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Mike Honcho

The Expat Thread.

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I also get a kick out of the little things such as, filling up my car for 9AUD, having a cleaning lady for 6AUD per week, Bahraini breakfasts after training, swimming in the Persian Gulf, the sound of prayer time, camels on the highway when I go to work each morning and seeing the most beautiful Arabian horses in the world being ridden up and down my street.

you get a kick out of having a cleaning lady for 6 AUD a week?

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you get a kick out of having a cleaning lady for 6 AUD a week?

I'll bet you wouldn't if you were the cleaning lady.

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Can we return to the purpose of this thread: Why the Middle East is a shit-hole that deserves an international boycott? It's far more interesting. Niseko.



Bev you do better on religion, HFLC, and other issues where my views coincide.



A boycott of the Middle East would likely stop the flow of oil or reduce the flow dramatically over the short term, King Faisal did this in 1973,promoting a world wide energy crisis and a world wide recession as a knock on effect.



During the 1973 Arab-Israeli War, launched by Sadat, King Faisal withdrew Saudi oil from world markets, in protest over Western support for Israel during the conflict. This action increased the price of oil and was the primary force behind the 1973 energy crisis.



If anything Israel has deserved a boycott anytime between now and going back the 1967 Six Day War, seizure of the Golan Heights and the Gaza Strip, positions still held today.



But boycotts of favored or even unfavored countries do have such dramatic global implications, they just wouldn't work.



Disclaimer: A boycott could work if supported by UN or US troops, but then you are looking at another Iraq type situation, recent history red flags that, better avoid.

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Interested to know what jobs people are doing. seem to be a lot of construction/infrastructure project jobs, one air traffic control, what is everyone else doing?

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Nursing and Allied Health Care work would easily be the No.1 ex pat field in the Middle East. That's not including, domestic, helpers, construction workers on low paid contracts.

 

Husband and wife nurses or husband wife teachers could do very well in the M.E., variable work conditions though, must be flexible. willing to adjust.

 

I could see them pulling down $50k each with free accom. 60 days vacation over a 2 year contract i.e 100k for each contract year. Americans preferred but Aussies do well if in a specialty, eg NICU , ER, Neuro, Cardio.....more money in differentials for that also.

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Yep. Shall I pay more for my petrol too just so that I can sleep at night? What about the Shwarma guy who makes me a big plate of grilled chicken for 50 cents? Shall I also pay him more than he asks for also or may I keep my chicken slave?

 

By the way, she knocked on my door, asked for $3 to clean each week. I said OK and I give her $6 plus gifts and she is very happy and makes much more than she could make in her own country. She can leave any time she wants.

Edited by The Customer

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Yep. Shall I pay more for my petrol too just so that I can sleep at night? What about the Shwarma guy who makes me a big plate of grilled chicken for 50 cents? Shall I also pay him more than he asks for also or may I keep my chicken slave?

 

By the way, she knocked on my door, asked for $3 to clean each week. I said OK and I give her $6 plus gifts and she is very happy and makes much more than she could make in her own country. She can leave any time she wants.

That makes your exploitation of her so much better

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I give her twice what she asked for - I don't make the rules.

No, but you bragged that you get a kick out of it.

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I'm heading over to Dubai to start a job next month.

Can't wait for the experience...........and the tax-free money!

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Yep. Shall I pay more for my petrol too just so that I can sleep at night? What about the Shwarma guy who makes me a big plate of grilled chicken for 50 cents? Shall I also pay him more than he asks for also or may I keep my chicken slave?

 

By the way, she knocked on my door, asked for $3 to clean each week. I said OK and I give her $6 plus gifts and she is very happy and makes much more than she could make in her own country. She can leave any time she wants.

 

That contains some miscalculations, as to be misleading.

 

A standard Schwarma, costs about $1 AUD, I'm rounding out because I was in Al Khobar, about 20 km from you Customer, but across the Bahrain Causeway, and using SR, Saudi Riyals, but I converted back to BD, Bahraini Dinar.

