Saturday, February 03, 2007

Piss off things

Hiring illegal maids in the UAE is quite an issue. Lots of people complain about the cost of sponsoring a maid and all of the other issues involved (medical etc). Then there are the ones who cannot afford one, sponsored or not, who make little digs at those who can. Comments such as "what will you do once you move back home then?" and "I wonder who will tie little Johnnys shoelaces when you go on holiday" really really fucking piss me off. Some people have always had maids and always will. They are maids by the way. So treat them as such. I do not deny that they are human beings and as such require shelter, rest, food, medical facilities and payment for their services. After you have fulfilled those requirements, then you can get to the bottom of the issue here. They are here to assist, serve, clean, cook....whatever you require on the home front. If you so desire to take them supermarket shopping with you, thats great.....they can even push the trolley for you, while some will bitch about you and your laziness. Drivers, maids, cooks and nannies.............bring them on......and for the white woman who enjoys it for a couple of years while she has a break from Tyne-on-wear STFU.

Next bother.....All the folk who complain about labourers not being allowed to roam around Ibn Battuta mall and blahdeblahblah....Well hear it from me, and listen good. I am pissed at the way you want to treat these guys. I do not usually go to malls but I did go to that one on a Friday in December. My daughter who is no where near puberty was stood looking at the toothbrushes while I was gathering some toiletries.....and low and behold....a group of men in blue came past her and purposely rubbed up against her. It makes me feel ill to go much further into this one, but pulleeeeeeeeez, do not try to integrate these men into a society that is way beyond their comprehension. I am sad to say, now I know why they are not welcome. And do not get me wrong, I know how to take care of these guys, I do plenty to support them, but when they were banned from malls I was confused, now I am not.
I say that they should build a mall for single men and missy-stripteez-dressers. I don't want to see them near my kids again, thanking you kindly.

Last bother.....How are all the moggies doing? nobody lost their pet Coco recently? good stuff. Anyway I shall go back to an earlier post about eating cats. There, I said it. EATING CATS.
I think that I said there that we could all be slowly accustomed to consuming these feline furries if we were exposed to it some more etc etc. I take that back. With a lot of thought I have realised why my taste buds are not tingling at the thought of swallowing fur balls. They are carnivores (now I know why I could not eat Rusty the Rooster....because he used to eat chicken biryani, so he was a carnivore/cannibal).

Finally, I cannot leave this post without saying how thrilled I am that the UAE have finally taken charge of the GCC cup. WTG on that one.


secretdubai said...

For the record, I could afford to hire permanent domestic labour, and if I had a family and wanted to work, then I would probably hire a nanny/child care worker. As it stands, I occasionally hire a cleaner through one of the agencies, which is all I really need as I can manage most domestic issues myself, being without children and having a medium sized dwelling.

I am glad that you fulfil the essential needs of the people you hire. But there are only too many people in this region that don't, as you must be well aware, given how long you have lived here.

Yes - you can have the maid fetch and carry for you while you stroll about at leisure. You can have a maid look after your children on the wekeend and push them round the malls while you totally ignore them (I don't mean "you" specifically - I mean all the parents I have seen doing this). You pay them, there's nothing wrong with asking them to do this (providing the maid or nanny is getting her proper pay and working fair hours, not round the clock).

But it still disgusts me when I see people using maids as packhorses. If I am at a hotel and I need help with my bags, then I will accept help from the staff. Otherwise I carry it myself, or if they insist, I let them carry one bag. If I am with a friend and one of us has lots to carry, we split the load. Likewise with someone I employed. If I was shopping with a domestic employee and he or she was pushing the trolley, I would be opening the doors for her to go through, or vice versa.

This however isn't the attitude I see from the majority of people (of all nationalities, but particularly Middle Eastern) in shopping centres with their domestic staff. Perhaps your experience is different.

CG said...

You are correct, there are plenty of abused maids out there. I can only speak about my own domestic help and that of friends who I know well enough to get a clear picture.

Perhaps the immigration department could change some of their rules. One thing that might help would be for them to visit the homes of people who have applied for visas, and check that they have a decent room ready for them. A lot of families live in tiny apartments and bring maids who have to sleep in a bedroom with 6 kids, or in hallways. These are the kind of people most likely to abuse their maids.
When I apply for a visa for my housemaid to go to the UK, it stipulates there that she must have her own bedroom and how many hours she can work. Something similar would be a good thing here.

BuJ said...

hmm a very heavy post.. really sad to hear about the mall/daughter incident.. i don't think banning ppl is the answer.. i think more transperancy and more equality is key.. make these people feel appreciated (labourers).. of course give them their rights.. give them what they deserve.. give them dignity.

we need to be way more transparent on governmental level to be able to weed these problems.. wanton bans here and there will only mask the problem not solve it.

