I can’t decide whether to be amused or offended by this one. I guess I’ll go with amused.
Most Westerners who work in Riyadh live in residential compounds, and the
compounds usually have a little mini-store, a barber/hairstylist, and a
few other little amenities. These are all run by South Asians (usually
Pakistani or Bengali ) or by Filipinos. Not all of these cultures
require the same sense of decorum we Westerners often expect, which can
lead to some awkward moments. Not saying it’s right or wrong, just different.
So, I went to get my haircut yesterday. This Filipino guy is the
barber, and he goes, “It’s been a long time since you have been in
here. You used to weigh a lot more.”
“Yes, I did. I have lost over 20 pounds since I last saw you.”
“Ahhh! Yes! Yes! Your face used to look like this!” Then, he
proceeded to pucker up his lips and blow up his face like a puffer fish.
I didn’t know whether to burst out laughing or to smack him in the head.
In the end, I decided to take a backhanded compliment where I could get