This is the door to "home" for the next few days! (They like elaborate doors in this part of the world). We left Dubai around 4:15pm, and after being stuck for nearly 45 minutes in Sharjah commuter traffic on Emirates Road, I was relieved to be standing outside this entrance at 10:30.
A very good run with no queues at the border and we paid the same for a tourist visa as we've done in the past which was fantastic. Things can change here very suddenly, and the last we heard was that visitors needed to apply for a visa online prior to planning their visit. It seems to go against the overall plan of wanting to boost their tourism economy. I thought it was really cool that they issued UAE residents (with the right job title) a visa on arrival! The more I do this trip though, the more I think the journey should be avoided after sunset. Oman's main highway is not very well illuminated and is definitely not finished to international standards. Having said that, it was definitely good to travel during the cooler part of the day.
Prior to that, G did a day's work and then an extra hour teaching English. We had water challenges today. Big ones. For everyone who went to bed at the proper time last night, they wouldn't have known of the burst water main cutting off supply to the entire neighbourhood. I so wished I had done the same, but being a night owl, 11:50pm and I discovered I couldn't do my teeth or wash my face. Argh! I actually walked down to the restaurant downstairs to ask them what was going on. They told me about the water main, so I came home and called the water authority who confirmed it and said it was being worked on. One hour and normal service should resume, so I went to bed happy enough.
5:45am and G announced there is no water. These are not words I want to hear at the start of the day. I called the water authority again and they said the problem hadn't been fixed yet despite engineers working on it all night. They couldn't give a time of when supply will be resumed. Poor G. She somehow managed and went off to work. I went back to bed hoping the next time I surface, the water would be flowing through the pipes as I (and millions of others in the world) expect. Thankfully, at 8am it was. Phew!
I had a number of errands to run and set about scratching things off my list. I got home and just as I was about to step into the shower, I noticed the water pressure had dropped, signifying a more localised water problem in the building. G came home almost the same time saying there were people outside investigating the pump, so I called the landlord's representative who said a plumber is trying to find out why the pump has stopped working. He also said it could be related to the water main problem earlier. Not likely. I found out later from the guys that the pump had stopped working because the electricity supply had been disconnected due to non-payment of the bill by landlord's rep! Honestly, if you can get any truth out of people over here.
We both managed to have showers before we finally left and felt hugely better for it. I really hope we're not going to be faced with the same issues when we get back. It's awful not having running water in a hot country. It made me realise what a luxury and necessity it is. So fundamental to modern living.