cat said...

OMG!!!!! I feel terribly sorry that you had to go through such an ordeal, not once but more than a couple of times. I've been brought up in B'bay where pawing is quite the norm when you take public transport, but this kind of pawing is HORRIBLE!!!

ynotoman said...

OMG how frightening – and I though a back seat would keep you safe from wandering hand trouble.
MACE or Pepper spray is nice – and to the women who was asked by a female police officer to not press charges after similar incidents – this is why you press charges – to save others from the same disgusting treatment

Sakeenah said...

discussing, im very sorry you have had to deal with such awful behavior

PhantomX said...

OMG.. that's horrible! i wish i was there so i could punch those guys.. I've never in my life taken a taxi in Oman.. ever.. They don't even know how to drive! I almost got into an accident a few days ago.. You should be very careful.. It's weird, how did you manage to escape through the window when the guy pinned your wrists on the wall?

Omani Princess (not Omani LOL) said...

IamSilla: Alhamdulilah I have been fine for a few months now. I hired a driver from a company. No more porblems.

Omani Princess (not Omani LOL) said...

Crabby Cat: It really, really is. I felt like I was so dirty. You always know it isn't your fault but somehow it messes you up anyways.

Alhamdulilah I had some good friends. One ROP one totally knew all the right things to say (hehehe for once) to make me feel like it was totally not my fault.


Omani Princess (not Omani LOL) said...

ynotooman: Exactly!

I hate when people say don't. Then what is the laws there for? Toooooooooooooo draw a_________?!

Omani Princess (not Omani LOL) said...

Sakeenah: all good now, oh, and I forgot, the one that tried to make me get married to him? LOL, that was not scary for some reason because at the time it was ridiculous and I had a friend from Syria pretend to be my angry big brother and the taxi driver drove me home after a LONG drive. Oh dear. alhamdulilah Allah had protected me from anything horrible.

IamSilla said...

good for u :)

Omani Princess (not Omani LOL) said...

PhantomX: Thank you for wanting to defend me;) and any other helpless woman.

He pinned my wrist to open my abaya but later used his elbow. I think I kicked him. Am not sure. Getting out I was right in the middle of traffic and nearly died then. What I SHOULD have done in afterthought is jumped into the front seat with the driver and made him drive us ALL to the ROP station. Really. But I wasn't thinking very well. I was freaking out. With one creepy man I could usually keep my head well enough to give an Islamic lecture.

But because someone I thought was coming to help me joined in, it mentally destroyed me for a good four and half hours I swear.

I don't take taxis except the ones I trust now. I try to get people to drive me or even if it is one hour in the sun, I walk. Walking is good for me afterall.

But... something HAS TO BE DONE for the sake of Omani men's reputations everywhere.

Umm Ibrahim said...

This doesnt surprise me. Granted the last one thats just beyond scary...but I can tell you...from living in Saudi that the men from ond Pakistan/India who work in the Gulf are beyond creepy (in general) and no wonder they didnt help you. They were ride...lets have fun. In Saudi they are SO scary!!!

Also...Ive heard cases in Egypt of women being raped on public buses, they were sititng in the back seats and were attacked. It happens. Your sitting in an enclosed area and there are men around you...unfortunately...hayah and proper adab does not exist for most men in that area of the world. Men know this, this is why their women dont go out, take taxi's alone and soforth. I understand though your situation of being stuck-you hafta get food. Alhamdullah things seem to be better...

What I would have done is...on the bus, had sat up front, right behind the driver...but even thats no guarantee...the driver could be a creeper too and then youd really be "shi* outta luck".

anyway, just do be careful. You look western and even Arab women from outside of the region arent even respected. And niqab does NOT help...

Ramadan kareem

scarlet pimpernel said...


I can make you a taser gun.

Omani Princess (not Omani LOL) said...

scarlet pimpernel: wallah? LOL, sure I'll take such a gift hehehe. But I might then over-use my newfound superpowers LOL.