Saturday, 20 November 2010

Who to blame? MHD or Land Rover?

Over the past few weeks, I've been visiting MHD (Land Rover service center) a lot. I never left that place satisfied. As always, I like to list down points so that my point is clear to all readers.

- Warranty on my father's LR3 ended on September 2010.

- Before the warranty ended, we had numerous complaints about the suspension and transmission, and the dealer fixed some but refused to acknowledge others.

- In these 2 months (Sep to Nov 2010): all these parts got defects: Rear axle/differential, A/C blower, Air suspension compressor, Transmission, and control arm bush. A total amount of R.O 2,300 after discount.

- The dealership stated that Land Rover UK doesn't have goodwill in their policy (huh?!)

- The service manager's reply to our dissatisfaction was: "This is unfortunate, but we can't do anything about it."

I really feel like going to the showroom and make a scene in front of the customers.

End of blog post.

Monday, 4 October 2010

Marriage stories Chapter 5: Persistence.

Many of my friends/relatives are getting married but it's either a really traditional marriage or I don't have enough details. So this will be my last marriage story till further notice. It's not really interesting but worth mentioning.

I couldn't find photos/drawings/cartoons that suit the story so I'm just gonna throw 2 random funny ones the start telling the story:

Our character in this story is T. S. Al-A. We shall call him T.

I did not live the story with T. He just gave me all the details few weeks before his wedding.

Sheikh T was in his 3rd year in SQU. for the past 2.5 years he has been studying/working closely with one of his female colleagues. He liked her from the beginning but kept his feelings inside. He thought he would get closer then bring up the million Rials question. He later told me that it was a big mistake to follow that approach.


Place: Lab 101

Time: 5.05 pm. Right after the lab session was over.

T and his lab partner made a breakthrough in one of the experiments and got the appreciation from the instructor. After everyone left T thought this was the right moment to pop the question. T didn't go into the details but he gave me "El zibda"*. He told the girl that he really likes her and that he's interested in her. She rejected him. Again, T didn't tell me how she did, what she said or even why she rejected him.


T was shocked. I can't imagine how he felt but he said that even he didn't know how he felt exactly. Frustrated? Sad? Disappointed? All of the forth mentioned? All of that and a million ideas went through his head at the same time. Following "the incident", T got a bad taste in his mouth and marriage was something he neither believed in, nor wanted to talk about. He saw marriage as a negative thing. He even saw women as a negative thing. The insensible man inside him kept telling him "If she rejected you, then who would say yes. everything was perfect with her. she gave you all the positive vibes". I met T during that period. I absolutely HATED him because he was always rude to girls. He would insult guys and girls in public if he sees them talking to each other. He was the guy that would publicly tell you that you are doing a wrong thing, and even if everyone knows it's not wrong, the way he says it makes it sound wrong.

My approach with T was "ib3ed 3an el sharr oo '3aneelah"**. I would keep my distant and in any encounter with him, whatever comment he throws at me, I would laugh and walk away. I didn't even pay attention to what he says and would keep doing what I'm doing.


Months passed, activities/events were organized, and as our big annual exhibition was approaching, me and T were getting closer because of all the work we had to do together. I also started noticing that he became a better person. Could it be because he started knowing me better and maybe that made him realize that people usually have good intentions? As much as I wanted to flatter myself, I felt there was something else affecting him. After 2 years of meeting T (That's 4 years after "the incident") we became good friends.

Ok I guess to understand the story; we need to go back 1 year. T's close friend who's married never gave up on him. He kept telling T how marriage is a good thing once you find the right person and how you can't see the word in one way because of ONE bad experience. He finally convinced T to consider marriage again. T friend's wife had a friend who she really admires. The married couple thought of playing cupid and hooking up T with that girl. As much as hesitant T was, he thought he'd give it a try just to please his friend.

T thought the girl was interesting based on what he heard from his friend. There were couple of phone calls here and there and the frosting on the cake was a photo of the girl :P

What do you know? They liked each other! A lot.


T was determined. He told his parents and they were happy about it. They decided to go to the girl's family house to propose. They were from different town and it would take them 3.5 hours by car to reach her house.

Nothing is perfect in this life. Nothing.

T was rejected again. This time it was the family. however, it was no surprise to him.

The girl told him her family is the type that will only let the women marry their cousins, no one else, not even relatives that are not direct cousins.

