|| Hi Tarun,
It is really a good sharing experiences that helps people prepare in advance. I think this thread will become the largest treasure of experiences as the contributions grow.
Am in UAE since past 3+ years. During past 8 years, have been travelling. Having visited well organized countries of Europe and absolutely scary suburbs of Africa as well safe streets of Arab countries, there are experiences to share.
Time sense: 9.00 AM meeting what it means in different countries.
9.00 AM Germany - 9.00AM & no tolerance for any genuine delays because others time is also important
9.00 AM France & Belgium - 9.00-9.05 is OK
9.00 AM Arab world - When the big boss arrives the clock strikes 9 ;-D
9.00 AM Egypt - anywhere between 10 & 11 AM
9.00 AM Kenya - the actual time depends who called meeting
9.00 AM Ethiopia & Sudan - before 11 AM anytime
Tea & Coffee is normally served black in most of the countries with sugar delivered separately
Food / Indian food:
Belgium: Better to try the local Belgian or Italian stuff. They are made well and sometimes taste very good. One can order special omlettes (like me) if vegetarian. Restaurents with names such as Bombay, Taj Mahal, Indian etc but chef will be a Bangladeshi / Pakistani with no original Indian taste sometimes, tastes weird
Germany & France: Their food taste is totally different and may not be liked by most Indians. Choices exist with many Asian, American food outlets. In Indian restaurents, mostly a Punjabi chef, good NI dishes and serves you special dishes, speaks to you in Hindi as well takes care of you because the locals are very impressed to see a native Indian enjoying the food as it gives them feeling of authenticity of the restaurent.
Kenya, Ethiopia, Sudan etc: The local food habbits are similar to Asia when it comes to spices. For non vegetarians, one can try lot of different animals ;-D. But the taste of the food is totally different. Expect decent quality butter, milk, cheese etc. Indian chef or the locals cooking extremely tasty Indian dishes that even an Indian chef can shy.
UAE, Qatar, Bahrain, Oman, Kuwait: Local food is quite tasty such as Hummous, Tabouleh, Mutabbel, sandwich, salads, sweets, biriyani, pickles etc. They are highly nutritious and mostly without chillies. The meat dishes such as Shish Tawouk, Kebabs, Grilled platter etc are all time favourites of even Indian non-vegetarians. Good Indian restaurents such as Kamat, Delhi Durbar, Saravanas, Sangita, Chappan Bhog, Puranmall, Bikanerwala etc etc.
Lebanon & Jordan: Local food habbits are similar to Arab countries. But also exists lot of options for French, Italian, Mexican, Chinese etc. Difficult to get authentic Indian taste even in Indian restaurents with Indian chefs.
Egypt: Local food habbits are similar to Arab world. Decent Indian restaurents (rarely two or three in Cairo) but have no clue on their taste. For vegetarians there exist a local all time favourite highly nutritious dish called as Koshery. It is a complete meal by itself. One must also try the local drink - Hibiscus Tea or juice.
HOW THEY SEE AN INDIAN?
Europe: Looks at respectfully and consider them techy, trustworthy, freindly, jovial (this is recent but 8 years ago it was different). Indian movies are mostly considered as good comedy movies because the hero & heroin dances, do lot of drama, cries, fights, runs around trees etc etc.
Ethiopia: Are intelligent, freindly, not fully trust worthy, techy but are cautious while dealing. Indian movies are very popular.
Kenya: Considers intelligent, hardworking, freindly but not fully trustworthy. However also thinks Indians are rich and the money they have is theirs. Indian movies are very popular.
Sudan: Considers intelligent, hardworking, freindly, trust worthy and prefers to work with. Indian movies are very popular.
Egypt: Considers intelligent, hardworking, freindly, trust worthy, compares with Egyptians as similar culture, respects a lot and loves to watch Indian movies.
Arab Countries: Considers intelligent, hardworking, freindly, trust worthy and a cheap priced labour. However in the recent years, the attitude is changing because Indians are biggest buyers of property & gold in the region, difficult to get good quality professionals from India even at double the price. Indian movies are very popular.
Jordan & Lebanon: Indian movies are very popular. Considers intelligent, hardworking, freindly, less trustworthy and costly people to hire.
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