Friday, November 26, 2010


I used to practice yoga regularly, 3-times-a-week regularly. It's such a good means to improve my flexibility and balance, as well as a great and easy way to relax. God, I love that savasana pose.

A recent job relocation moved me to a mysterious and exotic land of Africa, Sudan to be exact. After here for almost a month, everything, or most of the things have been settling in slowly. We are approaching winter here. But with the sun blasting through the forever cloudless sky, daytime temperature can easily climb up to the mid-30s. So winter my ass! The heat and the dryness are getting under my skin quite a bit, literally cracking them open. If it's not for the moisturizer, I'd be a walking cured meat. But I'm getting used to the weather.

But that are all physical. How flexible am I mentally? My values, ethics, mindset and perspectives? How much can I stretch? Or bend?

Time is meaningless here. Work is never delivered by due date. Wait, due date? What's that? Is it edible? Sweet like the Sudanese dates? 5 minutes can actually be an hour. So if you want something done on time, simply do it yourself or you need to bark at them the deadline, then send them 6 reminder emails, follow up by calling them daily until the submission date and pray hard things you asked for get done. Good for you if things get done. But done rightly or wrongly, that's another story.

In order to get things done correctly (hopefully), there is a skeletal framework of a process. Great! But everyone is following it so mechanically, rigidly and religiously that a slight change, however valid and logical and not to mention necessary is deemed a cardinal sin, which may get you a public lashing or stoning to death. OK, I'm over exaggerating. But hundreds of thousands of dollars spent based suspicion and gut feeling and "experience" written in broken English on a few pieces of paper. Factual information, sensitivity analysis, model stimulation, analog inferences? Yeah, whatever.

In the end it's the modus of operandi here. It's not right, and it's not wrong too. It's acceptable. Well it's easier to move mountains or part sea than to change a society norm. It takes times, A LOT of times to change, to progress. It's a different land and different culture. I'm in their land and their culture. So I can't be always right and I can't be that arrogant to have them change for me, even though they totally should.

Be flexible. If you can't beat them, join them.

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