 

 

Maybe its your good looks, but when they cut the chicken onto a plate, so called Schwarma plate, that's with bread, tahina, pickles, bits of onion, chilies, hot sauce as you like, That makes 3-4 schwarma and even if it was reduced it would not be 50 cents. Does Bahrain actually have a currency equivalent of .50 cents? About $3.00 one plate up to $4 with the customary/mandatory fresh juice. EDIT: Would be about $5 total

 

The cheapest food that we knew was foul, crushed beans and flat bread from the clay oven, $1.25 per bowl round out to $1.50 with a cup of tea, incredible delicious

 

We had 2 maids in the house. The one we contracted Indonesia was about $200 AUD/month. We paid all her hiring and contract fees, clothing, return ticket every 2 years. The other had her own visa, from Eritrea, it cost us $400/month no extras, and had a stipulation that if she resigned without one months notice, no end of contract or last months pay. These people holding their own visa shift jobs a lot, so you defend against that.

 

As for the $3 cleaner, yes they will do that to get the work but the expectation is a bit higher. They are called part timers and the good ones can almost live house to house following the work. $3-4 was the hourly rate on a 4 hours maybe twice weekly schedule. As you have said extras were included, maybe rounding out the money to around $20. $3 as you quoted is the smallest note=1 BD so I can't actually see that because rich people don't break down the currency under 1 BD.

 

4 hours @ $3-4 AUD per hour=$16, rounded out $20, with extras like food , anything you like to give them, which is customary there.

Edited by Kamal2

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I guess being a discussion about labour costs for the time being here are a few

 

In Aussie Dollars. UAE

 

Housekeeper/nanny - 800/month +Visa, medical, food, toiletries, yearly flight home, 4 weeks holiday (paid). Is probably more like 1100/month out of pocket. We do pay above market rate. Philipino. Worth every cent. You can pay far less to Sri Lankans, Africans etc

Car Wash guy - 100/month 2x cars x 3 per week (dusty). Car wash in a mall while you shop, outside of car only between 4 and 10 bucks depending on which mall. 15 inside and out plus engine bay and underneath at a petrol station.

Gardener - 50/month they supply all their own stuff except hose.

Handyman - 10-15 an hour electrical/carpentry/masonry

Dishwasher/Washing machine repair - 30 + parts including pick up and delivery

Guy with a truck - 70 all day including 2 guys

 

Shwarma $1.30. Shwarma plate $4. Can coke etc 50c. Club sandwich $4. Half chicken with bread, pickles, fries $4. Delivered.

Edited by Plazbot

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Concur almost 100% down the line.

 

The difference their on the maid from Philippines vs Indonesian/Sri Lankan is that the Filipina would be a HS grad with good English, probably prior experience, or home training compatible to the job, ready to work from Day 1. The Indonesian gets off the plane with the one set of clothes she is wearing, no English, no Arabic (despite being Muslim) and you pick it up from there. They will stay forever, the Filipina would eventually leave.

Edited by Kamal2

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I've not used maids in the UAE as I've stayed in serviced apartments where they do a full clean twice a week, change towels if you don't hang them and take out the garbage each day.

 

As my wife only visits, I eat out 3 or 4 nights a week. Usually 3 dishes of Lebanese or Indian for around AUD $12. I couldn't buy, cook and clean up for that much!

Good Hummus, Babaganoosh, Murtabal, Fatoosh and Tabouleh for around AUD $4.50 each. Fish biriyani for $10.00. 1.5l bottle of water $1

 

Spinneys supermarket has all you need, even Vegemite for a princely sum plus GU's at $2.80 each. Even the fruit and veg is pretty good and all labelled with country of origin. Gatorade is available but I tend to drink more Pocari Sweat these days.

 

Asics shoes - you'll pay $205 normal price and as low as $100 when the specials are on for new season. You will need 2 or 3 pairs on rotation running here in the Summer.

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Housekeeper/nanny - $400/month she is Burmese and lives in the Maids Quarters. We also get her some pork meat each week $3 worth and give her $4 for veges. Im told we pay twice what a thai person would pay for Maids.


1 Hour massage - $8, with happy ending $15.


Car Wash - $6 inside and out.


