#ReadersResponse: Residents and citizens across the Sultanate spent the weekend physically and mentally prepping themselves to get back to work after the long Eid break. With the government announcing a total of nine days off for Eid Al Adha, there were some who hoped the holidays would never end.
“Work in this part of the world can actually be quite stressful, even if some people don’t realise it,” said Richard Davison, a Western expat who works as a lawyer in Oman. “We are always busy, because there’s always work to be done, so my family and I were really looking forward to the long break. It’s been great to disconnect from work for a while and reconnect with the wife and child at home. We didn’t really do much, because there’s plenty to do to enjoy a laid-back break right here in Muscat.”
“We did go out to brunch a couple of times after a few lazy days at the beach, and it was great for my wife as well, because she normally does the shopping when I am at work, but this offered her some time to just put her feet up and relax as well,” he added.
Amrish Nair, an Indian expat working in the oil and gas sector in the country, flew to Bangalore to surprise his family. “My parents had no idea I was coming,” he told the Times of Oman. “On the morning of my arrival, which was the first Friday of the long break, my friends back home said a parcel had arrived for my mother, and that they were going to the airport to collect it. My mother had no idea what it was but ignored it, because we get many deliveries at home, and went about doing her work.”
“When she opened the door to collect it, she was so surprised to see me,” added Nair. “She didn’t know how long the Eid holidays in Oman were for, because in India, it is mostly one or two days, and she thought I was just coming home for a short time. When I told her I was going to be there for nine days, she was shocked, and made many special dishes for me. My father hadn’t even seen half of those dishes in his entire life.”
Ramesh Vijaykumar, another Indian expat, came from Sharjah to spend the Eid holidays here in Oman with his family. “Of course, we didn’t get as many days off in the UAE as they did in Oman, but I decided to add in a few days from my annual leave and come here to see my family,” said Vijaykumar, who like most expats in the Sultanate, grew up and did his schooling here, before working in Oman for a few years.
“The UAE is just a place to work for me, and Oman is always going to be home. It felt awesome to come back home and meet up with all my friends. I have so many memories here, so Oman will always hold a special place in my heart, no matter where I go.”
“I took my parents to Salalah for the Khareef Festival this time, and it was such a relief from the heat in the rest of the Middle East,” he added. “It was so cool there, with temperatures of around 24 degrees Celsius and the continuous rain and chilly breeze. Oman is such a lovely country and I am glad I came here for Eid.”
Families in Oman were definitely happy to enjoy the holidays, but there was one aspect Suresh Kumar was not looking forward to once schools reopened on Sunday.
“The best part about the break was that I didn’t need to wake my son up for school in the morning,” he admitted, rather sheepishly. “Every morning, the school bus comes to pick him up at seven, so he needs to be up by six, then I need to iron his clothes, and his mother has to make his lunch; this time there was nothing of the sort, so all of us could relax. I am, to be honest, not looking forward to waking him up on Sunday, because that means I too have to wake up early.”
Sangeeta Dias, a homemaker in the country, was hoping to use this time to get her adolescent daughter to study, but how could she, when all her friends wanted to do was play?
“The exams are not far away, and I thought I would make my daughter sit and study, but that didn’t happen at all,” she said. “Everyone wants to play and go out and enjoy, so how could I tell her to stay at home? She would not be very happy with me if I did that, so I let her go out as well. There’s still some time left before the exams begin so she can study after the schools reopen.”