Have you felt discriminated because of your race or how you look or speak? There are all forms of racism and though I don’t get it everyday, there are instances when it’s totally uncalled for, very annoying and offensive.
Here in Dubai, I ALWAYS experience it when I visit residential buildings looking for an apartment. The watchman (a gun-less security guard taking care of the building and ushering people wanting to see vacant rooms) would always look at me closely and say, “Only families are allowed here, no sharing for Filipinos!”
I am born to Filipino parents so naturally every inch of me look Filipino and I am proud of that. But as most regular workers in Dubai from various nationalities, Filipino expats tend to rent a flat and share it with many others to divide the (ridiculously) high rent. Heck, this scenario is very common anywhere in the world, not just here. But the thing is, some apartments have been rented over the capacity leading to damage to the property, noise, etc. I see where the “no sharing!” comment hurled at me every time and I understand and just say, “No, it’s just us. We’re a family.”
That comment is the most generic I got and never thought there would be worse but yesterday, boom! I walked in to a building near where I work (mind you, it’s not a posh building at all!) and the watchman greeted me with,
“This building is too expensive madame, YOU CANNOT AFFORD IT!”
OMG, I didn’t want to believe what I heard! The kind of comment that make you want to slap people!
As far as I remember, I did not look like a beggar with my clothes my clothes were clean and decent so I don’t know where that judgment came. Insulted and angry, I told him “How can you be so sure?” He just shrugged his shoulders. I left the building immediately, went home and told my husband. He marched down to that building to see for himself.
The watchman’s attitude was totally different. He asked him “Sir, from where are you?” When my husband said he is from Japan, he was shown the vacant room without any questions but one, “How do you like it, sir?”
Totally different from how I was treated.
I’d like to think it’s either it’s just a bad case of customer service but at the back of my mind, I cringe at the discrimination. God knows how many people share the same bad experience like me here in Dubai!
* For the record, I don’t get such derogatory remarks when I’m with my husband that’s why I really think I’m discriminated – no other reason. After all, my hubs don’t look scary at all.