Male' is most definitely not the easiest place to live in. In fact, being a woman in Male' is extremely hard but it has it's perks. Here are some things to consider about Male'.
1. You will get harassed on the street, probably every single day.
It doesn't matter whether you are 13 or 30, every girl has dealt with this and have to deal with this. Nowhere is safe, not even on your own road. You could either ignore them or say something, but this still continues to happen. To be honest this isn't a women only issue. Even men get harassed on the street, but about 83% of the time, it's women who are victims to eve teasing, grabbing, staring, vulgar words and plain ogling. It's so shameful but once you've lived here long enough, you actually get used to it and accept it as part of life here.
2. You will probably live with your parents until you get married and even then.
This comes from a mix of Asian culture and our life-long dependency on parents. In fact, living on your own is considered taboo around here. There are perks to living with parents for most of the time; shared bills and food always on the table. Once you can get over the nagging and complaints, you can possibly enjoy spending time with them and eating together; it's actually pretty nice. This however makes most girls extremely dependent on other people which is a shame.
3. There's litter everywhere
and spit. The roads are overcrowded and there is no space to walk so you have to carefully maneuver in between parked vehicles and litter on the streets. People actually leave their garbage out for city cleaners to take, which is beyond crazy. Also, you'll probably end up walking into a pile of two day old kitchen waste or someone's spit on the street. If it rains, then better stay inside because roads will get flooded and people will get mad at everyone.
4. Your night life revolves around moving from one coffee to another
Yes, we've heard this a million times but it's still true. There is a lack of things to do around here so you end up going from one restaurant to another and the funny thing? you probably end up ordering anything but a coffee. We drink overpriced fancy drinks and eat overpriced food, talk about how boring it is here, talk about love life and then head to another overpriced coffee house, and most of us don't even know the Dhivehi name for coffee. (It's Gahuva)
5. You'll most probably run into someone you don't want to.
The downside to living in a small country, everyone knows everyone and the guy you are dating is probably related to you, three cousins removed. If you're out on the road, chances are you'll meet at least three people you know, one of them probably an aunt who will go and complain to your parents that you're out with people and five other people will probably recognize you and tell their friends about it. You'll also probably run into the guy you don't want to see but have to say hi or deal with drama if you decide to ignore him. The roads are way too small to hide a face.
and a bonus
6. People will stare at you, everywhere you go.
Whether you are sitting down at a restaurant with your family, enjoying a meal or rushing late to work or standing on the road waiting for your friend, people will look you up and down. It will make you feel so insecure you'll double check to see if you forgot to wear your pants or if there's something wrong with your appearance but don't worry, chances are you look amazing and people are who they are. They will stare at you if you wear the niqab, hijab or don't wear veil. They will stare at you if you were 7, 17, 27, or 70. You're alright.
So yeah, Male' isn't really a girl's place but there are some good things here and you'll come to realize that despite all this it's still the place you found love in. It's dark corners and littered roads hold your memories of walking to school with mom, or your first date in Scoop, or the countless times you spent with your loved ones. Despite all of its sad realities, Male' can be your haven of memories and it's a part of who you are.
What is your least favourite thing about Male'?