One of my guilty pleasures on planes is watching chick flicks because I get to see movies that I could never get my husband to. Last week, it was Sex and the City 2. Since the reviews hadn’t been that good when it came out, I wasn’t expecting much and was pleasantly surprised.
Any movie with a gay wedding showcasing Liza Minnelli can’t be all bad! Samantha Jones ends up traveling for business to the United Arab Emirates and taking the other three women with her. They have all kinds of experiences that might have been avoided with the following etiquette tips.
Miranda was the only one in the group that did any homework on their destination (in fact that seemed to be whole purpose of having her in the film). Because of this she was able to use key phrases with locals and knew the cultural norms.
Samantha would have known her hormones were not allowed in the country and avoided the embarrassment at customs. Her payback was having to eat (and wear) yams the rest of the movie.
Samantha was openly disapproving of the dress of the Middle Eastern women in the movie. She arrogantly refused to change her sexual behavior to the local culture which resulted in getting arrested.
Foreign women are expected to dress modestly in UAE and three of the group willingly made accommodations. Samantha only did after being prodded by the others. It’s not just the Middle East with these restrictions. Many countries have a more conservative dress standard than North America which should be respected.
The women learned the hard way not to take chances with personal safety when taken off the street while shopping by a group of men. Fortunately, they were able to escape only to enrage a group of locals with Samantha’s revealing clothing. Ultimately they were saved by a group of sympathetic women, but you can’t count on that in real life!
All visitors, but especially women, need to be diligent about knowing their surroundings and not taking chances with safety.
Samantha’s rude and unprofessional behavior cost her the job opportunity and forced them all to leave the country earlier than planned. Although she’ll probably never change there are consequences sometimes for not having good manners.
Do you have any bad etiquette stories from business trips?