F**king Globalisation

 

There I was, working in my dream job on the other side of the world, and feeling far from everything. Even if my definition of home was already lost from many years of carrying my suitcase from place to place in search of wonderful, exciting life experiences (which included 3-month low-paying internships). This place was definitely much further. They did not even have butter in the shops and sold only one type of chocolate, which was already melted. How now!

"Let´s integrate!” they said,

as I put another packet of beans in my shopping bag. Hopefully, I could find somebody who’d show me how to cook them. And now, I was supposed to build my life here? For real! Like making friends and all that s**t all over again? I was looking forward to my three-month stay, where it would not even matter if I had friends or not because, anyways, I am gone almost all the time.

Here goes life construction again! But this time, I would not show people the ach-so-perfect-funny-side of me, because I would stay for longer (no time definition please). And if do stay for longer, then maybe better without a masque, right? This time it’s for real. New start. New luck.

Now how do I start this life-construction? Do I tell my friends abroad how great I am doing (well… there is sun and food, it’s not that much of a lie)? But hold on; I promised myself to use my phone less in order to start a real life. A real life in terms of interaction with people – deliberately making friends; an apartment with pictures and an aquarium, albeit a tiny one; engaging in hobbies that are fulfilling; and a challenging job with constant highlights and lowlights, where I can contribute my ideas without having to wear a mask. A real life that depicts authenticity and fulfilment.

Do I ask too much?

I think not.

Because it is not this romantic picture of an adventure at a new place. It is daily fighting, daily investing, daily explaining self, listening and understanding who the person next to you is, testing, approaching, failing and standing up and all that again. But most importantly, it is not only about how often I go out to this bar where I might be the only person with my skin colour,

or how often I hear, “Remind me where we met…” with the hope of my company at a coffee date,

or how often I explain to colleagues where I come from, while dealing with their doubts of whether I am a visitor, a friend, or a spy perhaps.

Being present is paramount. I need to embrace where I am at the moment, and the people around me who I don’t know yet, but the chance to get to know them. I need to embrace the courage to identify myself in this new place, and the curiosity to give myself meaning as well. And finally, I need to embrace the trust that I do it for something bigger, and for a real life.

I am not there, yet.

Globalisation this, globalisation that. Globalize here, globalize there. Blah, blah, blah. I realized that our Western concept of family is really outdated. Seriously! We are teaching our siblings and kids to move alone from place to place depending on where their jobs take them. At the same time we are holding on our perfect family setting of mum, dad and two kids. We are making them carry their experiences, lessons, values and cultures to the part of the world they are going, but we are not allowing them to bring that part of the world – the experiences, lessons, values and cultures – back home. Surely a foreign spouse is only for the courageous few. There is a lot that we can learn and ‘borrow’ from other communities.

And so when all is said and done, my tussle is whether globalisation is only for people with the right passport, a university degree and money.

 

in Blog

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