Our five year adventure in Doha, Qatar ended June 1, 2012, but the memories will always remain. It's back to Texas where I have decided...Qatar isn't cornering the market on "quirky", as I once believed. Thanks for opening my eyes to the world, Doha!

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Reflections on Attitude

At the risk of stereotyping, I have come to a conclusion. Qataris can be quite lazy. Now, don't get your colon in an uproar here, I'm as lazy as they come. The difference is, I'm a little more discreet about my couch potato ways. I perform my laziness in the comfort of my own home. Qataris put their laziness up on a pedestal. I have seen with my own eyes an abaya clad woman at Al-Rawnaq (aka "junk store") pull up a chair, sit back and relax, while the store "servant" goes through a huge bin of children's books one at a time raising them like flash cards to her face, while she says yea or nay. Try that in America and you will be eaten alive. I have been eyewitness to a thobed man, looking for a "tea boy" to provide him a bottle of water and then literally expecting the tea boy to walk back with him up a flight of stairs carrying the single bottle of water to his table, as if he were the Emir, himself. Nauseating. I've seen much more and much worse, but prefer not to go there. This hurts me to say this out loud, because I really do love the warmth of the Qatari people, but this is the one area that sends me into stroke range. The attitude that "I am above you" has no place in a civilized society. Surely those that act this way are in the minority and they will see the light one day. What brought this subject up? David and I were doing our people watching from Starbucks this weekend when we saw two Qataris walking through the mall being followed by a Carrefour employee with a nice brand new 42in t.v. in tow. It seems the thobed men had a little more shopping to do, as they ducked into Zara and left the yellow jumpsuit clad guy outside holding the goods. Bottom line: If they tipped him REALLY well, I forgive them.

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  1. amen to that.

    today i drove my car during the day, and by the time i got back to my apartment, my entire body was covered in sweat. it was disgusting. and i'd like the whole world to know to put more pressure on you to get my AC fixed ASAP! see you in two weeks, two days, seventeen hours, and twenty minutes..but, who's counting?

  2. It's so sad that you are in the same town as your brother, but I, 8500 miles away, am the target of your a.c. woes. I will talk to Dustin. It could be worse...you could be in Doha with no air! In the meantime, try & keep your cool, chick :D

  3. Couldn't agree more, Sybil--just the other day Ella & I were discussing this very issue when I saw a Qatari lady send her driver into the mini-mart over by Landmark mall to get a newspaper. Apparently she couldn't be bothered to get out; not surprisingly, she was quite large. (If you haven't seen it already, you should watch the movie Wall-E and tell me if the future humans remind you of any particular nationality.)

  4. Ok, Steve, I checked out your Wall-E trailer. I have to admit my (selective) Adult A.D.D. never has allowed me to watch cartoon movies, except, of course, for LION KING ON BROADWAY! Anywho, at least the driver is that woman's paid employee...so now the question is, does she allow him to buy himself a juice when he has to get out and buy hers. Aye, there's the rub!

  5. I guess watching all of the cartoon movies that come out is one of those things that goes with having a kid who's eight; if you do make an exception, I would recommend Wall-E. Honestly, it was one of the best movies I saw all year, cartoon or not.

    As for the distinction of the driver vs. the Carrefour employee, I totally agree although I'm not sure that all locals would draw the same distinction. The attitude of at least some of them seems to be that by shopping in a store, they have earned the right to have the store's employees do pretty much whatever they. In any event, it all ties back to your point about laziness--we all have some things that we'd rather pay others to do for us, but it seems that many of the locals prefer to pay someone else to do just about everything.


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