This time I decided that I will stay with the people in the room and just suck it all in. I met friends at the agency while we were waiting for the bus to arrive.
I remember last January we took the shuttle or a minivan and 24 people were crammed up on a 7 hour road trip to Oman not mentioning the 3 borders/checkpoints before finally arriving to the hotel.
This time, 41 of us and surprised that they gave us a bigger bus and definitely more comfortable.
Luckily, the people I knew were also from my previous exit who they say they saw me and actually talked to me at the reception — after that, we immediately clicked.
Compared to 3 months ago, travel time is a lot longer the bus took off 7pm and we arrived 2:30 am. An almost 8-hour road trip that we had to endure for visa change.
The border checkpoints also increased.
- 1st checkpoint was for Dubai exit stamping where we had to pay 35aed and for those who have overstay, they had to be paid in this station..
- 2nd was for Oman visa checking and entry stamp.
- 3rd was for luggage check
- 4th checkpoint was for Oman entry stamp verification.
we had to get in and out of the bus several times and even had to have a final stop around 1:30am at a restaurant in Oman for food and toilet. Everyone was so glad to be able to stretch a little, have food and coffee, and all of us were definitely anxious to get to hotel and settle ourselves in.
Internet connection is always an issue. During my first exit here, I bought myself an omani sim card and purchased a month of unlimited data connection, but even with that, signal is either weak or unstable.
Photo Below- is at the Grocery store. This building located at the back of the Main hotel and one of the 3 areas where they have installed a router for public usage. In any situation where you get connected, you will never want to leave otherwise no matter how much you try.. reconnecting will be such a pain in the ass.
The following day, we were so bored and all of us went to Lulu Hypermarket. This hotel offers a free transport to Lulu for an hour but limited to only 4 trips everyday. If in any case you wanna go and they say free trips are over, then you have to pay 25aed at the reception and request for a special transport — still limited to an hour to do grocery, eat out, or send and/or receive money .
(Left to right: Ate Azenith – HR administrator, Adrian – Architect, Francis – IT guy, and Cindy – waitress) – we all have each our different life stories and sometimes having no internet makes it even more fun because we get to communicate properly and get to know each other deeper.
3rd day and we receive our visas. We spent the whole day making it worth being there: we went to the Disco area where they have a huge swimming pool, it was quite a bit of a walk and it wasn’t necessarily clean either so we decided not to stay there. . We resorted to buying fish and lamb chops to grill… something like a little get together at the poolside.
And after 5 hours of travel from Oman – Dubai the following day, we all got together for a hopefully not last meal together at a chinese hot pot restaurant just near the agency. And we each went our separate ways not knowing whether we will see each other again. Our individual stories and shared experience during our visa change exit will be the one thing that we will all share and bring us close together.