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The Fresh Off the Boat (FOB) experience..

September 19, 2011

Lets be honest here, if you’re reading this and you just happen to be desi regardless of your passport color, you are a FOB. FOB (Fresh off the boat) if you don’t know already is an epidemic plaguing desis throughout history. It is a stereotype as per say, but a valid one too as we (the desis) embark on our boats to foreign lands in pursuit of happiness,usually by driving taxis and working in grocery stores until( if you’re a lucky FOB) get that white mans passport and settle in with the regular folk. Even though, FOB is a politically incorrect term for us, it should be more like FOP(Fresh off the plane) I believe  because traveling by boat would be highly inconvenient, still we have to put up with it (whats stuck is stuck). I guess history would point to the Pilgrims (of the Mayflower) who came to an unknown America at that time and the Indians (no not desi ones) were like in their own language “Look, White Devil Fresh off Boat!”. So in order to get back to the Indians( in the future now, yes desis) the White Devils have had a verbal thanksgiving by calling them FOBs as they continue to come to their land annually (someone insert a statistic here).

So being an experienced FOB, I have closely observed new alien FOBs repeating some of the Fobby facepalm moments made by every FOB when they move to white devils land…the journey begins usually at any given education level (usually out of high school to pursue further education).. Hopefully this brief list of 10 will give you an idea of why the white devils see us as FOBs in the first place..(what I noticed of Desi FOBs in my time spent in Australia (kangaroo land))

So you are a desi FOB if:

10. You have just arrived in the foreign land (literally waiting for the taxi on the airport).. and you start bargaining with the taxi driver “Sir, I’ll give you 6 dollars only, that is 300 rupees in my country only, it can take me so and so kilometers you know only..” yea the Taxi driver he’s bargaining with is a Desi FOB too, can’t bargain with the locals unless you want to look like an idiot (has happened).

9. You want to find the cheapest place to eat (has to be halal or else going to hell). Well as a matter of fact you want to cook at home because eating out is out of your Fobby budget (akhir Abu nai itni mehnat karkay behja hai, paisay bachow!). So you take your Fobby self to the grocery store ,(walk to it) because it is cheaper, or by bus (has to be the cheapest way possible) and first thing you do is look at the price tags of  fruit and vegetables and are shocked!. So as your first Chinses friend told you while you observed him, “Eggs and Lice(Rice)” and that’s exactly what you do, get Eggs and Lice(Rice).. further down the road you discover a new flavor (Noodles) but thats for relatively experienced FOBs (1-2 months speaking of).

8. You are all excited because you are starting University in a foreign land all alone, oh the adventure (the things that will happen). So at orientation, your excited self can’t help but ask the student volunteer (person responsible of showing you and other FOBs around Uni) silly questions like “Ven Vill Ve have exams only?” or “Vill the Professors have time for us if ve ever need help?”, if you are Muslim FOB ” Vere’s the mosque? and is there halal food here?”.

7. You try to find other desi gang around Uni, or around where you live, because nothings worse than living in a foreign land and not being reminded of home. So you join the desi club if there is one at your uni maybe something like Pakistan Student Association or even Muslim Student Association. If that doesn’t happen, you can always find someone at the grocery store or driving a taxi, believe it, they came on the same boat as you but unlike you, they have found success.

6. You try to compare prices of everything to things back home. Now that you have been around that is, you are ready to compare and contrast! “Yaar, Pakistan main, 3 dollar main kya kya nahee aah sakta, tumhari soch hai..Nihari, Kewaaab Shawaab, uff!”. Yes, you are a complainer too if you haven’t noticed, “yaar itni mehngai hai yahan! :(“.

5. You try to find an average job to support yourself “kaafi important hai, akhir mehngai itni hai, aur Abu nai itni mehnat sai behja hai yahan”. Not that working in McDonald’s is a bad thing, you do work there and as per mentioned the better ones drive taxis and work at grocery stores. If you are a clever FOB and want to be a rebel, you try to work more than the 20 hours allowed as per you visa rules “akhir mehngai itni hai, kya karein!”.

4. Once you find that desi gang you have always longed for, you move in with them in a 2 bedroom apartment, sharing costs.. I forgot to mention, there might be more than 6-8 of you living there, sleep/work shifting . But that’s for really cheap FOBs, the rich FOBs have their own studio apartments (but we’re not talking about them).

3. Oh if your a desi FOB guy, are you blind! look around.. the white girls (angels), You, Yes.. You! can’t help but stare at them “Malai jaisay skin wali larkian apne mulk main toh hain he nai” You stare in awe and think, heaven must be missing a lot of angels because they are all located here.. and of course there’s that thought “Aik sai toh shaadi karongha, passport toh milljai gha aisay..”

2. If you’re new, You spend your Saturday night studying (in your first week of Uni), Nothing else to do right? Few months down the road when you have friends (if you you do), they introduce you to clubbing and you are blown away at the fact that people drink here, yes alcohol (haraam)! and the thought goes through your head “Tauba, my parents are going to kill me if they find out!” But this can be avoided, if you are a good Muslim FOB.

1. As mentioned before, “yahan ka passport laykay hee jaana hai, no matter what!” You came to study, but that’s not enough, you want that rich life, it can’t come with an Indian passport or a Pakistani one. You have in mind, “Passport laykay, Dubai settle hona hai bass!” because with experience you figure, middle east has no taxes “mazzay hee mazzay!”.

Might as well add the fashion sense of FOBs.. You are one if you wear turtle neck sweaters (pistachio in color, orange ones if you can find them). Your hair, is the same as in it is in your passport photo, done sideways like a acha bacha (like your mother used to do with a kangee). You might own RayBan(fake ones) Aviators, not that you knew of them, you watched Dabangg and wanted to look like Salman Khan, because you want to be cool. A leather jacket is a must of course, Brown one because you see bikers wear them in Lahore, and Pakistan makes the best leather jacket anyways, cool beans. You might wear skinny jeans, sometimes up to your tunni(bellybutton) Steve Urkel style, own a gold Rolex too, called Rolexx because real one will come only after the passport, and your shoes might be made of snakeskin cowboy style.

So as I write off, the views expressed here are wholly endorsed by me :D, it’s not supposed to offend anyone, unless you are a super FOB that is.. Speaking of, I have been through some of these experiences myself (I know, sad) but hopefully it will shed some light of how we are the way we are (FOBs). But having said that, I’d rather be a FOB than not, not that it requires any effort, it comes naturally. So as an experienced FOB I sign off in hopes to educate new and upcoming FOBs to be wary of too much Fobbyness.

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4 Comments
  1. Hahahah LOVED it.. “Yaar, Pakistan main, 3 dollar main kya kya nahee aah sakta, tumhari soch hai..Nihari, Kewaaab Shawaab, uff!” that’s me all the time =p.

  2. ranee permalink

    oh my gosh…too funny. I am indoamerican. raised in India, but living here for last 22 yrs. I was “kanjus” too in the beginning…….but not anymore. have become americanized. Must be the American genes in me. I am still desi at heart in a lot of ways. I am conservative and drive a honda…lol

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