JIMIN LAI via Getty Images
Time is not the most important measure of our days.
We've been in the Middle East for less than a year but one of our first impressions, confirming the illusory nature of this region, has lasted: the lopsided emphasis that people place on materialism and designer labels. Rigid judgments are formed about people based on the luxury items they do or do not have, discussions bordering on intellectual discourse are held on the merits of various brands at social and workplace events.
Parties I go to, I get tired of the intense questioning I'm subjected to. Where you live? What kind of car do you drive? How much do you make annually? These questions are employed to find out enough so that you can be placed in the category of rich (winner) or poor (loser). It's not a subtle investigation. Basically, they want to want to know "Tumhare paas kya hain?"