Read Me/Disclaimer

Read Me/Disclaimer: This is a non-political/socio-political blog. It's a running tale of my Saudi Arabian adventure, great, good, bad, and ugly. It is uncensored, and I don't really care what you think of it, read it or don't. I don't care. I did not decide to do this as a means to an end, but rather to document the means with which I occupied my time while waiting for my end... All that being said, I'm an American Expat in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. The opportunity to help build this system and the salary that accompanied it were to good to pass up.-Geoff

"The views presented here are just the views of some asshole named Geoff, they are not necessarily the views of my employer, my co-workers, my family or anybody else. First hand knowledge and second hand accounts were used to compile the information. These are not scientific facts and figures. These views are not necessarily supported, endorsed or even appreciated by the KSA the USA or any other country for that matter and the author makes absolutely no claim that they are."**

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Are you sure he's Saudi?

While I rarely run out of things to complain about in Saudi Arabia, the line jumping, the driving, the weather, the cheating, the denial...I occasionally have cause to pause and reflect.  Recently I did just that.  

Expats, much like myself, never run out of complaints, sometimes I think they complain just because if they stopped complaining, they'd have to face the fact that their lives are disasters by their own doing and have little to do with the Kingdom.  Therefore when attending an expat gathering you will hear many versions of the same old complaints story...Saudi arrogance, Saudi incompetence, Saudi stupidity, Saudi driving.  This is all well and good except that its not and its not accurate.  One of the many misconceptions that comes across through the media and entertainment industries is that racism is alive and well in the US the UK, Canada etc...Nothing could be farther from the actual truth.  Race can sometimes be an issue, but racism is hardly the enormous problem that the outside world thinks it is.  However, we do our accidental best to return to our old ways of thinking after we've been in Saudi for a while, you see it's common place here for people to be paid and housed according to their country of origin, and race is always an issue.  It doesn't take most expats long to be snapping their fingers for tea and expecting the man at the grocery store to take out the bags for a 1 riyal tip after all, that's his lot in life right?  His punishment for being born in Bangladesh or Indonesia right?

If you're a thinking person though, you occasionally have to stop and smell the "Bullshit" you're selling yourself.  When I paused to smell mine a few months back, I was a little disgusted.  I adjusted my behavior and began treating people as I would at home (to the best of my practical ability at least).  However, I did keep the dirty habit of still classifying people into country of origin and I still blamed Saudi's for just about everything.  However once again, some recent reflection due to recent events have caused me to take a step back and look again.  So I ask this question to the reader...Are you SURE he's Saudi?  There is plenty to get upset about if you really want to, and its easy enough to demonize the Kingdom's population if you so choose...but are you sure they deserve it?

The "Arab" man in the store trying to jump the he Saudi?  Or is he Jordanian, Egyptian, Syrian, Iraqi, Omani, Yemeni, Lebanese, Somalian, Ethiopian etc...What about the driver who just passed you at double your speed?  Don't try and tell me that you stopped to ask him where he was from.  The incompetence seen at work, does that come from the Saudi's or the other guys below them?  My point is simply that you don't know...lately I've seen some pretty bad actions by other Arab first it pissed me off about Saudi, made me say things like "man I hate this place", or "why do these idiots act like this"...then I tried to figure out just what idiots was I referring too...To be honest, I really don't know.

There are surely some idiots here...who they belong to and how they should be classified seems to in reality be just as varied as it is at home.

Just some random thoughts for your weekend...I'm done for the week, I'm gonna go get drunk and dance with a woman legally.  Y'all have fun!  

P.S.  I've been working on this for a couple of weeks...and it's almost as if fate didn't want me to finish it...Last night my Saudi taxi driver tried to charge me triple, and today an entire class of Saudi students failed to show up for a final...But after some consideration I thought...seriously? Cab drivers, security guards, students...?  These guys are the same the world over, the best move on, the worst...well they're the worst and it's hardly fair to judge a culture by their example. 

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