• Dubai Syndrome #2: feeling more important than one really is…

    September 2, 2018

    I love living in Dubai .. but there is something in Dubai that seems to afflict too many western people (white guys) who move here and get this sense of power and entitlement – especially, when dealing with brown people.

    I call it the “Dubai syndrome” which I discussed a couple of years ago.

    One of the sweetest, most reliable, and trustworthy employees at Naseba is a man from India named Bob.

    I have had the honor of having Bob on my team at Naseba for 9 years … soon to be 10.

    This late afternoon, Bob and I had a meeting with two clients on the other side of Dubai from our office.

    As we walked to the car to drive to the meeting, I got a call from a client in Cairo, so I gave Bob my car key and asked him to drive (we were in my tiny Smart car).

    10 minutes into our drive … Bob driving, I was sat in the passenger seat, seat reclined, very low and comfortable with the dark tinted window up …

    I was having a great discussion on the phone, when suddenly — I heard crazy nonstop honking like madness and lights flashing from the car behind us, and it drove right up on our bumper… flashing and honking and honking and honking.

    The tough guy behind us put his bright lights on just to bother Bob. 

    We were NOT in the fast lane, but in one of the middle lanes on a big busy Dubai highway in the middle of the evening traffic with many cars right in front of us.

    Even if we wanted to, we couldn’t go anywhere – there were cars right in front of us going slowly in the thick traffic.

    Within a few seconds, the car behind us drove up alongside my tiny Smart car, inches from the passenger window and mirror … honking and aggressing Bob; motioning to Bob, giving him the finger and shouting, acting like a tough guy.

    You see, Bob’s window was down, thus, the driver had seen clearly when he was behind us that Bob was from India.

    As I have stated a few times in other blogs, I am a proud Christian, attend Gatekeepers Church in Dubai, and I read my bible every day  … aspiring to live a life in the reflection of Christ.

    But…

    Witnessing this white guy driving within inches from my car, honking, motioning, and aggressing one of the sweetest people I know — boom.

    Unfortunately, the old testament side of me popped out and I rolled down my window and with passion told the tough guy to pull over … and I said let’s discuss this on the side of the road like men;  it was obvious I was very unhappy.  (he was inches from my car, so he heard me and I could hear him)

    …however, this tough white guy was obviously surprised to see a big white guy in the tiny

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