Saturday, October 17, 2009


Thanks for the comments and advice. I appreciate it! I have thought about moving, however, that would mean uprooting so much stuff, not to mention all the complications with our landlord and agency boss. The rent is paid for the year on this house and it would cause big issues to leave. Not to mention loosing the yard. But I've still thought about it.

More tempting is involving the wali/sheikh/and or police. This is an option. Our command of Arabic is good enough to negotiate that, and perhaps it would, as you say, make them realize that we're serious.

Most of the time, backing out here only causes problems. The town is small. Most people know most people. Getting "scared" out of their neighborhood is likely precisely what they would like, and word would get around that we're able to be intimidated. I'd rather play by their rules.

If I've learned anything in my 2 years in the region, it's that if you CAN, playing the wusta card and proving to them that you're not easily bamboozled, that you KNOW how things work and can pull consequences for gain respect. Leaving will just show we lost. I hate to put it in those terms, but it's something of cultural battle of the wills.

We live here, and are invested. It's not like we're tourists anymore. Switching from visitor to member of society (granted at a lesser level) changes the game.

If your neighbors were harassing you, would you just up and move? Probably not.

I think I just answered my own question (with your help!). We should probably take one more stab and the neighbors one-on-one and then take it up a level to the "authorities".


Anonymous said...

You did the right thing in padlocking the gate which discreetly but definitely sets boundaries.

You can continue to be friends with every-one and talk to them but thru the locked gate!

Anonymous said...

Alternatively, you could set up a 'sting' operation if you have a video recorder. Worst case scenario, you could always contact the embassy and request that they put together a strongly worded letter to the local authorities.

Incidentally, where exactly do you live?


Undercover Dragon said...

good luck.


Suburban said...

I love your blog, and the humour with which you write.

Your obvious talent, ability to spell, and intellect aside, I feel like I am re-reading my own blog from when we were in Ghubra. Hopefully you will have better luck. In our situation, the issues with the neighbourhood just escalated, and escalated.

For me the result was nervous breakdown, near divorce, and a month on anti-psychotic medication.

We have moved, despite much Job-related hassle for Stone, unbeliveable expense, and going from a 7 bedroom villa into a microscopic 3 bedroom bungalow, and I wouldn't change it for the world. My new neighbourhood is like dying and going to heaven.

Good luck, and sorry for raining on your parade. Didn't mean to do that.

Suburban said...

I just posted a huge comment, and lost it.

Great blog. Love your style. You are a waaaaay better writer than me, but that aside, I feel lieke I am re-reading my own blog from a couple of years ago.

We moved, but it took a nervous breakdown, a near miss at Divorce, and a month on anti-psychotic medication to make it happen.

I'm reading with interest, and hoping it works out better for you than it did for us.

Clare said...

Dear Suburban,
Thank you so much. I just gotta get it out there, ya know?
I'm just reading your blog for the first time now!....I feel somewhat less alone:) :(

Hangin in there,