Want to read Slashdot from your mobile device? Point it at m.slashdot.org and keep reading!


Forgot your password?
Check out the new SourceForge HTML5 internet speed test! No Flash necessary and runs on all devices. ×
User Journal

Journal Liora's Journal: Wasting way too much time at work.... 1

Fascinating conversation via IM with coworker:

[Liora]: How are you?
[Liora's Friend]: hey [Liora]!
[Liora's Friend]: Fine thanks, and you?
[Liora]: good.
[Liora]: Having fun in warm, sunny, Mexico?
[Liora]: It's cold here....
[Liora's Friend]: yeah, yesterday the sun was hot
[Liora]: wow. sounds wonderful.
[Liora's Friend]: i was sleeping in the cab I took, because it was so warm
[Liora]: you took a cab?
[Liora's Friend]: yes, I went to show [Our Company's Software] to a professor of my old school
[Liora]: cool
[Liora]: So people take cabs in Mexico City?
[Liora's Friend]: and because I was carrying my laptop, it was better to take a taxi
[Liora]: safer?
[Liora's Friend]: yes, why do you ask that? :-) we also take cabs, haha
[Liora]: we don't really take cabs in [our town]
[Liora]: Do you actually live in the city?
[Liora's Friend]: oh, safe cabs... that's another matter
[Liora]: Where do you live?
[Liora]: Apartment, house, etc... nice neighborhood, ok neighborhood...?
[Liora's Friend]: in Mexico City... I have my office in the middle of the city
[Liora]: did you rent an office?
[Liora's Friend]: and my apartment is a little bit in the peripheria of the city
[Liora]: ahh...
[Liora]: so how do you get to work?
[Liora's Friend]: yes, I had to rent the office because I need a DSL internet service
[Liora's Friend]: and it's being implemented right now
[Liora]: Did the building you rented provide it?
[Liora's Friend]: I don't have a car here, so to got to work, I take two buses, and then the subway
[Liora's Friend]: but when I'm in rush, or I carry my laptop, I take cabs
[Liora]: whoa...
[Liora]: Does it take a long time?
[Liora's Friend]: one hour
[Liora]: whoa
[Liora's Friend]: but it's really a lot of time... withouth traffic and in a car, it would take 20 minutes
[Liora]: so did you just get to work a little bit ago?
[Liora's Friend]: yes
[Liora]: wow.
[Liora]: Do people in Mexico City really take siestas?
[Liora's Friend]: no, that's only lazy spaniards
[Liora]: oh
[Liora's Friend]: and fortunately, we didn't inherit that
[Liora]: everything I know about your culture is probably wrong....
[Liora]: Is there virtually no middle class - all either upper or lower?
[Liora's Friend]: there's actually a middle class... but it's small
[Liora]: oh
[Liora's Friend]: small, compared to the middle class in the US
[Liora]: yeah.. here virtually everyone in [our town] counts as middle class
[Liora's Friend]: actually. I just read a book, that probably culd interest you
[Liora]: what book?
[Liora's Friend]: it's called "Distant Neighbors" by Alan Riding
[Liora]: about US and Mexico?
[Liora's Friend]: It's a book that describes mexican culture, economy, and its relationships with the US
[Liora's Friend]: it's very interesting and nice to read
[Liora]: cool. I might order it.
[Liora's Friend]: the author is an english/american journalist that spent a lot of time here
[Liora]: ahh. Did you know that the Vineyard church movement has planted a lot of Vineyards in Mexico?
[Liora's Friend]: and although he has an american vision of things all the time, he's very objetive
[Liora]: Ellen has been to visit the one our church sponsors
[Liora's Friend]: yeah I knew that
[Liora]: It's very hard to be objective about things like culture
[Liora]: and worldview
[Liora]: at least I find that it is.
[Liora's Friend]: and in the book, he mentions that at one point in the 1930's the government allowed that american religions tcome to Mexico
[Liora's Friend]: in order to end the catholic monopoly in mexico
[Liora's Friend]: that always has had a lot of political power
[Liora]: At least for the Vineyard, being a church in Mexico is way different than being one in the US
[Liora]: It's a lot more outreach/service to the poor oriented
[Liora]: One of our churches is actually in a garbage dump
[Liora]: inside of it - these people live in it and scavage it and look for food in it and build shacks and stuff
[Liora's Friend]: yesterday, I was thinking about the differences in how mexicans and americans perceive religion
[Liora's Friend]: wow
[Liora]: what observations did you make?