That didn't stop T from trying. His family went again, and again, and again. They were rejected 4 times. T never listened to the people telling him "Why this girl? there are many out there, all of them would agree from the first time". T said: "I want that girl, and I will marry that girl". To go propose the 5th time, T didn't just ask his family to accompany him, he also asked people from other close families. This time they were more than 25 men. All dressed up in full traditional clothes, including the Khanjars*** and the Khaizarans****. They all went to her family's house. They got the approval.


"Wow. I never thought that proposing more than once would actually change people's mind. Specially the families that only believe in cousins' marriage" I said commenting on T's story with a dorky smile on my face. T said the only thought going through his head was marrying that girl. "No" was not an option for him.

T is now married and has a beautiful daughter.

End of Blog Entry...


Note: If some of the events don't make sense, it's either because I skipped some details or because I don't remember all the details.


*Zibda: Butter. It's used as "conclusion" in this context.

** a proverb means stay away from problems

***Khanjar: Dagger

**** Khaizaran: A stick made of bamboo wood.

Sunday, 3 October 2010

Dealerships criticism part 1: MHD

New Series. (I always start a series but then stop posting about it).

I decided to be like any other frustrated Omani in the Sabla and start bitching about the crappy cars dealerships here in Oman. I used to take it because I didn't face big problems but it reached a limit where I have to speak about it. I will mention my own experience with the dealerships and the bad things I've been through.

I will start the series with an average post about Mohsin Haidar Darweesh (MHD), which is the dealership for Land Rover, Volvo and Jaguar. (God I thought this was going to be a short post. It's not!)

Encounter one: Volvo S40 accident.

My sister got into a small accident in her Volvo S40. So I took it to MHD get an estimate of the total damage and a quotation of the needed parts/labor for the job.

- I went twice without the ability to meet the concerned person. One time because I went at 5.25 PM and they close at 5.30. The other time because he had a meeting and nobody knew when he was gonna finish.

- After I met the concerned person, I had to wait for around a week to get the quotation. And that is with me pushing them to finish it. They never called to update me. I had to call every single time to check whether it was done or not.

- Once I got the quotation, it was so high I didn't even want to bargain about the price, even though the omani employee wanted to set me a meeting with the body shop manager to discuss the quotation.

- Parts were expensive as hell. and I thought BMW parts were expensive. A really tiny piece of plastic (the hook cover, 5x5 cm) costs around 16 rials.

- They told me it will take 2 days to get the part. it took them 2 weeks to get it (and I'm not exaggerating).


Encounter 2: Jaguar XF test drive.

- Simply put: I took the XF for a test drive and I couldn't start it in the morning because it had a gear fault. The salesman was so cold and after the dealer truck took the car, I never heard from him again.


Encounter 3: Land Rover LR3 technical issues.

- Any person with a good amount of general cars knowledge knows that Land Rovers (including the Range Rover) are cars that suffer from technical problems.They would be the most amazing SUVs if it wasn't for these problems because everything else is great about them.

I won't write every single problem we had with MHD regarding the LR3 because they are endless. The staff there know us well but still the treatment wasn't good. They are always late, the car goes in for the same problem several times, and only 2 out of the thousand times our LR3 went there, we got a courtesy car.

The MHD staff we know are very helpful. I really don't know who to blame for all of these problems.

End of Blog Entry...

Wednesday, 15 September 2010

New blog design.

Testing, Testing, 1, 2, 3.

I can't seem to find the blog design that I REALLY want. Maybe cuz I'm not bothered.

This one seems ok. The flickr slide show is out of the box but I'm kinda liking it.

This will probably stick for a while till i find a better alternative.

end of blog entry ...

Wednesday, 8 September 2010

Roxy (L)

Exactly a year ago (or the 1st day of Eid Al Fitr last year) I gave my baby a nice welcome back photoshoot.

She's looking fab.

I love her so much <3

End of blog entry.

Monday, 30 August 2010

Masjid's reviews

Masjids I prayed Taraweeh in

Almost three weeks passed since Ramadan started. Wow, feels like everything is passing by so fast.

Here are couple of Masjids (Mosques) I've been to so far this Ramadan and my opinions about them.

1. Assalam Mosque, Al Khwair 33:

- Small mosque
- Closest mosque to my house.
- Women's Praying area: Don't know
- The recitation wasn't that good.
- Time to finish taraweeh prayers: Average
- Heat/atmosphere: Normal
- Parking: crowded

2. Al Rawahi Mosque, Shatti Al Qurm:

- Small mosque.
- Women's praying area: none
- Good recitation.
- Time to finish taraweeh: slightly short.
- Heat/atmosphere: It was kinda hot.
- Parking: crowded

3. Al Salmi mosque, Al Khwair:

- Small-Medium mosque.
- Women's praying area: available but small.
- Very crowded.
- Recitation is ok.
- Time to finish taraweeh: long
- Heat/atmosphere: normal
- Parking: Crowded


4. Fatima Al Zahraa, Hayy Al Rahba, MSQ: (My recommendation)

- Big mosque
- Women's praying area: available, very good.

