Friday, December 30: After going around and around with the university housing department about the shortfalls of my “villa” for months, I could see that no resolution was in sight. The landlord of the villa adamantly refused to fix the problems there, including grimy walls and ratty carpet, a shared electric & water meter with the Indian family upstairs, and a dumpster outside my front door that smelled like a sewer and was swarming with scores of mangy cats. I finally accepted that nothing would ever be done to fix the problems, so I put out the word to Issa, our housing guy at the university, that I wanted to move to a new place.
I finally got wind of an available flat in a building in Nizwa. This building houses some of my close friends at the university, including James, Malcolm, Stephen and David. Before Christmas, I went to a party at David’s flat, and on New Year’s I also was able to see James’s and Malcolm’s flats. During this time I heard from Malcolm’s wife Sandy about a flat available in this building with the same layout as the other flats. With my sons both arriving on January 10, I pressed Issa to let me vacate the villa and move to the new digs as soon as possible. He relented and we agreed on a move date of January 4.
On this final Friday of 2011, the last weekend day before my move, I go on a shopping spree in Muscat with my friend Christian, who just recently moved into a new villa himself. Fun times! I am finally excited to spend a little money to make my house a home.
We go to Mutrah Souq and then to Home Centre and Zara at Muscat City Center. At Zara, I buy a beautiful turquoise and purple paisley duvet cover, lavender sheets and square throw pillows. I buy lamps and pictures for my walls. At the souq, I purchase a wall hanging with turquoises and purples, to match with the duvet cover. We have a great time shopping together as we both love decorating.
We pile all our goods into the back of the Terrain. When I get home to my villa, I unload all my stuff into the living room, a temporary holding spot. I will move into my new flat in just 5 days. Hallelujah!