Friday, February 5, 2010

An Open Letter to the White People of Muscat

Dear White People,

There are so many more of you around these days than in the past, and I feel it's timely for us to have a discussion regarding your behavior, if only to ensure that we are all on the same page. Because, Why have you guys been so weird lately?

Seriously, I have had like a month of non-stop WWW encounters (Weird White Wanker) and I'm kind of beginning to wonder if, like, we have collectively forgotten that we are effectively guests here. I know, I know, you are here helping the country with your important White People Skills, Saving the native savages from themselves, etc... but really, we need to talk.

  • First off, many of you White People have taken to driving like locals. Just because you will likely never receive a ticket for driving like a total twat does not mean that it's OK to whip through my quiet neighborhood at warp speed. Furthermore, when you drive like total Assclowns, your license to stand around at cocktail parties and bitch about the appalling driving standards of the locals is terminated. Seriously, your bad driving is negating my ability to feel superior, and yours as well.
  • Ladies: While a miniskirt and tank top are possibly appropriate for Rock Bottom, or lunch at the marina pool, they are not appropriate for the grocery store, the souq, or the mall. It's not because it might offend people, but because it reflects badly on you and other people like you. If you cannot even grasp this most basic courtesy that comes hand in hand with living in the GCC, I shudder to think what other basic issues regarding life here you have failed to grasp.
  • I'm not even going to mention the topless sunbathing, but girls, you really should know better.
  • White Men: bringing prostitutes to a business dinner is not classy, it's weird. We all know they are prostitutes. I wholeheartedly encourage you have sex any way you can, but a business dinner? Get some class.
  • White people: Be nice to the waiters, seriously. It is not the end of the world if your special order was not fully understood by the waiter, and as a result, your food is not exactly perfect. I know it's frustration, but for the fucking love of god, show some compassion, and demonstrate your "civilized" heritage by acting like a civilized adult. And work on your communication skills while you are at it.
  • Stop acting like you are doing the country a huge favor just by gracing it with your presence. You are not. You are here doing a job, which I hope you are doing well, and for which you are being paid. You are not doing the country some enormous favor.
  • Which is not to say, don't complain. Please do complain about the stuff that is screwed up here. The list is long, and everybody, locals and expats alike is entitled to an opinion.
  • White people: You are not entitled to expect that every single person serving you speaks English. International hotels and major businesses excepted, this is an Arabic country, so learn some fucking Arabic or get really good at charades. And suck it up.
Enough ranting. For the record, I know that everything I wrote here applies to me as well.


Angry In Oman said...

yeah what's up with bringing prosties to dinner?


Great post!

I love you. Seriously.

Nadia said...

Touche. Great post.

The MET Office said...

My guess is that much of what you have written does NOT apply to you -- because I suspect [from yr posts] that you are a culturally-sensitive individual.
Good for you for telling it like it is to the arrogant, ignorant white people currently in Muscat.
Sadly, I figure that the people who need to be aware of what you wrote will either not read yr blog [they are likely illiterate troglodites] OR not figure that it applies to them. How can you make sure they see yr blog?
Do you have bumper stickers so we can all advertise yr blog : e.g. Other Oman blog. 06:02 [like bible refs in the US seen on bumper stickers]. Are bumper stickers even legal in Oman?
Good on ya, Suburban. Keep up the good work.

The Restless Quill said...

Clap clap Suburban! So well-done. Agree with The MET Office totally. Hard not to with someone who uses the word Troglodites so casually!

Blewyn said...

What's with the skin colour discrimination in this post ? Are you saying that only white expats behave in the above manner ? Black, brown and yellow expats aren't guilty of the same sins ?

omanobserver said...

OO, as you imply the 'standard' (class?) of European expat in Oman has fallen noticeably in the past few years. There was always the odd ignorant yob about (more often than not British), but only recently has the 'white' community come to resemble Dubai's, with a large proportion of poorly educated, selfish and culturally disinterested trash out and about.

Sadly this seems to have coincided with a loss of manners amongst many local people - numerous examples of selfishness keep being (understandably) bitched about in these blogs, including the way people behave on the roads, happily trash public places, treat immigrant workers, leer rudely at even modestly dressed expat women, behave in cinemas (a great place to observe society) etc... Again, more and more displaying the arrogance of Emaratis which we thought Oman had avoided.

So it's happening on both sides and clashes between the two are becoming more frequent. These generally do not have a happy ending for the expat... you know you're in trouble when you hear "it's our culture" and "are you telling me what I can do in my own country?"

More to think about when weighing up the pros and cons of a new posting.


Suburban said...

Thanks for the comments guys, Nice to know it's not just me who feels this way.

Blewn: That's a Good Question. I'm only addressing White people today because unlike Indians, Mexicans, or even African Americans, White people's bad behavior reflects on ME. When they do something stupid, they are in the minds of local observers, representative of me, and it's annoying.

Hope that clarifies?

Stimulus said...

LOL great post. I didn't know all these things applied to white folks.

Blewyn said...

Suburban : You didn't make that point in your post - indeed you wrote "there are so many more of YOU", indicating that you yourself are non-white.

In the interests of avoiding bigotry and alienation, you might want to change your post to address westerners, rather than white people, in order to discriminate according to culture (which is fine) rather than race (which is not fine).

Omani Princess (not Omani LOL) said...

Omanobserver: I agree with you! I don't want to see a meltdown of Omanis becoming stupidly nationalistic because of the invasion of US EXPATS. NOT USA, us, including myself (though I am mistaken by Omanis for being Omani on first take).

Other Oman: stayed tuned LOL, I intend to write a similar post. But i have to admit, I drive like a local. But I grew up here as a teen, so does that count???? And they (ROP) didn't let me have a DL eve WITH all my wasta in that regard LOL.

kayay said...

i have lived in the beautiful Oman for 3 years when i was only a child. i know my family did their best to adapt to the omani culture & i really miss & love please don't generalize :) i know white people can be ignorant...i keep telling myself that i'm not white...i'm asian xD

The Eastern Wind said...

Come see the whites where I work. They believe the world should worship thier asses.
Sorry dear Oman!