- EXCELLENT recitation (Al Sulaimani is amazing. The other Imam who prays on weekends is also good)

- Time to finish taraweeh: short-medium

- Heat/atmosphere: Excellent. good, cold tempreture and quite atmosphere.

- Parking: plenty available.


5. Al Muhallab Mosque, Ilam city:

- Big Mosque.
- Women's praying area: none
- Recitation: good
- Time to finish taraweeh: short
- Heat/atmosphere: great
- Parking: plenty.
- Note: Al Muhallab starts Ishaa prayers early and it's short So you would need to be at least 5 minutes earlier than other mosques.

6. The small mosque near Pizza Hut MSQ:

- very small mosque
- Women's praying area: don't know
- Recitation: really bad
- Time to finish taraweeh: short
- Heat/atmosphere: tempreture is good but the mosque needs more care.
- Parking: almost none. You need to park in Al Fair or Pizza Hut parking.

End of Blog Entry...

Tuesday, 3 August 2010

The E92 M3

(I couldn't find a photo of a black vorsteiner M3 so this will do)

I 1st saw the new E92 M3 around 2-3 years ago. The car is a master piece and a legend following its predecessors.

Time passed and I saw many M3s on the street. Now whenever I see one I would have a look at it, I like it, aka7al 3aini, and smile, nothing more than that.

Around 2 days ago. I was waiting for my friend in this parking lot when this M3 with a Dubai license plate came driving my way. I noticed there is something different about it and I was lucky the guy pulled right next to me so I can have a better look at the car.

Black exterior, reflective tint and black interior. Those colors might sound normal but on an M3 they were GREAT.The guy left the car so I had my chance to have a closer look at it.

WOW. This was no ordinary M3.

It had a vorsteiner front bumper. I love the look of the standard M3 bumper but this bumper definitely adds a nice touch. Kinda like a hot girl wearing aviators. Looking a bit more inside made me admire the car more. The owner got rid of the luxury black leather seats and replaced them with sporty, light-weight Recaro seats. It's easy for a car to look nice with the normal black seats and they are definitely better for daily use but those recaro seats were awesome. The car was also carrying a high-tech GPS/timer/drag numbers device. I know that device cuz I've seen it somewhere online. That system shows that the owner is well-updated with new technology.

Now are the above modifications the reason I got goosebumps when I saw that M3? Absolutely not.

It's true those modification might have attracted my attention, but they were just sparks that ignited the fire inside me and reminded me why I loved the M3 in the 1st place: why I get goosebumps whenever I hear its sound, why i would get in a better mood if I see one driving by and why I feel proud whenever I see it winning an award or a trophy. The S65 engine which is the beating heart of this car. That Big, beautiful engine which runs this car and the 100 million-info-per-second computer that control the car makes driving this car so sweet. The car charms you with the way it talks to you. Those 2 parts combined were the reason why I like the M3 so much. What's the point of a good-looking car if it doesn't pleases you when you drive it/talk to it??

I wrote this blog post because I felt that M3 needs to be appreciated, and because I needed to let it out. Yes, even though I don't own it, I liked that M3 A LOT.

End of Blog Entry...

Thursday, 29 July 2010

Turkey Randoms part III: Ankara

Many people have told us never to visit Ankara on our trip to Turkey because it's not a good "touristic" city. I'm glad we didn't listen to them ...

Views from the highest tower :

The grand Masjid

Middle East University Park:

The following photos are of a dumpster that was turned into one beautiful natural park:

End of Blog entry ...

Monday, 5 July 2010

Infiniti EX35 Review

All car reviews are sponsored by:

When the 1st official pictures of the EX35 were published, we all got the same idea: it’s the product of an Infiniti FX sleeping with a G35 (or was that only me??). I really didn’t understand where this car fits into the market. The closest cars I could think of are the BMW X3, the Mercedes GLK, and the X6 (which way more expensive, but still a crossover SUV). As many people (including me) thought that this was a mini-FX35, it clearly turned out more of a large G35 after testing it. Final line is: it seems like the EX35 has its own place that works fine for it.