Hot Lemon& Honey said...

lol CG.
Yeah there are some locals who don't treat their maids well. But I can assure you they are not the "majority" as some think. People just spent too much time watching the Ayrabs and looking for what they do wrong. I think alot of people I know spoil them, so why don't those who "know it all" mingle with us "Ayrabs" and have a look at what goes on in our houses. And I am not talking about our household.

Regarding the labourers in the malls. I wasn't actually disgusted to hear they were banned from such places. I know what happened to your daughter is terrible, there are freaky ones out there believe me I know, but as Buj said, banning them is not the solution. I also worry that the reason for banning them is that they are not "from the right class". I think, to them, shopping mall is the only free hang out, day of place they can go to, to change their daily grey scenary.

The cat eating bussiness, is loads of rubbish. These same people can't afford to eat meat in their country, I am sure if they chose to eat a cat here, they have done it there before too. Regardless of the payment arguement, eating a cat when there were other alternatives was a choice.

CG said...

Nobody is bashing locals here, and no need for defensive talking (mine is a local household). I pretty much know who abuses their maids, and certain nationalities do have a reputation as well.

as for labourers, sorry but the mindset will take a long time to change. If ladies continue to go to malls in a semi-naked state, then our children are NOT safe until these labourers have been de-sensitized.

Eating cats sounds like sleeping with a whore to me. It is all a matter of what you are accustomed to. I met an incredibly clever, beautiful and lovely prostitute from London many years ago. She really was the kind of person that you feel drawn to, so sweet and kind. But she may as well have eaten cats in my opinion. Got it?

Buj, bans may be bad, and as a woman going through a mall by myself, I don't give a shit who is there. With my kids (who are rarely allowed to go), then I care. Keep undressed females and desperate-for-sex men away from them, thank you. Become a mother and all of you will change your views.

Malls according to class level? Why not? I like that. By the way, how will they assess us? What is class anyway? Business class versus cattle class?
2 digit number plate versus bicycle?


secretdubai said...

The other day in the Ladies' changing room at Ski Dubai two men wandered in. A local lady and I shouted at them in shock (we were both dressed, luckily) and made them leave, but they didn't look shocked nor did they leave in much haste. Outside, I saw them shambling around, joined by another two. I didn't see any staff move them on, nor did anyone seem to have noticed that they entered the ladies.

I can't be certain they were labourers, but they were of subcon appearance and wearing shalwars, and looking gormless. I realise how terrible this sounds, but other women in particular will understsand what I mean by that "gormless" sort of look that men from certain cultures have. They don't look at you in a sophisticated, knowing, flirtatious way, they just stare like moon calves.

I personally am in favour of labourers being able to use the malls. But what I think they also need is some kind of etiquette instruction, in terms of how to comport themselves around other people, particularly women. I realise this is terribly patronising, because many (the majority) of them behave fine, and I have never eg seen anyone hawk or spit inside a mall, but there are clearly some labourers that don't understand the social norms of today. Just going round the camps and explaining to them:

1. Don't stare at ladies or girls
2. Don't touch children or ladies

would be ample.

Long Distance said...

wulekeVery Interesting & well articulated opinions.
Unfortunatley this is a very grey subject, there are good points for & against.
Some people see nothing wrong in wandering around half naked, others are offended by this behavior, where I currently live their are ads for deodorant Axe that would definatly be offensive else where, Among some Australian Aborigines eating in public is very offensive,In 1900, my grandmothers era, dress & swimsuits were much more modest than today.
Unfortunatly it is a very difficult thing to appease all cultures especially in a place as multicutural as Dubai.
Basic rules have to be enforced, I think it is excessive to ban these workers from the malls, they have not broken any laws by their ignorant habit of staring at women, they are not the only ones who people watch, we all do it to some degree it is human nature, however if it progresses to touching thay should end up in jail!
Extreme solutions to problems are never acceptable & always lead to more complicated situations.

i*maginate said...

LOL @ "while some mrs.iknowfuckingbetter.blogspot.comwill bitch about you and your laziness. Drivers, maids, cooks and nannies.............bring them on......and for the white woman who enjoys it for a couple of years while she has a break from Tyne-on-wear STFU."

I also refer to the ban in my 2nd post on my "Desperate" blog.

I do think the ban was surprising but since it doesn't work, they might as well lift it. Men oggle at women regardless of what they wear.

Melanie Nelson said...

When we first moved into our fancy high rise apartment I was curious what a closet was doing with a bathroom in it. I was informed it was for my maid and I about died on the spot. There was no room for a real bed, and apparently she would be expected to keep her cleaning supplies, ironing board, etc. in this tiny hole too.

I shudder to imagine anyone else in this building utilizing this 'maids room' for its intended purpose.