This is a short story directly targeting (Yup. Not sorry) the expat minds and mentalities operating at the INGO space in the “exotic” countries of the south.
Sitting in endless, purposeless, and orderless meetings, the vast majority of non-international (i.e “national”) INGO employees remain silent. Their silence is sometimes accompanied by vivid imaginations of heavy junky meals (gaining weight? you still wonder why?), couture (spending all your salary at the mall?), vacations (Cairo? Thailand? Marrakech? Hmmm …) and more. Sometimes it is Stage 1 (or 2) of sleep that leads to silence. Other times, it is an outcome of anger, intolerance, and an inability to comprehend the need to go in circles for hours and days only to go back to where it all started (Curious question to the expat mind: Does that make you feel worthy? smart? useful? Because it makes me feel sick. And if you don’t care how it makes the “national” feel, you should seriously think twice. It will help you learn and advance. It may even help you become “exotic” in your own way too! What’s more attractive than an exotic expat when s/he goes back home to planet expatia?)
Anyway dear expat mind … did you think that our silence is an outcome of our lack of understanding? or of your outstanding knowledge? I bet you did. Did you think that those stupid “nationals” have nothing to add because they are not on that same level of thinking and analysis? (How could we reach your superior level … in bullshitting? Impossible. Impossible is something. It is not nothing.)
This silence, to the “national”, is what makes perfect sense. Because joining such fiascos is humiliating and degrading. See? See where the silence comes from? It is another form of comprehending one’s own dignity and self. Now I bet you to reach this superior level … of comprehension (not bullshitting as was the case in the paragraph above).
What is it that you do in those resultless full of shit meetings apart from uttering 200 words/minute anyway? Nod in agreement? (That looks very stupid when overdone. Actually, even when done more than once). Parrot what others have just said? (This is funny in a hopeless way actually). Pivot the conversation into something else that serves you? (Ehhhh … desperate. Honestly).
Actually, although writing the above was cathartic, the phenomenon itself disgusts me. You know what, I am going back to Silent Mode – the “national” way.
One last piece of shit for you … you have no right to change anyone but yourselves. Especially when you are outside your non-exotic lands.
Exotic Regards from a “National” on Silent Mode, and