The pace of Omani life

Things move a lot more slowly here than they did when I lived in the US. I have fewer responsibilities, both career- and home-wise. My job can be challenging at times, but with only two classes, I can manage the workload. I don’t own my home, so I don’t have to worry as much about maintenance. I have a lot less stuff so there isn’t a lot to do to manage it. A smaller social circle, which of course has its drawbacks, also means that I often find myself with not much to do on the weekends except read, plan lessons, and watch the world go by — but it is a beautiful world, as you can see from this amazing sunset.


Seriously, it doesn’t get more amazing than this.


This past Friday, a good part of my afternoon was spent watching the fate of a poor goat who climbed up a construction site, but was too afraid to come back down. He alerted me to his presence with a sad, but loud bleat, which made it hard to concentrate on my grading. Hearing goats in the neighborhood is pretty common, but this cry was different enough for me to investigate. Then again, while grading papers, any distraction is welcome.


Goat butt. Poor guy is looking for a way out.


At first I laughed, but then I worried. How the heck was he going to get down? I watched from my window for some time. Slowly, he worked his way down one small flight of four. He was making progress, but still had a long way to go. Nevertheless, I remained optimistic. Clearly, if he made it down one flight, he could figure out the rest?

goat in shadows



Alas, I over-estimated the brain power of a goat.  His progress was temporary, as he ended up not liking where he was and went UP again. Thinking I could help, I got dressed and went up the precarious cement stairs of the incomplete building. The dang goat was on the opposite side of the roof, running along the edge. I think he was trying to give me a heart attack. Or, seeing no way, out of his situation, he was preparing to sacrifice his life just to see the ground again. I tried to tell him his plan was lethally flawed, but he wouldn’t listen.


He was running so fast, I could barely watch. At least he stopped to admire the view.


Not wanting to distress him further (no way was I going to witness a goat plunging to his death), I threw a pear core in his general direction – after all, the poor guy needed sustenance to make it through this ordeal — and went back to my lookout perch to monitor any further progress. After about an hour, he made it down yet another flight.

I think I watched that dang goat for over two hours. I’m not sure if that’s one of the saddest things I’ve ever admitted, or if it just shows that life here moves at a different pace. For now, I choose the latter explanation/justification. At any rate, my goat supervision duties came to a halt when friends texted us to see if we wanted to go to the beach. While the goat was entertaining, a swim in the ocean was a much more appealing option and off we went.

one flight down

I said an optimistic goodbye as I saw the goat yet another flight down.


When we got home that night, the goat was gone. I guess he finally figured it out.



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