For what its worth, I spend my working week in a small market research start-up company here in Muscat. Its called Arabian Research Bureau and on the left is me with my business card.

At the moment, we're working out of my bedroom (below left) because our new offices aren't ready yet and probably won't be for another few months. It has huge benefits in terms of commuting time & distance though :-)

The working week here is a bit different. For a start, the week is Saturday to Wednesday, with Thursday and Friday being the weekend. Its confusing because Monday is like Wednesday and Friday night comes just before Monday morning. It also messes up the post, or helps it along. If I post something home here on Wednesday, it won't go anywhere until Saturday, then its the weekend in the UK. Conversly, posting something on Saturday or Sunday goes straight through.

Then there are the 3 sets of working hours. Government, police, museums etc open from about 7.30am-2pm. Then much of the private sector works 8am-1pm and 4pm-7pm, then the minority of us work something like 8.30am-4pm or 4.30pm. Its good in someways because shops and restaurants are always open after work and in the evening, but its difficult doing business because you can't reliably reach anyone after about 1pm.

Pictured on the right is Ahmed who works with us too. You can see him here on the phone to His Excellency the Undersecretary for something or other at the Ministry of whatever. He's a really cool guy - just look at that smile!

The final picture is the flash new offices we'll be moving into. Its a new IT park free-trade zone thing and is fairly in the middle of nowhere built in the desert behind a hill. We should have fast internet (the first in the country - currently *everyone* uses dialup) . Its the type of place where you bump into interesting people on the way to the coffee machine and think of new businesses and go on to create value and spawn a new generation of e-commerce in the Arabian peninsula. Yadda yadda yadda. Well, first they need to put a door in our office and it would be nice if they could hurry up with our company registration so I can get a visa and be here legally.

Oh yeah, and my commute to work will increase by a 1,500,000%, from the current 2m to 30km. And you know how I hate commuting. Still, I'm sure it will be worth it - just think of all those e-things we can achieve. Rah.

There's a small chance I might be coming back to Europe for a while with work; there's this project we're bidding for which involves surveying people in the UK, Holland, Sweden, Germany and Switzerland. Anybody have any mates in Holland, Sweden and Switzerland? I'll pay you if they'll participate in a survey. All they need to be is in socio-economic groups ABC1, between age 30 and retirement and be interested in travel. Answers by e-mail please.