Friday, June 16, 2006

Maa'dan

I lived a sheltered life as a child and grew into a young adult that could tow the party line with the best of them. And when faced with the realities of this world, I went underground...but then I came back...and the truth was just too overwhelmingly omnipresent for me to ignore.

Never mind that the Bahrain I grew up in as a child has very little to do with the Bahrain that I currently live in. It is the value systems that I just cannot fathom.

They will not buy anything unless it is discounted, or feel that they are getting some sort of a bargin. Reminds me of that joke: why are all bahraini men circumcised? because bahraini women will only take something if it has 25% off.

The first reaction to anything they see is, I can do that! Without any regard for the skill or thought that went into making something or for the final outcome which is invariably some frankenstien version of the original that has none of the funtionality, but hey, it only cost half the price.

Finally, and this really gets my goat, the nicer one is with them, the more they think that you are stupid and try to take advantage of you. And when confronted with the facts, they make up some bullshit story that is obviously an excersie in face-saving that is just not going to fly, but it does not stop them from trying...

It just seems to me like there is something missing in the fundament, Maa'den in Arabic, or is it firmament? Dunno...just very frustrated with things right now...

5 comments:

Mo said...

I guess my coming back in such a sporadic fashion makes it easier to have an outsider's view on life in Bahrain.. sometimes it gets me down (even in the short span of 2 weeks!) and I have to keep reminding myself that I won't be living here for a very long time yet.

I try to be nice and I try to be patient. Someone once taught me that doing one nice thing a day makes another person's day better, and that it has a knock-on effect so that everyone is involved. Not so in Bahrain, where nice gestures are only for the weak. If you want to prove you're a big dog who can run shit, you need to be the biggest asshole you can be. No compromises.

I generalize, of course, because there are decent people here and there always will be. The amazingly rapid proliferation of people of the other ilk is what bothers me the most.

red october said...

sorry to hear of your battles. in other news, remember pm dawn? oh, simpler times. bring back pm dawn.

Anonymous said...

i dont think its just bahrain, it probably holds true for most of the region. Its a cultural thing where everyone wants to feel a little special and that they got a good deal which probably stems back to the fact that not so long ago, this area never experienced the wealth and buying power that they have now, life was difficult and you had to make the most of everything. so now we have to put up with sales assistants running after us giving us discounts we never asked for and we both know its not a real discount but its a little game we all play. In iran, its even better, there they refuse to give you a price and tell you just to take it for free showering you with compliments, but try doing that, and they'll be after you in second!

Anonymous said...

Hmm I don't think it's Bahrain or the region, the things you've mentioned are apparent in everyday life everywhere. People have the tendency to use their best to do their worst, whether it's in social situations or in the advancement of technology.

While this gets me down sometimes, I found that smiling and laughing through things really does help. As well as a general sense of amusement at all things big and small, it makes life so much easier.

Anyway, this is the first time I've seen your blog, I like :)

Shroof

Notes from behind the bike shed said...

Thank you all for your kind words of support...I recognise that I have the tendency to lecture in my blogs and not engage in the back and forth banter which makes it a bit boring...but this is kinda nice and I could get used to it...from now on, I will try to be meaner, laugh at people more and listen to pm dawn...uh, hold on the last one actually...my current play-list features Jedi Mind Trick, Self Scientific, Krondon and the Strong Arm Steady Gang...