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I have been considered a source of concern of late at the office. Let’s just say that my anger is not always managed as well as my superiors would like it to be.

Let’s also say that over here, the moment you raise your voice abve 40 dB sends shivers down every seemcitian’s spine, reminding them of their days in the Army or their constant childhood abuse, or I don’t know what else. It leaves both me and Luca very, very puzzled.

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Yes, I have become angrier ever since I have been here. Yes, I do sometimes lose my cool and start shouting (not at people, but around people, big difference). Yes, I come from another culture, one in which dialogue is welcome and encouraged, even when it includes the occasional curse word. No, I am not going ballistic, and no, I will not come back in the office tomorrow with a swiss army knife and hack my way through rows of cubicles.

It seems that people are also scared of me, this coming from various sources above me. I don’t really know what to think of this. Is there something really wrong about the way I have changed these past three years in Seem City? Or is it that I am fundamentally different from the norm here, and no matter how I try to conform, there will always be a side of me that will never fit the resilient and subservient profile of the perfect civil servant?

Whatever it is, there is much more to feel violently happy about. Luca is now walking all alone at great length, and his curiosity about the world gives me hope that things don’t always have to be the way they are here.

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And even in Seem City, there are moments where things are nice, moments spent in the park listening to the symphonic orchestra, improvising a picnic and just watching a sunny Sunday afternoon go by.

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And this, my friends is the antidote.

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And these, my friends, are the active ingredients.

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