For Wednesday February 6th 2013
Between Us Only!
The Foreign Angle!
Please bear with me whilst I connect the dots!
Case 1 – Some years ago in my visit to that distant land my late Uncle was visibly very upset that I had decided to stay in a hotel – instead at staying at his place. The poor man had built an outside room with an adjoining toilet and kitchen – even running flush water toilet – in the hope and expectancy that some of us here would decide to stay at his house! Compared to other houses around – his house was in better shape, standard and condition compared to them. He ruefully asked me – those 25 dollars you pay daily – how much I would have enjoyed receiving them – instead of the hotel! Incidentally, the hotel was owned by one public official – but that is another story for now!
Mixed Marriage 2
So to please him I decided to stay a few days at his place. My real reasons not wanting to stay with them is not inconveniencing them – like the first time I did when they started looking for ‘good rice’ for me – though I would have preferred the local dishes instead – but they thought I was kidding – and just wanted to protect them!
I saw one large (chicken) cock in the place – and too late I realised these were the same ‘stock and barrel’ of the homeland – because I got very angry the next day when it was brought for my meal! I had admired it on its beauty ‘as alive’ – and not as a meal! That tells a lot of going to Omani (descendants) houses and praise things – because of this fear of ‘the red eye’ element. Something those in Oman long for even expatriates would know about!
Mixed Marriages 1 – From My Book – Between Us Only! – Short Takes! – www.myown-ebooks.com
Early in the morning I was awoken with a pot of steaming hot coffee and a few dried up (in bad shape) dates – because of what I first thought was me being from Oman customs and traditions – especially in the Interior. So I secretly checked out with the housemaid if this was so – and she curtly replied that as far as she knew – this was an ongoing tradition of the house! Including the element of speaking in Arabic when we were alone – and strange the dialect because some local words were added in the speaking – like calling a hill as ‘mlima’ – a typical 100% Swahili word for that matter!
I guess when they will ever come here we need to follow the Israeli ways of doing things – when they bring their own – from distant places – for ‘orientation’ – and the poor Palestinians meanwhile still remaining as refugees – 50 years on! But that too is for another day!
Case 2 – A long time ago – when my Consultancy was still alive – I went with my Indian Assistant lady to make a presentation for our business proposal for one reputable firm in town. The owner was a previous high profile figure – and it was very disappointing – because he thought I could not ‘hear’ Hindi – after establishing what were my roots and ethnicity! I studied in Indian schools from class 1 to Form 6 there! The man was saying nasty things like ‘what did I know about Management and HR – and he thought I was a ‘signing-off’ only GM – but the Indian lady did all the stuff. I wrote about this many times before!
Case 3…. I had sent about my books to many local newspapers – only this one and another one positively responded! In the others – I have seen so many coverages by others – for even lesser issues – and especially if they are pretty foreign looking ladies personalities – and with due respects and apologies. Yet these same places always talk ‘big’ about national issues – at least in print!
Case 4…. I am in this shopping mall – and I see this excited local boy running to his friends – excitedly – There is a European saleslady in that shop! And they all gang up together – to go and see her – and buy some expensive sweets that they do not really want – and or have never tasted before!
In the shopping mall – do not forget I was young once – and had the roving eye too! She was pretty – yes! But there were far more prettier girls from other albeit other foreign nationalities – but frankly the young local girls were equally – and if even not more too! But this did not excite them – in the least! The colonial hangovers just do not want to disappear here!
A Wake Up Call! When are we going to wake up from this deep slumber – these jealousies, envies, personalities and polarisation things? It seems we see things – but still yet do not see – hear things but yet do not hear – and even let not others to speak too! Those days of scaring, control, subjugation and domination are long gone – but we still live like ostriches to the ground!
The truth is we have many of our own that we should value and esteem first of all. Prioratise and uphold in values! It does not mean ignoring and or belittling the others – especially the ‘invited guests and residents’ – but the truth is that many of us still feel impotent and useless – and as if I suspect that a real problem exists in the mind set of us many Arabs: That we do not feel that we are owners of our own purpose, destiny, legacy and future – and either lack the confidence and will power – and or just the evil selfish inward looking that is driving – and controlling us too!
You will excuse me too – for more than a month now – I have been writing on just normal and casual issues. It took the case of my very sick brother there now – after leaving the country to stay with his foreign wife abroad – that made me wake up – to the terrible truth! This is a double edged sword – but for my poor brother marrying another foreigner – when we had all the pretty decent local girls here – and the other side of the coin – getting into difficulties – because you just married a foreigner – and it is you the Omani that has to leave your country – if you want to stay with her! We lose the children too – even if they are half Omanis – for that matter!
When will we wake up and learn? Before it is too late? I am really – really tired now! Allah God Protect and Preserve us all – Amin – Take Care!
By Majid Al Suleimany