So over lunch today with my colleagues – two lovely French ladies- we had a relaxing conversation on literature, art, and different cultures including British, French, American, Greek, and Tanzanian.
I praised the French culture for its artistic and relatively relaxing way of life (as compared to the British on my own opinion). I, of course, kept reflecting on Coco Chanel and insights on fashion and French culture as reflected in her biography. We also spoke about issues of “mistress” in the French culture- precisely sex and money, which is a phenomenon from time immemorial…(in Tanzania we call them michepuko…eenhe)
One of the ladies spoke about her experience in Greece and how the Greeks enjoy life. I responded to her narrative with a confident phrase- that’s laziness and start explaining how the Greeks expected the hard-working Germans to bail them out while they do not work.
But the lady gave me a very good counter argument saying- “that lifestyle is what makes us, the Germans, and many other citizens of different countries go to Greece for holidays…if they stop that lifestyle they will loose it all”.
Wow, I was like- this is a critical thinking right here challenging my traditional mindset! I woke up.
You know my reader, such conversations as these are lovely as they take our minds off the thinking box that either education or society has framed us within.
Anyways, to share something else…prior to lunch as we were waiting for another colleague to join us at the coffee bar in our floor, we both turned into the copies of Le Monde and New York Times newspapers on the shelf…and of course the bloody cursed ISIS acronym was on the front page of NYT. We spoke a bit about them, and the lady told me one thing that my 10 years of IR discipline training did not allow me to think through it….
She said … “these terrorists do not have any ideology…because they do not think or go through any thinking process… ideology is about thought process even if it’s crazy….but these guys just pick up selected things/phrases to justify their actions but there’s no thinking process”….so from today onwards, I will never call or think of any terrorist regime as ideology because, it’s through they do not think over their ideas…for it to deserve an ‘ideology’ title!
Other interesting things discussed over lunch are books. and here is what the lady suggested I should read to get insight on some French culture…
Emile Zola, The Ladies’ Paradise