CLMN | No big deal


Alex, an international newbie in Eindhoven, was at his new Dutch friend Bo’s Bday bash. The Birthday boy/girl gets congratulated here in The Netherlands. Little did he know that people close to the birthday boy/girl may get congratulated too. Upon being congratulated, he could only think of his lil promotion at work. So, he responded to Bo’s mom’s ge-felic-iteerd with “It’s no big deal”.

Mom’s jaw dropped. Though her English proficiency was not up to the par of holding a conversation, our eyes all speak the same language. Moreover: “There’s a light in a woman’s eyes that speaks louder than words”.(Arthur Conan Doyle). So her eyes really made it explicit. Ironically, as if she was willing to inquire if Alex was alright?

Perhaps, Alex fell trap to a lack of awareness. Everyone told him ‘do at Rome as the Romans do’. But if he wanted to reach the highest, he had to begin at the lowest. Actually, he first had to know what the Romans do. First know that well. Only then he could ‘do’.

On the contrary, internationals render responsibility to locals. Locals should make sure that the internationals know the place and people well enough. Or else, apparently, some important things will not be a big deal to internationals.  

*Gefeliciteerd = Congratulations

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