Gardener - included with the house


Pool Guy- included with the house


Guy with a truck - 40 all day including 2 guys


Food - Thai lunch for $1.20, Burger and chips $4. Coke 50 cents. Ice coffee $1.


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Interested to know what jobs people are doing. seem to be a lot of construction/infrastructure project jobs, one air traffic control, what is everyone else doing?

 

There are lots of oil and gas construction jobs here in Thailand. Another place is China and Korea. Korea is by far the biggest and incorporates shipping construction.

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When hiring originally it was quote interesting to see the way the applicants from the different countries approached the interview. The Filipina's first question was almost always how many/how old are the kids and the Sri Lankan's were all how much will you pay me.

 

Of course there is nothing wrong with asking the question about pay as it was the first question I asked followed by how many days off do I get when applying for my current job but it showed the different mindset to the job between the cultures.

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If my maid wasnt working for us she would be back in Burma planting rice twice a year and waiting for the rice to harvest. I guess she weighs up the pro's and con's.

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A standard Schwarma, costs about $1 AUD, I'm rounding out because I was in Al Khobar, about 20 km from you Customer, but across the Bahrain Causeway, and using SR, Saudi Riyals, but I converted back to BD, Bahraini Dinar.

 

Maybe its your good looks, but when they cut the chicken onto a plate, so called Schwarma plate, that's with bread, tahina, pickles, bits of onion, chilies, hot sauce as you like, That makes 3-4 schwarma and even if it was reduced it would not be 50 cents. Does Bahrain actually have a currency equivalent of .50 cents? About $3.00 one plate up to $4 with the customary/mandatory fresh juice.

 

The cheapest food that we knew was foul, crushed beans and flat bread from the clay oven, $1.25 per bowl round out to $1.50 with a cup of tea, incredible delicious

 

We had 2 maids in the house. The one we contracted Indonesia was about $200 AUD/month. We paid all her hiring and contract fees, clothing, return ticket every 2 years. The other had her own visa, from Eritrea, it cost us $400/month no extras, and had a stipulation that if she resigned without one months notice, no end of contract or last months pay. These people holding their own visa shift jobs a lot, so you defend against that.

 

As for the $3 cleaner, yes they will do that to get the work but the expectation is a bit higher. They are called part timers and the good ones can almost live house to house following the work. $3-4 was the hourly rate on a 4 hours maybe twice weekly schedule. As you have said extras were included, maybe rounding out the money to around $20. $3 as you quoted is the smallest note=1 BD so I can't actually see that because rich people don't break down the currency under 1 BD.

 

4 hours @ $3-4 AUD per hour=$16, rounded out $20, with extras like food , anything you like to give them, which is customary there.

SR to BD is 10-1

The pickles, hommus, sauce etc that you mention are extra at my schwarma joint.

The BD is broken into 1000 fils e.g. half a dinar is 500fils.

You are right, $3-4 AUD is the hourly cleaning rate and as I said, I give mine $6 plus extras that I give to her.

You don't need good looks to order a chicken plate her.

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To get it cheaper and I was joking. Are not the ex Melbourne based triathlete people certain ones inc a bike shop

owner were going ga ga about some years ago??

 

Good clarification on the reply. This thread has turned out to be quite informative also showing the difference between those who have actually worked in the Middle East and those who have not.

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When I say 'shit-hole country' what I really mean is developing country. And usually it means a lot of poverty, crime and religion has a lot of influence on society.

 

So why would you live, go there? Well 'learning about the culture' loses its attraction after a while and the truth is the attraction is cheap labour. It's simply the pay off for having to deal with the craziness (shit-hole-ed-ness) of living in a developing country. Seems like it's only HK and Singapore that have sorted it where the country is developed, the locals are sophisticated but you get cheap help. Let me know if you know of any others.

 

See it all the time in Bali with Aussie bogans having 3 full time helpers for a pittance.

 

It's cool but at the end of the day you've got to walk out the front gate some time and share space with the community. I hated Bali, can't even go for a run or bike ride without rabid dogs or locals hassling you.

