Visa Run redeaux

So I’m off for another Visa Run, which if you haven’t been reading this blog for long, I’ll explain briefly.

The work visa I have in Oman allows me to stay in the country 21 days at a time. My shift is 5 weeks on and 5 weeks off, so in the middle of my shift, I have to leave the country and return. It only takes a day, and this was the day.

I left camp and drove to the airport, which is about a 15 minute drive. Get on the plane and fly to Muscat, about an hour and a half. This went uneventful which is how I would expect it to go.

My boss went along as well, had to get back to the city for personal reasons. No big deal…..

He drove me to the hotel that I had booked and I checked in. I’ve been told that this hotel has an exclusive on which taxi service that it’s patrons can use. I don’t have a problem with this, but the local cabbies do, for obvious reasons. I try to play by the rules so I tell the clerk at reception that I will need a taxi back to the airport at 2:30. She looks at me a little weird, and ask’s ‘Didn’t you just arrive at the airport?’… I told her that I was flying out to Dubai in the afternoon and returning that night. She again ask’s ‘You fly in, fly out, fly in, and you’re flying out again tomorrow?’ Yes, that’s correct. She shakes her head and says, ‘I’m glad I don’t have your job.’ Frankly, I’m glad she doesn’t either.

I grab a bite to eat at the café in the hotel and head back to my room to gather my traveling gear, my iPod and my Kindle and head down to catch the taxi.

As I’m coming out of the elevator, the taxi man leaves, I assume to get the cab and pull up front. No… That was not the case… Off he goes! Out of sight, out of mind. I need to get to the airport. There are taxi’s out on the street so I walk over and hire one to take me to the airport. A young guy, not that I have anything against young guys making a living, but he charged me what I thought was close to double what it should have cost to get to the airport. So off we go. Oh crap! I forgot the copy of my ticket! I had him turn around and go back to the hotel. I jump out, and head up to my room to get my ticket. Back down and now he’s got a buddy with him who is riding with us to the airport. That must be why I’m paying double.. I’m paying to transport his buddy! Off we go again. We’re making good time because he’s driving like a madman! Speeding up to 150 kph then breaking heavy to keep from hitting someone or something, then off we go again!

I make it to the airport safely and head in to get my ticked to Dubai. I head to the departure gate and grab a soda to drink while I wait. I start reading and people start getting to the gate. Lot’s of people. About 30 are Philippine women, all short (I still don’t understand why all the Philippine women I’ve seen are so short), Indian men, and others. The plane is pretty full, but there are some empty seats. We take off and I listen to my music. I’m looking forward to eating dinner at my favorite Irish Pub in the Dubai airport.

We land in Dubai and I discover the advantage of being a short Philippine woman. You can stand up straight under the overhead compartments! I’m walking to Passport Control, I looks down and the Pub is right there, waiting for me. But wait!! The Pub is closed! This can’t be!!!!


Well now that is a fine ‘How do you do’!

I head on to Passport Control, and breeze through as usual. I go out and walk around to the departures area. There is an area upstairs in the airport that has places to eat. I go to the coffee shop and order a Panini and coffee. Not what I was hoping to eat for dinner. I eat, drink, read and listen to more of my music.

Time passes and I know the ticket counter is open. I head in to the ticketing area and get my boarding pass. Off to Passport Control again, only this time, I’m leaving the country rather than entering it. I decide to find out why the Pub was closed so I wander down that way. I have plenty of time before the flight.

It’s OPEN??!!?? I am totally confused. I ask one of the waiters and found our they open at 7 pm.. I arrived at 6:30. Well no wonder they were closed!

I already ate dinner, and was just too full to eat anything else. No Bangers and Mash, Beef and Guinness Pie, Fish and Chips, anything.

I wander back to my gate and wait.

Back to Muscat and through Passport Control, and off to the hotel for a nights rest. And it’s only 1 am!

I’ll blog about the trip back to the desert tomorrow!