Saturday, 14 August 2010

Horror Stories Involving Omani Taxis

Sythe from Muscat Mutterings on this post asked about taxis. They are a problem here. A big one.

I have HORRIBLE luck with taxis. Absolutely freakin' horrible luck with taxis. One out of three is CREEPY BEYOND BELIEF and stalker material. Two out of three is kinda awkward-ish. And the third type, the good ones, I save their numbers and cherish them, and pray they'll be free when I need to go somewhere.

I take taxis alot. Up until recently I had no choice. So don't judge me. I honestly have had people [Arabs] say I was asking for trouble because I tried to go out live my life, ie work, have friends, see the occasional sports match. To do these things, I had to walk, or take a taxi. Um, hello! As one of my ROP friends said, you should be able to walk around safe in Oman. Alhamdulilah I have had friends in the ROP or else, maybe I would have been considered "one of those girls" who derserves what she gets because she dares leave her home unprotected by a man.

In Islam a woman IS allowed to go out of her home without a male protector unless she is on a journey of such and such a distance, i.e Oman to Nizwa or something, not the local Lulu or whatnot. And I am an orphan by Islamic standards. I have no maharam, so SHAME on those who try to say some creepy pervert taxi driver is any way a woman's fault because she has a life. Seriously. Enough ranting, back to stories about said pervert taxi drivers.

One night I walked from my old home to Centerpoint. I bought a few items and they were too heavy to carry home. So I waved down a taxi and bartered my fare. My taxi driver's name was Mohamed. He gave me his card, with his phone number on it. I always ask at the beginning of the drive so as not be harassed for a "missed call". I sat in the backseat, I always do. I put my shopping bags down and held my purse. I was fully covered, abaya and headscarf, no hairs loose (even if a woman is not no man should TOUCH her, certainly not a MUSLIM MAN!!!!). I spoke English, so he thought I was easy or something. Or not a Muslim, which was later his excuse. As if it were okay to feel up Non-muslim women in Islam. Which it isn't. Anyways, back to Mohamed. He started asking me something is Arabic. I was new in Oman but knew the Saudi word for cat is "bisa". He was saying "boosa". Trying to be helpful, I said, confused, "cat? You know, meow?" And he reached back from the front seat and reached under my abaya to my inner thigh. I SCREAMED and hit him with my purse and yelled stop in Arabic. I leapt out of the car, as angry as I was afraid, while we were slowed at the corned in MQ just past the turn off for Al Fair and Kargeen.

"Shame on you!" I yelled in Arabic. "May Allah forgive you and guide you cause I don't!"

"You are a Muslim?" He looked confused. As IF is made a difference. I was more mad.

"English language doesn't make a woman a whore!"

"Am sorry then sister," he said. "I love you then."

I wanted to shower, I felt so dirty, but I was so angry I spat on him and turned my back and peeled off. Only five minutes later I relaized he still had my bags. I phoned one of my ROP friends who, off duty, went and got my things, and said the man wouldn't be touching ANYTHING (I take it his hands were out of commission) and that he wouldn't be "boosa [kiss] - ing" anything for a while. I didn't ask any more. This is how Omani big brothers deal with things.

Allah bless THIS particular Omani big brother of mine, because all the others said it was my fault for walking taking taxis anyways. Even if I would have no food if I didn't do this from time to time????

A few months ago, on my way to the Radisson hotel for a meeting, the same thing happened, the taxi grabbed my thigh AND my breast. And wouldn't let me out of the taxi. I jumped out while it was moving and took down the plates. I reported it to my ROP friend and let him take care of it. I went to the meeting, pretended this didn't bother me, but then after, went to the restaurant washroom, and fully bathed. An Omani woman told me, she believed me but I shouldn't make another police report because if I did they would think I deserved getting molested since it had happened more than once. WHAT THE HELL?!!!!! That is happens a lot indicates A CRIME TREND, not my character, as alhamdulilah, enough ROP officers KNOW my character not to assume evil of me and place it where is belongs: with the pervert.

The worst case though was, after these incidents, I figured it was safer to take the baisa buses taxis, since then, Iwould not be alone on the buses. Safer in numbers theory. Which worked for a long time until one day, near Al Wizarat, the driver was listening to Khaleeji music blaring and couldn't hear anything, and I was third seat back. An Omani man in a blue dishdasha came in. he sat half over my leg. I climbled up the side of the wall of the bus to move away in case it was a mistake. He put his hand on my thigh and I threw it off and back onto his lap and glared at him. He then grabbed both my wrists and pinned me up on the wall of the bus. Three Indian or Pakistani men were sitting behind me and I was screaming to them and the driver for help. the driver couldn't hear me. The Indian men, one of them joined in with evil blue dishdasha creep, and all I could do was scream because I realized no one was going to help me. We slowed at a roundaboout and I escaped out a window, then to be nearly hit by a car. I staggered to my work, walking in the heat dazed, and then proceeded to wash all the dishes in the sink at work because I just couldn't deal. I knew I didn't have the plates of the bus as I was nearly struck by a car escaping so I knew there was absolutley nothing the ROP would or even could be able to do, not even my friend.

I don't take taxis anymore unless it is the three men I trust. I forced my work to hire me a driver. Or else, well I wouldn't work, and my ROP friend drives me for anything now that I need, but he is the first to say, Oman shouldn't be this way and NO ROP has the right to say, WHY WERE YOU OUT ANYWAYS? A woman's answer should be: Isn't Oman safe?

To the woman on your post Sythe, tell her to press the charges. If he is the sole provider for his family, so what. Under Islamic law the punishment for what he did is pretty damn harsh so my Muslim response is don't be quiet, take it as far as it goes, because it isn't even the punishment the creep truly deserves.

There are charities for poor families. We don't sheild criminals as an act of charity. That isn't Islamic AT ALL.

-Princess of OPNO

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