 

You get it in Japan with our massage business. Jeez better in Indo you get a massage for five bucks, who wants to pay $80. Well get food poisoning, robbed and deal with chaos and harassment you deserve your these massage.

 

Real Estate people are the worst, thinking they can charge developed country prices in developing countries - 'check out the view'. I ain't buying it.

 

For me there is a massive line in the sand between developing countries and developed. Personally I never want to live in a developing country, for many reasons.

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Saudi Arabia was a paradise to me. After a few years adjustment and specifically after the Gulf War 1991, they modernized and westernized more,,,1991---2005-6, golden years, That's around the time internal unrest started, and the tensions crept back into daily life.

 

"Shit-hole countries etc": Saudi doesn't fit your description, Somalia, Sth Sudan, Yemen, Egypt, Palestine, Burma, Bangladesh, Pakistan, fill 'em all in.....oil producing states would not be, Iraq and Iran would not normally be but circumstances have gone against them.

Edited by Kamal2

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I don't think Bahrain fits your poverty criteria either. There are virtually no homeless people here, in fact the government gives away houses to its citizens, crime rate is low - I don't need to lock my house or car and the government is very moderate - it donates to all denominations to make sure everyone is free to worship who and whatever they want. From what I can see, tony Abbott forces his Catholic views on aus more than the Bahraini gov does. That being said, If the government ever changes to the model Iran wanto things will change.

Edited by The Customer

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No doubt the cleaning lady on 6 bucks a week is better off than doing what ever meagre thing she would do in her own country. Expats on high paying jobs helping an absolute monarchy have a wonderful time while an import with low skills slaves away for 6 bucks a week and that's okay as it's the market there and you pay them some more.

 

Take your gender gap of 17 % it's the market why should I pay more. It's not true, but how you can morally pay slave wages and pat your self on the back beggars belief. The shia majority don't share your love of things there, torture killings etc.

 

If they one day rise up and I wonder how you will feel when someone says see that chador and work, well women don't get to do that, you know market forces, we are not going to let you do anymore just so we can sleep at night.

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I can't recall a Muslim screaming in my face to get the **** out of their country on the bus.......

did you miss the buses in Iran 1979

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No doubt the cleaning lady on 6 bucks a week is better off than doing what ever meagre thing she would do in her own country. Expats on high paying jobs helping an absolute monarchy have a wonderful time while an import with low skills slaves away for 6 bucks a week and that's okay as it's the market there and you pay them some more.

 

Take your gender gap of 17 % it's the market why should I pay more. It's not true, but how you can morally pay slave wages and pat your self on the back beggars belief. The shia majority don't share your love of things there, torture killings etc.

 

If they one day rise up and I wonder how you will feel when someone says see that chador and work, well women don't get to do that, you know market forces, we are not going to let you do anymore just so we can sleep at night.

 

Bev, what is your main point here, inequitable wages, slave labor?

 

The Customer has has clarified her first post, $3-4 dollars per hour rounded out to $6 per hour, I paid about that with perks, but it's USD, the favored convertible currency. That's around $50/day, $300/week, $1200/month, for a part timer.

 

Part time domestic helper $1200/month, lets call it $1000/month.

 

That's $1000/month working PART TIME but full time hours, vs $400 up to $800/ month as I paid, see also Plaz.

 

$1000 month =44,500 Philippino pesos, that's about x 10 the national average salary in the Philippines and if you transfer that to Indonesia or Bangladesh it would would be more than 50 times the national per capital salary. Quoted on a monthly basis.

 

So as I see it Bev,this is a thread about ex pat life, yet you yourself have not experienced that. So what's your point of reference, Aussie Labour Law?

 

But let's say I track your point all the way through using logic.Your point has nothing to do with absolute monarchies in the Middle East. If you have any complaint, it should be on the gov'ts of Third World Countries who encourage there citizens to get out and work in overseas jobs paying a hard currency.

 

Follow it more. In Sri Lanka the export of tea has never been off the top sas far as beeing the top revenue earner for the country in terms of hard currency USD. This was surpassed by remittance of OFW salaries well over 20 years ago.

