Thursday, May 24, 2012

Overheard at the gym: The "Oh really?/beg to differ"/awful white expat edition

"I moved here. I bought furniture. I have kids in school. You need people like me in this country, not Indians who live six to a room"

Hard to believe someone could utter this nonsense then go work it out in a combat class, isn't it? It was so hard for me to believe I immediately typed it into my phone and sent myself a text so I wouldn't forget.

I guess that's the kind of peace of mind having a completely deluded and utterly asinine world view gets you.


Jayne said...

I'm surprised she (I'm assuming its a 'she' because the gyms aren't mixed) could get her head out of the gym door.

Ann Marie said...

It was a man!

Muscato said...

You're right. It was a stupid, racist, narcissistic thing to say.

Sadly, it was also, from one angle, true. The UAE has created a country that essentially requires a cadre of professional-class foreigners, both to keep many aspects of the society running, but also to sustain the exploding real-estate market and the consumer economy. At the same time, it's becoming increasingly less attractive for just those people to live here.

It's a funny balance. Those invaluable Indians do indeed have their own critical role - but they're not the ones renting flats at Al Bandar, shopping at Ikea, or eating at Jones the Grocer.

Like it or not, the UAE does need your friend from the gym, and all the rest of us (who may be somewhat more circumspect about the oddities of living here). The unnerving truth is that, in the end, we are really, at the end of the day, as expendable as the six-to-a-room crowd...

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