Tuesday, 4 November 2008

Disneyland for Expats

I've just been reading Angry In Oman's blog about employers and was interested to see her mention a "head bobble". 
This of course, leads me to believe that the offender in question, might be one of our friends from the Sub-Continent. 

Now, I know Indians, I see them everyday, I work with them, I deal with them and I shout at them. Some days I am amazed by them. Astounded by them. Awed by them. Irritated by them. Brought to the point of committing murder - by them. 

Don't think for a second that this rant is going to be about just the Indians....it's not! 
You could probably replace the word "Indian" above with any other nationality who lives here. 

There is a disease that is rampant across the GCC, but mostly here in Oman. 
It is a horrible affliction that seems to effect only those people of a certain lifestyle in their home country - basically those who are "have-nots" where they were born, who get put in high-ranking positions in other lands far, far away.

The sickness is called: "Delusional Status Syndrome" and the symptoms include an upsurge in arrogance, disrespect and a holier-than-thou way of behaving at work and in public. 
It also couples itself, for some, with a feeling of being above the law - making the afflicted act in ways that they would neither dream of, nor get away with at home.

Let me give you a couple of examples from across the board:

He's in his thirties and a middle manager for a top retail company here in Oman. 
At home in India, he probably worked in a small store, on minimum wage but has somehow managed to slither his way up the chain of command in Oman and is now in a position of power - that is, if you think that a position of power involves supervising Filipino and Indian floor staff. 

He works his troops to the bone. Comes in each day, threatening to fire the Indians for not stocking the shelves properly. He accosts female members of Filipino staff, hanging the anvil of "a transfer to Salalah" over them for non-compliance. 
His wife lives here and visits the store regularly - but the young girls are afraid to report his actions to management above because it will fall on deaf Indian ears as the Jingley Mafia cover their arses again. 

Those girls who have expat "watchdogs" get left alone, but are punished in other ways by cancelled days off and no overtime. 

He is king of his castle and is wrapped in the false security that he is infallible, and can do whatever he wants - but boy oh boy, is he in for a series of shocks very soon! 

She's 45, from the UK and smokes far too much. 
Let me paint the picture for you: 
Chiffon tank-top from Marks and Spencer, tight jeans that do nothing to restrict the overflow of flab around her waist. 
A tattoo on her lower back that, ten years ago was a butterfly - but now looks like an albatross that has flown into the side of Jebel Shams. 
The vodka and orange juice is on the table in Feeney's, along with the 20 Dunhill from the Duty Free. 
Her laugh is so loud, it is painful. People are eyeing her with contempt across the room. Who is she? A tourist? An executive? 
Why is she being so rude to the girl at the bar and calling her stupid? 

I'll tell you who she is. 
She's an expat wife. Here because her husband is working for PDO. 
"We've just bought the new Land Cruiser yeah?" she says as she wolfs down another handful of peanuts that the "sad bitch at the bar" brought to her. 

She's been here a few months. 
This is Darren's first trip out here. He used to be an engineer in England. 
What she doesn't know, is that the company titles on the 4x4 mean that it is company owned. Again, delusion has struck. 
It lives right there with the "We have a house in MQ." and "We're sending the kids to Muscat International.".

The sad part is the inevitable story that hubby will come along with in the next few months when he suddenly realises the dilemma he is in - but the simple choice he has to make! 

"Sorry Stella. The company is not providing for spouses and kids anymore." 

So off she goes, with the kids and the albatross in tow. Back to the 47 bus and the queues at ASDA, carrying her own bags and washing her own clothes again. 

Meanwhile, hubby rolls over and curls up against the barmaid from the pub - with promises of divorce and a new life in Europe. 

Round and round we go.


Muscato said...

Joke that made the rounds last year:

"What's the difference between an expat and a racist?"

"Two weeks!"

The best thing - is that it works for any nationality of expat.

Great blog!

L_Oman said...

Great post. You nailed it!

I hate to say it, but some of the expats are downright RUDE to the workers in say...borders, starbucks, monsoon...you name it.

Do they totally forget where they came from? Sheesh.

I feel like I never got the opportunity to act like such a biatch due to the fact I'm married to a local and you know what? I'm glad for that!

Anonymous Lurker said...

Excellent post, could not agree more with you!

Suburban said...

Muscato, Excellent joke. Can't belive I never heard that one.

Jet driver. LOVE. YOUR. BLOG.

Bobby said...

nice post! all such people seem to live around me!
I agree with you so much! especially 'Indians' most of them are so.
Thanks for the comments.
Love your blog.

Angry In Oman said...

Very insightful, I'm super happy I don't know anyone like Stella, but Saikat sounds slightly familiar ;)

Kishor Cariappa said...

Excellent post. I've always believed Muscat is a superficial place.

When I made a decision to relocate to Oman a few years back, my friends back home had adviced, "Beware of Indians, they will be you biggest enemies." And it turned out to be true!

Anonymous said...

"Never trust an Indian in a suit" an Omani told me that.

Jamilla Camel said...

Lolz! Trust me--the Indians back on the sub-continent are MUCH better!

Even the Indians in India will tell you that all the rejects gets sent abroad!

upurbooty said...


James said...

Ahh, the jumped up little Indian. Is there anything more disagreeable. The shitty tailor made suit; the pen secured to the shirt breast pocket; the plastic briefcase (probably containing lunch) and the out of control porn tash. Nastiness flows freely to those less fortunate as if to prove own self worth. Lies flow freely as it's easier than telling the truth. Corruptness is rife as the 'mafia' slowly take control.