Mentioned above, the car had a weird combination of the FX and the G. when you see it in front of you, you feel like it’s a slightly larger G35 with no trunk. I wouldn’t call it Infiniti’s best moment in the design area.


Now THIS is something to look at. The car is really high-tech inside. It’s the 1st Infiniti to feature the new 360 degrees cameras system; which I think is very creative and innovative compared to the competition (yah that one is for you Lexus). The EX35 interior features a contemporary, high-quality material and design; which flows around the driver in soft effect. 6-CD changer, Navigation screen, and AUX socket are also nice things to have in your EX35. The thing with high-tech cars is that you really can’t figure out every technology used in a test drive. I spent couple of minutes checking the trivial stuff, while my friend was messing around with the rest of the air-craft-like tech. The real obvious downside of the interior is the small space in the rear seats; which was rather a disappointment to me.


Call me a car newbie, but driving the EX35 was almost exactly like driving the G35. There are however some obvious differences. The EX Uses an AWD instead of the FWD in the G. There is somehow a sportier feel in the G35. The EX35 is missing the paddle shifters (why? Why? WHY didn’t they include them?). In the straight-line performance, the EX35 was neck to neck with the G35, except for a slow launch (and believe me that came out of experience, just don’t ask how). The car has a weird way of launching from a stop (can’t explain it but a proper launch was almost impossible). Now that we are finished with the downside, let me just say: the car offers energetic handling with brilliant dynamics. And being close in size to the G35, the ride quality is rigid but comfy.


• Engine Type: 3.5L V6
• Horsepower @ RPM: 297 @ 5850
• Torque @ RPM: 253 lb-ft @ 4,800 rpm
• Drivetrain: All Wheel Drive
• Transmission Type: 5-speed auto
• 0-100: 6.3 seconds (est)
• Average Fuel Consumption: 13L/ 100 km
• Weight: 1,829 kg

• G35 engine and G35 weight, so it’s fast.
• Very advanced 360 degrees cameras system.
• G35 interior.

• No paddle shifters.
• Ugly design.
• High price

Around 16,000 Rials.

A 16,000 Rials, high-tech, fast Hatchback.

Thursday, 24 June 2010

And that's how I resigned

A 6 months-old post.

Following the shut down of the 1st company I used to work for, I accepted a job offer in a company that works in the same exact field (which is why they needed me). The Managing Director promised us that this company has bright future and that the team is one of the best in the country bla bla bla. Since the company was new and established few weeks before I join, they were still finalizing the budgeting and offer letters. I got a very basic salary and accepted it after the Director told me that he will get me a much better salary later on.

I got a better position in this new company and that gave me comfort in my future even though the work load was humongous and I took big responsibilities.

Slowly I started feeling That I'm doing my job + 3 other jobs at the same time! I don't mind working hard but I don't like doing work that is not mine. My direct boss was also getting all the credit for what I do while I get all the blame for his mistakes.

After 2 months of working (well, when I got my monthyl check to be precise) I noticed that My salary stayed the same. I, then, realized that this is going to drag and started doubting that the management will raise my salary so I decided to pay a visit to the Director's office. I entered the office and went straight to the point. He surprised me by telling me that he is not planning to give me a salary that is higher than my previous job's salary! It didn't make sense to me as I was handling bigger and more responsibilities than my previous job. "I'm not in the business of making friends" is what he told me. "It's not about making friends, but about being fair" was my reply. After a long discussion I was honest with him and told him that I need to evaluate my options in the job market.

The next day the director called me to his office and told me that he checked my salary and that he recognized that I should be paid more. That was a good sign but I needed to see the raise myself before pulling my hopes up.

I was called to the Chairman's office and he informed me that i will be getting 54% increment in my salary + a car for me to use. I knew this wasn't just talk since this guy respects me a lot because he worked with my family before.

I got my new car keys and soon after that I received my revised paycheck.

Was i satisfied? Absolutely not. I suddenly realized that the car and increment cannot buy me comfort. What's the point of all that if I'm still going to be facing the same drama I had before?

A week later I submitted my resignation letter with 10 days notice period. Even though the director didn't seem like he minded it. He asked the chairman to talk me out of it. I got the congratulations and best wishes from my colleagues and left =)

I started my new job around 4 weeks after I resigned. 3rd job in less than 2 years won't look that good on my CV but that's life :P

And that was my "breakout" story.

End of Blog entry...

Tuesday, 15 June 2010

Turkey Randoms part II : Izmir

Even though we spent only 2 days at Izmir, it was a really nice town to visit.

Our room view :

History Museum:

Theme park + Zoo:

End of Blog Entry ...