When I arrived in Doha, I had a pretty firm (uneducated) notion in my head of how I should behave, speak, act, etc – particularly around men. I was told that things are done very differently here, relationships are not what they are in Canada.
From day 1, I did what I thought was expected of me. My first 10 days of work here I was quieter, meeker and much more deferential around my Arab counter-parts than I would normally be around colleagues. And guess what? I was getting nothing done. People were ignoring my requests, talking around or over me, addressing my male colleague when I had asked the question.
So I gave up.
I went back to being my normal self, treating everyone as equals and throwing high-fives all over. You guessed it: my old self is killing it. Everyone is helping me whenever they can, I’m catching rides home from venues with Mr. Abdullah, Mr. Mohammed calls and checks in nightly and Mr. Vikram bends over backwards to fix my podiums on the spot.
See? Canadian friendliness is UNIVERSAL! HIGH FIVE!
On another note, we successfully completed rehearsal number 1. Really looking forward to the real thing!