things at work

My boss is in the States right now, so my days are quite slow.  I spent the majority of the last couple days in the conference room, with little excitement until this morning.

One of the designers came in and when she was leaving she opened the door into the wall, which caused it to crack completely in half.  A whole group gathered, and calls were being made…people were trying to figure out who to bring over to take care of it…and it ended up with everyone leaving, and the two guys holding the door just took it apart by themselves.

I’ve been noticing little things lately about the difference between men and women here, and how each are treated.  One thing that I think is a bit funny, is how no one will hold the door for you.  The guards will open the door if they are near to it, but that is their job.  There were a few times today that I was walking behind someone into a building and they would let go of the door so it’d start closing on me…even if I was right behind them.  I haven’t seen that sort of “chivalry” that I am a bit used to at home.  But then all the men address me as “madam”, which I am not used to at all.  On the drive to work, we see many men and women.  The men can wear whatever they want…some wear pants and shirts, some wear wraps/skirts, some wear wraps that look like diapers.  Women are covered up, as you would imagine.  Some have all but their eyes covered, some all but their face, and the rest…all but their head.  What I find interesting though, is how little girls dress.  They are not raised to dress like their mothers…they wear skirts that expose their legs, tank tops, etc.  I suppose the covering up begins around puberty, but I think if you’re raising a child that will be expected to dress a certain way, that you would have them dress that way from the start?  I wonder a lot about how fathers look at their daughters here as well.  Meaning…what do they hope for their future?  Are they at peace knowing that they will most likely be married off and will have to submit to their husband, instead of living for themselves?

Driving through the villages, I see a lot of little boys running around.  I don’t see little girls running around or playing.  It is definitely a mans world, and boys are given freedoms from a young age that girls are not.  One of those freedoms is the ability to be disgusting and get away with it.  The men here hock loogies like it is nobodies business…it is SO SO gross.  The sad thing is that I am getting used to it, it’s becoming normal…that is not right!  It doesn’t matter where they are: inside, outside, in an office, etc…it’s normal and accepted here.  Ugh, I already think spitting is gross but this is on a whole other level.

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