Edited by Kamal2

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Didn't live in Iran in 79 but nice try bro. For a foreigner that is a pretty Aussie attitude.

 

Agree with Plaz, ref you Bev. You really have really no clue here on the subject, no clue at all what you are talking about.

Edited by Kamal2

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Agree with Plaz, ref you Bev. You really have really no clue here on the subject, no clue at all what you are talking about.

Given your previous thread celebrating how you could exploit the locals in Manilla, and now expats celebrating how great they are for paying slave labour, I'm not surprised at your response.

 

My idea, paying somebody 6 bucks a week is criminal regardless of the local context. When I lived in DC I had some mexican cleaners. I paid them the award rate that I wold pay in ox unlike the other expats who loved the 3 bucks an hour.

 

Your right I have no idea why anyone would think it's great getting fat of a totalitarian regime that tortures and rules with a n iron fist. And then celebrates paying imported and local labor SFA.

 

I hope the shias take over

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don't mention the cheap domestic help

Nah, I've got a wife for that.....

Edited by Buggeracup

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Given your previous thread celebrating how you could exploit the locals in Manilla, and now expats celebrating how great they are for paying slave labour, I'm not surprised at your response.

 

My idea, paying somebody 6 bucks a week is criminal regardless of the local context. When I lived in DC I had some mexican cleaners. I paid them the award rate that I wold pay in ox unlike the other expats who loved the 3 bucks an hour.

 

Your right I have no idea why anyone would think it's great getting fat of a totalitarian regime that tortures and rules with a n iron fist. And then celebrates paying imported and local labor SFA.

 

I hope the shias take over

 

Quote back to me what I said about Manila please. It does not sound like me.

 

 

paying somebody 6 bucks a week......Bev this is the second time I'm correcting you.

 

 

FOR ****'S SAKE......IT'S $6 per hour, Customer corrected that. Read her subsequent post.

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When I lived in DC I had some mexican cleaners. I paid them the award rate that I wold pay in ox unlike the other expats who loved the 3 bucks an hour. Bev, that's the law, what does it have to do with the topic.

 

I lived in Maryland for a while, that hardly fits the description of "ex pat" life.

 

Esp me with a US Passport :sly:

Edited by Kamal2

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Quote back to me what I said about Manila please. It does not sound like me.

 

 

paying somebody 6 bucks a week......Bev this is the second time I'm correcting you.

 

 

FOR ****'S SAKE......IT'S $6 per hour, Customer corrected that. Read her subsequent post.

why bother

Edited by BarryBevan

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So you don't back up what you are paraphrasing and crediting back to me?

 

So I scanned it myself, you ain't got nothing, there was nothing there.

 

You topic is "Human Rights", why not start that?

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So you don't back up what you are paraphrasing and crediting back to me?

 

So I scanned it myself, you ain't got nothing, there was nothing there.

 

You topic is "Human Rights", why not start that?

I am leaving it alone as it was all written by you in a thread you asked to be deleted

Edited by BarryBevan

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Thread was sabotaged, Moderators deleted it, I appealed and got it reinstated. The naughty bits did not come from me, but I may have responded.

 

Again you may paraphrase what I said on "celebrating how you could exploit the locals in Manila"......I would not do anything like or think about it, or comment on it, but remind me what I did say

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As for the final post in that topic, I asked the poster to delete that comment and Mods to ban/suspend that person. Mods don't tell me what they do, but I have not seen the person since...

 

Thread is still open.

Edited by Kamal2

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Western countries have double standards regarding the death penalty to justify going to war with a country over oil. It's easier to convince people in the USA that going to war against a country that executes 'innocent' women is ok.

 

China carry out the most executions, with estimates of the numbers being in the thousands in recent years. But we love China, right? All that cheap labour lets Aussies manufacture off-shore and increase their profit margin.

 

But human rights issues are always dragged out to justify 'oil wars' on Middle Eastern countries.

After China, Iran, Iraq, Saudi and then the USA have the highest execution rates - I'm sure the USA have women on death row. Japan still has the death penalty too BTW.

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