June 29, 2011

What Does It Mean To Be Omani?

"What does it mean to be Omani?", asks The Linoleum Surfer....

This post was inspired by the spectacularly awful advertisement for intensively reared chickens that I heard while listening to the latest low-budget radio station to pollute the airwaves with its unrepentant mediocrity. For “Omani”, feel free to read “Arab” or any other specific nationality you recognise, or whichever word causes the most amusement/offence/titillation. Please do not boycott this blog or attempt to identify/prosecute/assassinate the author on the basis of this post alone. Another nationality or ethnicity will be insulted shortly. And I only tease you because I love you. :)


What does it mean to be Omani?

It means supporting “your team” - a foreign football team whose home city you could not even find on a map. It means paying $400 for a satellite TV subscription to watch them from your sofa, but buying a cheap counterfeit replica shirt. It means waving your flag, but never supporting your local or national team even though they are playing next to your house and tickets are free.


What does it mean to be Omani?

It means spending five minutes saying hello, even though the customer who is waiting for you to serve him should really take priority over your making this phone call, and has been standing there since this morning.


What does it mean to be Omani?

It means always making sure there is coffee in the house, and tea, but not knowing exactly where the kitchen is (Indonesia?)


What does it mean to be Omani?

It means being unashamedly nationalist in every respect, sticking the Omani flag on your car, house, Facebook page and curriculum vitae, and acting thoroughly superior to everyone else. But only ever buying a product or using a service if it has come from Europe, America or Japan.


What does it mean to be Omani?

It means not realising that living in a house with more bathrooms than people means you're considered rather wealthy by 99.99 per cent of humanity.


What does it mean to be Omani?

It means complaining about the driving standards of Indians and women, despite having destroyed more than one vehicle within the last twelve months by your own staggeringly foolish incompetence, and having received your own driving licence only through a process of intensive handshaking.


What does it mean to be Omani?

It means somehow having a masters degree in business administration that was taught entirely in English, yet not being able to spell either “business” or “administration” without computer assistance.


What does it mean to be Omani?

It means asking your friend or relative about anyone you have just met or are about to meet, to establish how you may or may not be related, and whether that person should be permitted to see you with another person or in the place you are about to meet, without adverse consequences for your reputation or theirs.


What does it mean to be Omani?

It means complaining about corruption and “wasta”, while emailing your cv to your cousin to see if he can talk to the HR guy where he works and get you a job for which you are not very well qualified and have no relevant experience or skills.


What does it mean to be Omani?

It means chatting with your friends/family about how beautiful the place is where you've chosen to camp/picnic/stop to admire the view, while leaving your trash on the ground or throwing it out of the car window.


What does it meant to be Omani?

It means building a special room or facility to keep your pets in, but making the woman you employ to raise your children sleep on the floor by the washing machine.


What does it mean to be Omani?

It means assuming your sister is a blissfully innocent and virginal angel and promising murder to anyone who suggests otherwise, while spending most of the day trying to persuade other people's sisters to go for a “drive” with you.


What does it mean to be Omani?

It means never parking your car more than ten metres from the entrance, even if it means using the disabled space or blocking the road. And then going into the gym to run on a treadmill.


What does it mean to be Omani?

It means spending a fortune on “natural” and “pure” honey from an obscure Yemeni mountain, then accompanying the same meal with a chemically flavoured beverage such as “Sun Top”.


What does it mean to be Omani?

It means complaining endlessly about Indians. Then hiring them anyway because it's cheaper and they won't call the police if you swear at them – which you know how to do in Hindi as well as several other regional Indian dialects.


What does it mean to be Omani?

It means ensuring every dirty part of your body is washed after you use the bathroom, while leaving every part of the bathroom dirty.


What does it mean to be Omani?

It means being happy when you get a new car, job or spouse. Unless your neighbour got one too, in which case all the pleasure is lost, and you have to start thinking immediately about an addition or replacement.


What does it mean to be Omani?

It means being proud and protective of your national dress, but never wearing it when you travel. Even just to Dubai. Correction: especially in Dubai.


What does it mean to be Omani?

It means wrapping two scarves around your entire head and face because it's cold, while wearing only flip-flops on your feet and no underwear.


What does it mean to be Omani?

It means never buying anything that is good value because it's too cheap, and thinking that nothing is worth having unless you can't afford it.



(If you're smiling, you're probably about to be offended; if you're offended, you're probably about to be smiling...stay with http://www.thelinoleumsurfer.com !)

26 comments:

Anonymous said...

Bloody hell TLS, go for it!

Nuri

Queen said...

wow!! u've captured most of it!! yet another beautiful post.. almost every statement made me picture a person or two that i know :)) "What does it mean to be Omani?

It means somehow having a masters degree in business administration that was taught entirely in English, yet not being able to spell either “business” or “administration” without computer assistance."

this one completely killed me :))) i see this very often :))))

great post once again, thumbs up!!

