Intercultual Interaction Essay

1016 words - 4 pages

Intercultural Interaction This intercultural interaction takes place in Saudi Arabia. When I was in junior high school, my father got a job with a private company in Saudi Arabia. Before moving to Saudi Arabia, I was an only child living in a middle class housing development with friends similar to me. Since I was an only child, I was bored a lot of the time, and also spoiled a little. Never once did I think about being white.I arrived in Saudi to a warm summer evening after being on the plane for all day and night. The smell of the new country was a smell I had never smelled before. It was not a good or bad smell, just a very unique one. The smell was so unique that I would recognized it if blindfolded and taken back there again. It was the smell of a new beginning of the best intercultural experiences of my life.The thing about living in Saudi as a foreigner is to remember that you must conform to their culture and ways of life. Another shocking discovery was that the Saudis thought they were the best of all the people in the world. I found it to be very similar to the Indian caste system. I was living on a Saudi Naval base in Jubail. The base was divided up into ?class people sections?. The Saudis lived on the eastern side of the base in the nicest housing. The Americans lived directly on the other side of the main road on the western side of the base with Filipinos, and Koreans. The Saudis put the Americans close to them in housing a little smaller than theirs. We had a large section of the base dedicated to us and all of the support staff. Only Filipinos could be servants, bus drivers, recreational staff, administrative assistants, and cooks. They were regarded as the non physical laborers of the base. The Filipinos lived in small quarters usually two per dwelling. They were separated by a good distance from the Americans. The furthest away from the Saudis in the far western section of the base were the Koreans. They lived near the air strip and lived three to a dwelling. The Saudis used the Koreans to perform manual labor. They built everything that needed to be built.While living in Saudi, my mind started moving in a different direction. I began thinking about being white. I no longer had the comfort I had before while living in the United States. Why was this the case? I reached the conclusion that I had been put in a position where I am not in power any longer. I was now considered a minority and on the class scale a level below the top. The Saudis sat at the top of the class scale and would let you know every chance they could. If they were at the top of the social ladder, then why bring in all of these foreigners to work in the...

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