It’s times like these when I miss home

I must warn you this post will be like no other. It may sound that I am complaining and being ungrateful, but I am not. I am simply venting and stating my observation along with my personal opinion. Certain things drive me crazy. I have quite a bit of pet peeves I might add. You can say I am learning about what’s really important to me and what I truly believe in as I experience the things I do in my line of work, or more like my temporary lifestyle.

As I travel the world as part of my job, I get to go to different places, different countries and with that I get to learn about various cultures. Not only that I get to do the touristic things and visit the major attractions of the places I visit, but Sometimes I get exposed to the way people live in those places. I get to experience their day-to-day life. And some moments I am in awe of what I see. I am amazed by the history, by the culture, by the hidden secrets to the world. At times, I see beauty, and other times I see things I wish I never saw. I’ve been to rich places, poor places, five-star hotels, run down places. I’ve met really friendly and nice people, and I’ve met some cold, rude people. I’ve eaten some delicious food, and I’ve tried some things that made me sick in the stomach. I experience hot and cold weather all the time, get exposed to viruses and germs thus making my body weaker and more prone to getting sick. One thing in common is that I’ve experienced customer service in all those places and my findings are absolutely horrifying.

Now the venting begins. That’s when I start by telling you why it’s at times like these when I appreciate my home country. Canada. God bless you. It’s true I am not born Canadian, but there is no other home for me other than Canada.

So here I am having breakfast at a five-star hotel in the country I am in, the buffet breakfast service will close in half an hour and the waiters start to pack things up and some guy goes around collecting centre pieces from the tables, even while you are sitting eating at the table. I understand you start to close things or remove plates that are empty or even stop putting out new plates. I get that concept. Then the best part, they start shutting off some lights where people are sitting and eating. And they are talking so loud, shouting at each other across the room in their own language. I’m sitting here thinking, what the hell are they saying. It feels like there is a conspiracy going on. I’m just watching them move about and do what they do, while I try to enjoy my uncooked omelette with toppings I didn’t ask for. And all I can think of, I feel like I’m being kicked out. I lost my appetite, not that there was much I could eat from all the great options they had to begin with. The most welcome I felt was when the hostess showed me to my table. After that, no one checks on you, no one even knows you exist. And that’s not the first time for me in this place. So to experience this more than once, I can’t just shrug it off and say, it was just that day. Apparently, that’s just the way they are. That’s the way they live. And that s when I realize, these people are not just from a different country, they are from a different planet.

They have proven to me time and time again, they don’t have manners. They don’t know how to behave in public. They don’t actually understand that there is such a thing called professionalism or respect for that matter. What do they learn in school? I ask myself. Are their schools any similar to the ones I went to? I mean how does a student get the attention of their teacher, by shouting out whatever whenever with no regard to anything??? Really, I wonder.

Speaking of manners, here is another thing that I experience and it irritates the hell out of me. Here I am inside the metro/subway and my stop is coming up, the door opens and the first thing you see is a bunch of people attacking. I swear it feels like I just entered a war zone. And I have no choice but to push through and find a way to get out of the train while holding on to any personal belongings I may be carrying. I mean, shouldn’t it be simple, make way for people to get off, then you can get on. Why? Someone tell me why people don’t understand this very simple concept. How can the people get off when there is an attack line waiting at the opening of the doors. How can people live like that? There is no manners, there is no courtesy, there is no common sense either.

More on the no manners subject. When you are ordering or requesting something, shouldn’t there be a “please” and a “thank you” somewhere in that sentence? In my personal experience, some people and unfortunately it’s judged by certain cultures, because the majority are like that, they don’t use these words. As a matter of fact, I am almost sure they never heard of them. Maybe the teacher missed that chapter in class. So maybe it’s not their fault after all. But if that’s the case, where were your parents to teach you manners and common courtesy to your fellow-man. Oh yeah, sorry, I forgot, parents can’t teach what they don’t know either, apparently, around their time in school, that chapter was not even in the curriculum.

Oh yeah, I’m telling you how I really feel. I’m so fed up with this I can’t even describe. It’s already enough I have to answer to people when they call out on me by saying:”pssss”. Me. I get called like that. And I answer to that … Sometimes … Duty calls. What to do? And I have to constantly talk to myself and say: it’s ok, they don’t mean to be disrespectful or rude, that’s just their culture. So I must respect that. Go figures I must respect their rudeness and lack of manners and give them the excuse that they don’t know better. On the other hand, they make no effort to try to better themselves. As a matter of fact, they don’t even realize they are doing anything wrong. Because we are condoning their behavior and this will continue as long as every one shuts up and complains secretly, but never correcting the wrong. This is a huge problem. I see it from the big picture. The world will never get better as long as we keep having people in different classes, different educational levels and thus different mentalities and way of living. Wars will not end, because there will always be someone who disagrees with someone else. Survival of the fittest will continue to be part of our lives. Sadly, I may be talking about manners, respect, common sense, but the reality is that there are worse problems in these countries I get to visit. My eyes are more open now than ever before. And my heart aches for what I see.

So no wonder that at times like these when I remember what life is like in a civilized country and when I compare it to where I go. No place has come close to it. I miss the very simple things people in Canada take for granted like “human rights, freedom of speech, women rights” and so much more, but just to name a few. People that say “please and thank you”. People that call out on you by saying “excuse me, miss or sir”. People that respect your personal space. People that wait for you to get off the metro before getting on. People that understand what standing in a line up really means. People that know how to provide customer service. I can sit here all day listing things I’ve witnessed. I can be viewed as being nitpicking or complaining like I mentioned earlier. I know it is difficult to understand when you haven’t seen or experienced the life I live. I am grateful that I got to experience this even with the bad because now I know how to appreciate what I had before and never take it for granted.

I have seen the good, the bad, and the ugly. And I may be presenting more of the ugly to you today, but that’s because the ugly gets noticed faster and it leaves an everlasting impression. At least with me, I will remember it all. And one thing I learned for sure is that there is no place like HOME.

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