Sunday, May 21, 2017

THE HOUSE: Drama, drama, drama, thieves and liars, and government corruption, and Ramadan is on its way too

So I haven't updated about the house I built in Muscat a lot. Mostly, because I was tired of drama, and needed a break from it all.

We are suing our contractor. He never finished "finishing the house" in terms of wiring, and plastering and painting, and he also used the cheapest plumbing pipes even though in our contract with him we paid for the best. His name is Salim but I am not allowed to print his whole name or his company. His brother is running it for him right now. Salim is from Al Sharqiyah and is a "Rashid" for his family. Nice to know they have such an honest, caring, responsible guy for their "Rasheed/Rashid" right? He didn't care because he knew this would cost us money, which we clearly didn't have, but guess what "Salim"?

I inherited half a house, which has been sold, and I now have the money to sue you. I don't even care if I don't get the money. I want you to suffer, Salim, like I did, when I was almost 9 months pregnant, and had to move into an unfinished house that had no electricity (i.e air conditioning).

Enough said on that subject. I have enough drama in my life without Salim-the-Respectable-Rasheed and his idiot brother. The courts and lawyers can deal with them.
And the drama with the neighbors never ended.

In fact, apparently I bought a land that reveals corruption in the office of the Muscat Municipalities, the Housing Ministry, and the Electricity and Water sections. How lucky for this OPNO right? Something to blog about.

So I've already blogged about the corruption regarding electricity and water right? Like we were told we can't have temporary water, so we have to pay to take from a neighbor or from water trucks. Then one of the neighbors (the bad one) gets temporary water for his land, after we had to pay his relatives a ridiculous price for our water while we were building. Fishy but meh.

When we have to hook up for electricity we are told there is no space on our box and we have apply for a new one, do all the work to get it approved, etc... Turns out there was space, go figure. Good thing we learned enough about our neighbor's wasta to check.
Then it comes to my land. It is on a parcel with two other lands, that were once a farm. Obviously, since this farm still has water and a working well, someone had some wasta at the housing ministry to get it made into residential land, since it isn't supposed to be split for that.

Okay, so this is where we entered into it. Beside our land is a well. Since the farm is cancelled we asked for the well to be covered. Not just for the safety of our own children, who rarely go outside, but for the random children of renters on the other side of the farm, who let their children run free around the well.

Corrupt neighbor gets really mad at us when the city makes him cover the well. Alas.

The well issue is also a puzzle, that I have looked into and it appears the government already paid this family for the well land, to make the road. They got lands. In Mabaila. We've seen the papers.

Bad neighbor has a female relative who works in an important office in the housing ministry. I also have a relative who works there too so this is how we know everything. Wasta. Ain't it great.
Now, they are claiming for the land a second time, which is another scam. Which I guess is why they pulled out our land stakes to try to make our land smaller, and argued about where we could put our gate? We built our house to the edges of where the land is according the croquet (deed to the land), and we have seen the croquet for the well and know they do not own it, and are only claiming for it again to steal more land from the government, but whatever, wasn't a big deal to me. I do feel sorry however for the old lady who occasionally walks by my house to curse it and us, since she thinks we stole the land from her, when her relative actually sold it to us, and when they split the lands and got the Mabaila lands, apparently they didn't give anything to her, but said "us wasta people" with the new house got it somehow.

No wonder she hates us, even though I do find her amusing, and as my Arabic sucks, she can swear curses at me all she likes and I will still try to shake her hand, because it makes her even more mad and I find stuff like that to be funny. Like I am some evil expat wasta English woman who can take whatever she wants, and doesn't care about widows who've been cheated out of their inheritance.

I do feel sorry for her though. That her own family stole her rights and no one seems to care but me, who she curses whenever she walks by my house.

What did annoy me is there an adjacent land...and to annoy another neighbor who the bad neighbor hates who is directly across from it, he decided to go a major building effort from midnight until 4 am. And parked his bloody cement truck outside my bedroom window.

Tired, I told him to move his bloody truck, and that in Islam, we have respect for our neighbors and don't purposely try to ruin their sleep.

He used this incident to bug my husband, being like oh I talked to your wife on the street blah blah blah. Like that means anything but that if he ever hit on me I'd punch him in the face and he could say, I touched your wife, and I'd be like, sure you did, with your nose to my fist and that's all good. And I liked that too;).

But of course, Omani husbands don't like any of that so...

Also, the farm behind our houses, is a pile of garbage. The bad neighbors keep dumping and we asked them nicely to clean it up a few times. Why? Because it creates a nice habitat for snakes and rats.

I've seen many rats now, and had one snake.

So my husband filed a complaint with Muscat Municipalities.

