Random Bar & Work Encounters

Posted on: April 12, 2012

I’ve drank at the same bar at the hotel almost every night since I’ve been here. A little (ok, a lot of) harmless flirting with the very young, but verrrrrry cute, bartender makes it all worth while. Plus the free drinks he hands out every now and then. I’ve had more blow-job shots this week than I ever have before in my life… Although, I think that count was zero before this, so it wasn’t so hard to beat. But anyway, I’ve also met some super cool people who I count as friends now.

I met a girl, A, who is half-Angolan, half-Namibian and we have had a lot of fun together. She’s engaged to be married, but honestly, I don’t think she ever will marry him – she said as much herself. She wants to be committed but not really with him – she wants her freedom. He’s going to be heartbroken pretty soon, I think.

I also met a member of the Canadian Cricket Team. He’s cute, funny and surprisingly intuitive. The three of us were chatting tonight and he said the following about me: “CurryLove is really thoughtful – she doesn’t speak just to speak. Her words have meaning. She really means what she says too, she doesn’t just say things.”

I was super flattered but also really surprised. I’ve had other people tell me the same thing, especially at work. One of my best compliments ever was from a colleague who said: “You know, you don’t really speak a lot in meetings, but when you do, what you say is really important and worthwhile.”  I try to measure my words and not be careless. I’m glad that comes across, even to strangers.

On a kind-of separate note, I’ve about had it with the stupid ‘new-colonial‘ attitudes that still exist in the work I do and it is driving me nuts. This whole ‘careful’ speaking may go out the window pretty soon. I went to dinner with some coworkers – all of who are really nice, that’s not the problem. I had to leave the table for a bit and when I came back, one of my coworkers was talking about how the Native Americans were so disenfranchised because for so long they were just the “other” category when data was being represented and how awful it was and OMG isn’t it sooooo sad for them.

It basically took all my willpower to not say anything, but what I really wanted to say was, ‘Bitch, do you know how long in my life I’ve been “other”????’  From grade school until high school, I was the “other” category. There were three choices on standardized tests: White, Black, Other.  

It never really bothered me that I wasn’t represented on the forms, it made sense. My constituency just didn’t have the presence to warrant being there. It changed as I got older but good god, I was never a lesser person because of it. It didn’t shape me or my thoughts and I certainly didn’t need anyone else to fight my fights for me.

I love traveling and I love being out here, but fuck if most everyone at work doesn’t annoy the crap out of me. I am sick of the attitudes that are condescending and falsely encouraging, all at once — a different coworker told me today that she wanted to help develop capacity, so I said that’s great! Maybe we can help write papers – she said, no, the staff isn’t that good.

Are you fucking kidding me? So you’re here to ‘save’ everyone but don’t think they’re smart enough to do it? Fuck off. Again, it took a lot of willpower for me to not just bitch her out in the meeting. I know I didn’t do a good job hiding my disdain, but I don’t give a shit.

What is wrong with people?? These people, always white, come here and think they’re going to save the poor Africans from themselves. How do they not see what they’re really doing? How are they so oblivious??



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