lunch hour office chats…

and tea cup news updates.

i shall miss these moments when i think of my time here in london.

today, i finally was able to steal a moment and ask one of the workers here about her recent trip to nigeria.

she is quite old. i guess that was a rude way to describe her but i do not see old age as something negative. i digress.

so, as i was asking her, so excited, “how was lagos, nigeria?” another lady, from albania, kindly interrupted with a distressed look on her countenance. she began, “did you see the tv show yesterday on the witchcraft in nigeria. they killed the children.” she continued, speaking of how stupid and foolish it was and that even though these people were christian they still believed in witches and demons. she was quite rattled.

now, i usually would step up to present a counter arg, you know, for the sake of good ol’ convo. but, to my surprise, the old lady who had just returned from nigeria, presented to the lady first, that she was looking at these vodoo practices from a western standpoint. she cited that less than a century ago, we (the british) would send kids up chimneys to clean them, and if they got stuck, that was their lives. so, we should be careful before we point the finger.

i then supplemented that and other points she made, adding that who we call “nigerians” can trace their lineage back to thousands of years and that just because christianity along with an arbitrary national border was imposed on them, one cannot presume that customs and cosmologies would disappear, or that they should disappear because we are not comfortable with it.

well, she got up and left. not because she was unhappy, i don’t think, but she did have some one waiting in the lobby for her.

we continued our conversation. about imperialism. and the biafran war. and half of a yellow sun. one of the other ladies sitting down out our lunch table said she had read the book. colonialization.

we pondered for a moment, how one country or government or people can go to a completely new place and say:

this is what you are called

this is the name of your land

and this is what i shall take from you because i am far more superior in my europeaness than you, with your lineage only dating back to the birthplace of civilization. of course i can teach you after i own you and enslave you.

well, the conversation didn’t go quite like that with those same words. but in my mind, well, you know. 😉

so, yea, i shall miss these moments. of free discussion. in britain. i doubt that such a conversation would have taken place in a workplace in america. no, it would be considered taboo. too negative. we like our happy endings and high fructose corn syrup instead of the sweet and sticky sugar in the raw.

sugar in the raw?

things are quite raw in the world. and it ain’t that sweet.




One thought on “lunch hour office chats…

  1. This is a really great post. I too shall miss those tea break discussions as I pour over the colour pages of the daily and eat my biscuits! 😛

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