Life in Lockdown (4)

As you may all aware, I am currently stuck in the Middle East, specifically in the southern part Sultanate of Oman. Luckily, I’m not really stuck on my own, I’m with my family here.

So this wasn’t my first time visiting Oman, I have been to Muscat, Nizwa and Duqm back in 2018, but very first time to the Southern part. The first time around I came here was when my little sister got married. Well not so little as we’re only thirteen months apart.

My sister married an Egyptian guy she met at work. What a twist of a life story. Well anyway they just got a baby boy, so visiting them was on my 10 weeks Middle East tour plan.

Land of Frankincense, Oman

It’s been 7 weeks, away from the current place I called home, Sydney, with no sheds of lights in sight when will I be able to return. Honestly, I don’t watch news related to corona virus anymore for like couple weeks now, I’m only checking 7 News Sydney and 9 news for any lockdown update. The Australian government decided to close the border from the outside world until foreseeable future, encouraging citizen and permanent residents to come back. However people like me, even tough we hold a valid, legal visa, are not allowed to return. Which was so fucked up for me because I didn’t bring anything here, I mean, couple clothes on my suitcase are really nothing, because my laptop and all important documents are back home in Sydney.

As if me being locked out of Australia was not headache enough, it’s April 19th and my visit visa here in Oman expiring on the 25th. The thing is, Oman is on lockdown until at least April 22nd, and to wait until then to see what the local government said is just too risky. First and foremost, I don’t wanna be an illegal visitor. Secondly, their overstayed fine is around A$42/day. And third, I don’t wanna risk future visa rejection because I breach my current visa.

So I know a pilot working for Oman Air that always keeping me updated for the current airport status. Since I didn’t hear anything on the news, I keep bothering him weekly basis, if not any other day. Well, he has no idea, in fact, he said the government might have no idea either. We all know that the lockdown pretty much anywhere in the world will be lifted once the outbreak is under control with a little to no further virus spreading or cases.

The other problem will be finding a flight to come back to the motherland, Indonesia. I mean, I’m locked out of Sydney, and I’ve been a burden enough for the growing family so flying my ass back to Indonesia was my only option. It’s been crazy to check flights availability since the whole word is pretty much under lockdown. And until these major connection countries like UAE and Malaysia lifted their lockdown status it would be still incredibly hard for me to find a flight.

As for now, I am currently holding 30 days visit visa, and as per their rules before this corona outbreak, can only be renewed once on shore for the same period of the first visit visa. I have been trying to contact them through email but didn’t quite satisfied with the answer. So I am gonna try to contact them again by phone tomorrow and see what they suggested me to do. Crossing fingers.

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