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Location: Muscat, Oman/ Bangalore, India

Round Peg....in a square hole. That describes me! All my life I have never quite fit in ... now I have just given up trying to live up to the expectations of the square hole or trying to find a round one!

Tuesday, May 24, 2005

The Middle East Diaries - What's it with them?

The Middle East is teeming with Indians.

Meet another Indian, especially the female of the kind, and chances are, big chances, in fact 98% chances are the conversation will go something like this.

'Are you working?'

If the answer is yes, you are bombarded with 'Where'', ''For how long'' and even ''As what''.

In my case, I don't work so the cross examination proceeds directly to 'Is your husband working?' .

I find this question strange. Most husbands work. Even if they did not, it's really nobody's business. But what foxes me even more is the absurdity of the question - if I don't work and my husband does not work, how come we live in the Gulf ?

The good lady, like the Ancient Mariner, proceeds unperturbed. Where? As What? For how long? One even asked me his qualifications.

What's up with these people? Note none of them ever asked my name.

Last week I was at this Indian School, considered to be the best in Muscat.

The teacher that was assigned to show us around began in the same way. I told her its my son applying for admission not my husband but the sarcasm was lost on her.

When she continued, I told her it did not matter where my husband works, but I would be happy to answer questions about my son. She got very uptight and afterwards I had to leave since it became apparent it was not a meeting of the minds.

I don't know how to counter this phenomenon. It happens to me all the time. Lately by Pakistanis as well - they assume I am one of them.

I am normally too polite to cut people off and say it does not matter, like I did with the school teacher. ( Must be the Tom and Jerry effect ;) ! )

Any suggestions? In the meantime, I think I will tell people, in a hushed, my husband.. he works for the CIA...

On second thoughts, that might land me in jail if a suicide bomber has not got to me first!


Blogger Evil Odd said...

Thanks for dropping in my blog.

The best solution to your problem is to go with the flow - the more resistant you are the more demanding they will get.

3:34 AM, May 24, 2005  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

First of all let me tell you the reason I am here is not to ask you where do you work, by the way, where do u work?

Anyway, I was really impressed by the way you use the language, especially in the profile. You have a good command of English language, would you consider tutoring my girls?

On the real subject, dont let it irritate you, this is a common question, as an Omani leaving abroad, the first question people (omanis) ask is, are you here studying or on vocation? No I am exploring!


12:14 PM, May 26, 2005  
Blogger AkaRound Peg said...


Thank you for asking but I have to decline. :)

8:41 AM, May 27, 2005  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

You sound like a good laugh, I am also amused at how the turn of conversation goes with regards to 'work' and who does what.

I was amazed when once someone asked me who I was with I said "my husband" the conversation ping ponged on like that for a while, then I realised she wanted to know the company.

Bloody people are nosey, especially here in the middle east where status means everything!

Take care, good luck to you, keep your individuality, or join the stepford wives club!

5:11 AM, June 03, 2005  

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