Dear blog readers forgive, this post was written over a year ago, but was relegated to the drafts folder in my mismanagement as editor:
When I first moved to Oman I was hesitant to learn how to drive and relied soley on taxis. However, after a while I realized that driving here is actually a lot safer than driving in many of the countries I had lived previously, including Singapore, and Egypt, and was, perhaps, more dignified than relying on taxis whose drivers were always proposing marriage to me. I got my driver's license in 2012, however, I did not save up enough money to buy a car until 2013, as my work hadn't been paying me my salary on time or at all.
I have a beautiful flat in what I consider one of the most perfect areas to live in Muscat, the capital of Oman. It is close to all the major shopping, the homes of my Omani friends and their families, and roads to catch taxis if one so requires. I didn't really need a car until I started a new job (where they paid me better, on time, and required me to drive to different areas of Al Batinah and Muscat).
My flat is one floor of the most adorable white Omani villa. My landlord and his family are great, and occupy the downstairs, and the only other tenants are another Omani family who occupy the floor above me. I am kind of a quiet person and I like to keep to myself, so until I got a car, I didn't really know my neighbors that well.
The parking wars began in 2013. My apartment comes with a designated parking space. My flat number is painted on the concrete to mark which spot is mine, and which is my neighbor's. The landlord and his family have a gate on their side where they park inside on their side.
My neighbor's often parked in my spot, as they have a number of vehicles, being a larger family. Even when I first bought my car, I would park across the road because I was too shy to ask them to move.
Eventually the ROP (Omani police) phoned me to ask me to move my car, and park on my own property. I guess I was annoying my other neighbors after a few months of always parking across the road.
I finally got up the nerve to knock on my neighbor's door and ask him to move one of their cars so I could have my space.
They very rudely told me that since they had been using the post for so long, it had become theirs.
Again, I am a shy person, so it took me a while to get up the nerve to ask my landlord to ask them to move just one of their cars. But I did it.
For a few days, they parked on their side and left my space open.
It only lasted a few days, because on the morning of the fifth day I found myself blocked in. They had stopped parking in my space but started to park directly behind me to block me in out of spite!
Now I have friends who would, I don't know, BASH cars out of their way who are blocking them in, throw dirt on the perfectly manicured and waxed hood of some tosser's ride, egg them... but me, I didn't know how to win this battle with my maturity intact.
I phoned the ROP. I phoned the landlord. The problem kept happening. I thought about moving from my perfect apartment. Then one day, by some mircacle, I asusmed they had moved, because my parking space was free.
Later I learned that one of my two crazy friends had gone with all her Omani relatives and threatened them, and thus, the parking war became a cold war, where my neighbors hate me, my landlord is happy not to be phoned on a daily basis, and I can get to work on time. I guess it is as happy a compromise as anyone can get.
Does anyone else ever have problems with neighbors regarding parking in Oman?