Apparently bad-neighbor has a relative who works there too, because we ask why nothing was done about and they say their inspector came out, saw that it was cleaned, and erased the complaint from the file, and also gave us a ring to ask if we were satisfied.

No we were not, we surely never got a call, and, the person who was the inspector is clearly a liar, because the garbage heap is still there, same as ever.

Also, said neighbor knocked one of the wall lights of my wall. We asked him to fix it but he never did. Not worth fighting over that one I suppose. Although we did advise a neighbor whose female daughters his sons apparently molested to sue him at the police for that.

Then today, he is mad and drives over all the trees in our front yard. The ROP said he has to sign a paper not to do that again but only because we saw him.

My husband is freaked out that he'll break into my house or something but I am like, ha ha let him, and I will just shoot him, and all this drama will be over.

My husband is like... ughhhhhh no.

This is all so annoying. Like he seems freaked out that we are trying to steal the well land from him when really we just want the road fixed, because I guess greedy bad people think all people are just as greedy and hypocritical but blah. Like, yeah we have a relative there too, but we aren't trying to steal anything just get the well covered and the road built, since technically, that's supposed to be done already, bought and sold.


And then Galfar comes in with the sewer project and they break my garden hose (I know they did because like literally five seconds before I used it in perfect condition and left it just fine then they were in my yard and used it and it was broken). Galfar said prove it.

I couldn't of course, and it isn't worth going to court over a garden hose.

Then the very next day a couple of Galfar employees come into our yard, at 5:30 am (I happen to mop in the am) and proceed to steal stuff out of our tools. I see them from my living room window. I am in a nightgown and don't expect people to be in my yard at that time since Galfar already finished our sewer part, so I am just thankful that the sun was up enough that my window was not entirely see-through.

Again, I didn't video-tape this, but it happened.

They got away with it until---stupid---they did it again in the afternoon (since I don't sleep) and my husband video-taped them doing it.

So thanks Galfar. I want a new garden hose, thank you very much, and I think you will get me one.

So that's life in my 'hood.

This Ramadan I want to make a giant sign (but have someone translate the following into Arabic for me please), that says: "Dear Neighbors, Just a Reminder, it is Ramadan. Let us refrain from stealing from, and lying about and lying to each other for just this month, okay? Because I come from a non-Muslim country and the non-Muslims there act better than my so-called Muslim neighbors here seem to. Much love. The Crazy Canadian."  I am totally willing to hang it down the entire front-side of my house. I'd add the part from our Islamic teachings that says that the believers want for one another what they want for themselves.

What do you think?


Anonymous said...

Oh my God. I'm so sorry you have to deal with all this. How ugly. Don't these encounters just spoil the image of all Omanis for you? I realise in every nation there are good and bad people, but when they happen to be your neighbours and contractor and their relatives.. then it's not just bad luck and coincidence... maybe it means many Omanis are just like that :( that's generalisation, and stupid.. bit I think one can't help have inclinations to feel this way after such encounters. Those workers from Galfar are such scumbags...

Jdw said...

Damn, that's a lot of drama :D Entertaining read over a cup of coffee.

qualityboi said...

I feel for you Omani Princess... We were having problem with the Electricity here in Muscat. I don't know how our electric bills went up to 270 OMR. We were just two bedrooms and most of the time we are working. We are not a factory or commercial establishment. We complained it many times and they said they are going to cancel it but we were shocked when our meter was replaced by a prepaid one. Poor us.

Omani Princess (not Omani...yet) said...

Anon: I've lived here a long time so I know a looooot of Omanis so I know that this appears to be a case of one bad family. They are even bad to each other. And Gaflar is a big company and big companies can be evil ;) so it doesn't ruin Oman or Omanis for me thankfully. But it does make me go "what utter nonesense" all the time.

Also they just got an ownership for the well land but they are fighting over it amongst themselves, and the road will go in, and the most they can get for it is like, 9,000 omr split eight ways... so I don't know why these people are even fighting but alas. I am just glad they are only my neighbors, and not my relatives. I do thankfully, have two nice neighbors who are lucky to have houses built away from the drama lol.

Omani Princess (not Omani...yet) said...

Jdw: Thanks;p I'm glad someone finds it amusing. Sometimes I do when I am not dealing with it. I can sit back and believe I am in some weird Arab soap opera/drama.

Omani Princess (not Omani...yet) said...

qualityboi: That's too high unless you are doing construction... My water bill for three months (and I have four bedrooms) is only like 80 omr. My neighbours though charged me 150 a month when I paid them but I knew it cost them 40-60 max. ever... so I dunno.

I don't think I have a prepaid meter thingey. My husband wanted one but I was too cheap and distrust technology. I get a bill. For the first few months it was screwed up though. It said I owed 0.000 and I KNEW that isn't possible so we have to go in to the office to get it fixed. Then it was a total of 80.000 for three months.