Modh Baluchi said...

well done man... r u sure that ur not Omani..!!? cuz every word iz freakin' right!!!
wut u said bout people leaving their shit n not throwing it in bins iz completely right.. i hate it wen those assholes do that n unfortunately some of them r friends of mine.. n bout dishdasha, that uniform iz extreamly uncomfortable..

well done dude .. keep it up..!!

The Linoleum Surfer said...

Thanks! MB: I guess by now I'm kind of "adopted"...like one of those animals that's somehow been raised by another species in the zoo, and doesn't realise how weird it looks to see a dog running around thinking it's a leopard...

Modh Baluchi said...

LoL..!!

♥ααℓiα♥ said...

LOOOOL I love this Post and I love Oman -- can't wait to go back inshaaAllah <3

Fatma said...

This one is my favorite:

What does it mean to be Omani?

It means complaining about corruption and “wasta”, while emailing your cv to your cousin to see if he can talk to the HR guy where he works and get you a job for which you are not very well qualified and have no relevant experience or skills.

Simsim said...

Any chance you would write about what does it mean to be a Kurd or an Iraqi?

The Linoleum Surfer said...

Hey Simsim...as long as you "like" on Facebook and "follow" the blog, all requests will be considered!

Thanks a lot for the comments; I'm not sure I have many Iraqis/Kurds following yet so welcome! Iraq, and Kurdistan, are places close to my heart :)

Susan said...

I heart you.

C said...

hahahaha love this post!!! its so funny! i hate that ad! it annoys me to the point that i turn off the radion when it's on!

George said...

Bro' I don't care what your nationality is, but you just nailed it. Some serious thoughts that make sense there.

George

Niqaabi said...

Very, very amusing! I could come up with a whole load of stuff on being south african!

Anonymous said...

I agree with everything except two points. The maid and pet, and the not wearing the national dress in Dubai. I can't relate them to either myself or the people I know :)

Good blog will read more posts, insha'Allah.

Lulu

Anonymous said...

Pretty much sums it up huh, hence why that place will end up like Yemen when the oil runs out... Short term goals with an attitude of how much can i fit in my pocket today!!! Its a shame really!

Anonymous said...

Opps I am surprised! I lived in the UAE for 7 years and I always thought Omanis are more sensible than Emiratis while your post shows that they are as arrogant and vain as Emiratis.

Noora Higgins said...

...I've skimmed through some of your posts...you always write negative things about Omanis and think that by saying "I love you" or whatever nobody would get offended....that's sad!

I know you don't care (why would you, you don't know me) but I'm exremely offended and appalled...I don't believe that you couldn't find one decent thing to write about us (and I don't mean on this post). That's why I hate reading expats in Oman blogs because they'd always be cussing and hating on us =/

Anyway salam!

The Linoleum Surfer said...

Dear Noora,

You've really got me all wrong...

There is a saying "your friend is the one who tells you the truth, not the one who believes you". If you skim a little further I think you'll find I write equally frankly/brutally (according to your point of view!) about anything and anyone.

Maybe you didn't understand the context of this one (you really had to hear the advertisement on which it was based for it to make sense), or maybe you just have a particular sensitivity about national identity.

Either way, I set out to stimulate debate, not to offend, and the vast majority of comments on here from Omanis are positive. And "I love you" does mean something...I'm in this country because I want to be, because 99% of my friends are Omani, because I work in a 100% Omani environment and am happy with that...maybe I'll even marry one - after all, there's plenty of precedent, right? ;)

By the way, if you are who I think you are, this is a strange coincidence as I know the Omani side of your family very well!

Sorry if I've upset you - bear with me, or move on, but it's not my intention to insult, just to provoke, and that's not always a bad thing.

TLS :)

Noora Higgins said...

I guess it's fine maybe I was in a bad mood when I read it cause when you start reading a lot of negative things on other blogs, you just assume everyone's the same. Sorry =P

I don't think I am who you think I am cause if I wasn't then why would I say I am...hahaha sorry that was retro of me XD

I do have british relatives but I'm Omani from both sides...and I doubt you know my relatives cause they've never lived here =P Come to think of it...are you even british hehehe

Sami said...

epic post

Sami said...

I follow the EPL for some reason a team in blue lol might be the color

But I DO support the national team, no matter how shitty they perform!!

No comment about the OMAN MOBILE 'premier league' :P

Rochelle said...

Hahaha that advertisement used to particularly annoy me...

Anonymous said...

Epic!

Wonder when we will be next! We don't see ourselves as often as we should. We need this.


AP

Anonymous said...

i was actually quite offended reading this but eventually made me laugh at the end LOL

P.KUMAR said...

Good job !!!! Many things are common with other nationalities though....

Anonymous said...

could you email me at catcarroll69@gmail.com, i'd love to include you in my list of uberbloggers in MENA but would like to communicate with you privately. I am based in Europe