Saturday, February 15, 2014

Back the F off! Get out of my personal space!

So there are some overt differences between Kuwait and Dubai, but whenever I come down here, I note the more covert ones:  Like personal space.

I was in a mall in Dubai some time ago and the woman standing in line for a taxi behind me literally shoved her shopping cart into me. Back OFF!

In general, if you don't get out of the way, people will literally walk into you, as if you're not there.  It is weird!  I can't imagine that happening in Kuwait.  Why is it so different here?

As an American, we have a larger personal space than many other cultures.  If people get too close, we get nervous.  I'm much more jumpy about this than I used to be after I got back flu's and colds a few times.  Yuk.  Who wants someone spreading their germs on you?

Its almost as if the people here just don't care how close they get to you.  You're stacked up like cord wood next to each other.  To me, that's just disgusting.  Dude, I don't want to be close enough to smell your breath.  Nas-teh.


Anonymous said...

Of all the wonderful aspects of Dubai, you noticed that? OK, when walking in a mall in Dubai, I have experienced this a lot with sub-continent people. Yes, they walk right into you, but my conclusion is that it is an arrogance issue and it is done intentional to other foreigners, especially western foreigners. Dubai does need to balance their expat community with visa quota’s, and with the growing cost of living in Dubai, I wonder how some people can continue to live there? But this queuing, breathing down your neck has happened to me many times in Kuwait and by all nationalities. I think the rudest people on earth live in Kuwait,(and I am not speaking about only the Kuwaitis), that's why foreigners laugh when they see that sign at the airport that states "Kuwait, the land of friendliness". You go through the 'All Nationalities' line! Are you kidding me? Personal space should be respected and no place in the world is it more respected than in Japan. Because I live in Kuwait, I noticed it right away in the middle of a very crowded shopping district in Tokyo, where I stopped and looked at the kids and said, "Wow! Nobody is touching me" because they respect personal space and I respect that. You didn’t have a nice time other than that in Dubai? I love Dubai!

NYC Expat! said...

@ Anon February 16, 2014

Completely agree with you on the "arrogance" aspect of this space discussion (both in Dubai and Kuwait), as well as the reality of how teribly rude people are in Kuwait, and have often pondered if it had anything to do with being African-American, as I get it from all strata of society (from the dundaheads prancing around the malls all the way down to cab drivers and maids). Thankfully, I do not have a fragile ego and the fact that I am only here temporarily keeps me going.

Having said that, I have also met some truly nice folks here.