Chiara: One Foot In The Sand
Please tell us a little bit about yourself. Who you are, where you come from, when you moved to Oman, etc.
My name is Chiara, I’m a fresh graduate from a University in the UK but originally from the French Alps. I moved to Oman from sunny England mid August with my partner.
When and why did you decide to start blogging about your experiences?
The moment I actually realised this move was actually happening (about 48h before taking the plane) I decided it was a must to write some type of journal or blog. The change was so big to me I was hoping to bring some of the fun, uncomfortable moments and interesting facts back to my friends and family via the blog. Equally as important, I spent so much time looking for blogs detailing information for women in the Middle East; thus I thought I would write it from a ladies point of view, hopefully to help other ladies.
Do you have any favorite blog entries of yours?
I have few entries so far, but this one, “Dishdasha”, makes me smile:
Tell us about the ways your new life in Oman differs from that back home. Did you have trouble getting used to the new circumstances? Did you experience culture shock?
‘Inshallah’; the only difficult thing to adapt to, is the very slow pace of life. Living in the UK teaches you that you have to get things done yesterday, faster, and by no means beyond the set deadline. Oman takes getting used to, in terms of learning not to get frustrated with the immensely unhurried velocity of getting things done. In terms of culture shock, it is obviously I very different culture, so yes. But there is enough around to remind you of home if you need.
Do you think you were fully prepared for what awaited you in Oman? If you could, would you change some decisions/preparations you made?
Is there any way to be fully prepared? I would ensure a car was already arranged for us to avoid having to overuse Taxis. I would also have avoided bringing so many winter clothes.
Every expat knows that expat life comes with some hilarious anecdotes and funny experiences. Care to share one with us?
“Oh… so the spray in the Toilet is not to wash your feet?”
Which three tips would you like to give future expats before they embark on their new life in Oman?
- Read up about history and culture in Oman- it’s fascinating, and good to know what you can and cannot wear.
- Learn some basic Arabic words.
- Buy 2 bottles of liquor in the Airport Duty Free.
How is the expat community in Oman? Did you have a hard time finding like-minded people or fellow expats?
The expat community seems to be quite active and big. I used InterNations to find fellow expats and met them at an event. It was so much easier than having to introduce yourself so strangers. The events give you a name badge and your local flag; couple that with a glass of wine and you can make numerous friends if you try.
How would you summarize your expat life in Oman in a single, catchy sentence?
“I may not have gone where I intended to go, but I think I have ended up where I needed to be.”