Monday 11 May 2009

Oman: moving the Hanging Gardens

This morning we went to the new house for the initial inspection before being handed the keys. Apart from the usual scratches and blemishes, we were drawn to one particular feature – the bathroom mirror lights. In an otherwise tastefully equipped and decorated house, the developer must have popped down to Ramez for a bulk consignment of the most hideously nasty light fittings which have, wait for it, flashing red, green and blue lights at each end of the fluorescent tube. We unloaded a few boxes from the car and headed back to Azaibah to continue packing and to wait for the gardeners.

They arrived at 3 pm but had to go away again because they forgot the truck. A short while later, the chaps returned with a suave guy with nice hair and a tight tee-shirt who, along with his driver, watched the gardeners load the truck in outrageous heat and humidity. With all the plants loaded, we drove (very slowly) to Al Hail leaving the front garden looking like an empty petrol forecourt as it did three-and-a-half years ago. I still think the landlord thinks we’re leaving the will be a nice surprise.

At the new house, there was chaos as the truck reversed into the drive where a team of men were trying to erect a car port. There was visible horror on face of the man with the nice hair as he realised that the gardeners were nowhere to be seen. His moment of panic ended as they arrived to unload the truck, watched, once again by the driver who must have exhausted himself driving all that way. To be fair, the main with the nice hair did pull the pots to the back of the truck, but I don’t think he broke sweat. The site workers looked on with amazement as the contents of the Hanging Gardens of Babylon were placed around the edge of the new garden....or perhaps it was the site of a woman working. The driver departed as soon as the truck was unloaded, leaving the gardeners to finish the job. It was time for tea.

We sat under the super-efficient air conditioning unit with camping cups of PG Tips before showering and heading back to Azaibah via City Centre. The staff of the Noodle House weren’t exactly rushed off their feet as they served us and the only other couple in the entire shopping centre. We took on more than enough carbohydrates for tomorrow.

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