[Liora]: Oh, about that Vineyard - our church spends 20% of its money on missions, and one of the things we do is feed the children in the dump
[Liora's Friend]: that's good
[Liora]: What did you come up with about Mexican's and American's perceptions about religion?
[Liora's Friend]: For mexicans, religion is a mixture of aztec beliefs (gods demanding sacrifice all the time) and catholic beliefs
[Liora's Friend]: so, for mexicans, religion is more an obligation, having fear of God most of the time
[Liora]: yeah. in Brazil, missionaries call something sort of similar (the Brazilian equivalent) Pagan Catholicism.
[Liora]: A lot of Americans also have that fear of God obligation thing going on
[Liora]: Usually they're Catholics or old-line denomination protestants
[Liora's Friend]: for Americans, it's more like an informal God, a God that laughs
[Liora]: Like Lutherans
[Liora]: yeah. I believe that God laughs.
[Liora]: The church in America is so fragmented that there's like a whole spectrum of attitudes. There's the stoic and somber German Lutheran church in the mid-west
[Liora's Friend]: I was thinking that for mexicans a God that allows laughing in church is sort of herecy (?), whereas for americans a God that demands sacrifice and respect is unthinkable
[Liora]: There's the California Casual Vineyard denomination.
[Liora]: Yeah. That's true of people in the Vineyard. But there's a whole series of totally devout Catholics (especially among the poor here) that have a similar problem with the Vineyard's theology - they would say that laughing in church is disrespectful.
[Liora]: The church that most of [our] Vineyard's pastors came from was VERY formal - no laughing, no smiling, women weren't even allowed to talk.
[Liora's Friend]: Maybe, but I also went to the Catholic church
[Liora's Friend]: and I was surprise of finding no connection with the catholic church in Mexico
[Liora]: This town is a pretty educated town, so I think that probably even bleeds into the Catholic church here.
[Liora]: Did you go to a contemporary service?
[Liora's Friend]: The priest there was joking there!!
[Liora's Friend]: I have no idea... There's no different services in catholic churches
[Liora]: Or did you go to a traditional one? Joking priest - sounds like a contemporary service. Catholics here have traditional Latin masses here too.
[Liora]: Serious affairs, they are.
[Liora]: With lots of standing and sitting and reciting things in Latin and standing and sitting.
[Liora's Friend]: but then it's the only country where catholic churches have contemporary services
[Liora]: well... Canada, but I'm not sure that counts.
[Liora's Friend]: Canada is very similar in culture to the US
[Liora]: Yeah.
[Liora]: Have you ever heard of Vatican II?
[Liora's Friend]: but I was with a Polish friend, and she was also very surprised of the priest joking
[Liora's Friend]: Vatican II???
[Liora's Friend]: no, I haven't heard about it
[Liora]: That's like a few years back, when the Catholic church decided they weren't relevantly reaching the culture anymore
[Liora]: So the Pope declared that churches can do what they want to reach people
[Liora]: and can even have different types of worship services
[Liora]: See, I think that the Pope believes in a God that laughs.
[Liora's Friend]: That's what I thought... Religion in the end mirror sthe relationships of the society
[Liora]: But I think the message of a loving forgiving God doesn't reach the population much anywhere.
[Liora]: so in the US the freedom to develop a contemporary service helped
[Liora]: I'm not sure it would help any in Mexico or any other culture, really....
[Liora's Friend]: Yeah, because relationships in Mexico are different
[Liora]: I think there they just need loving Christians (Especially loving Catholics) to help them out.
[Liora]: But let me ask you - would people still come to church in Mexico if they played mariachi at mass?
[Liora's Friend]: No, I don't think so
[Liora's Friend]: mariachi is to have fun... religion is to regret your sins
[Liora]: I think there they want to keep attendance up so bad that they don't want to accurately communicate the relevant information to people - sobriety is all good and well, but it doesn't really help people much.
[Liora]: Which I guess is a pretty serious decision to make - I wouldn't want to have to do it - good thing I'm not a bishop.
[Liora's Friend]: yeah...
[Liora]: Nah - religion isn't about regretting your sins. There's a place for it, but that's not what it's about. If you read the Bible, Jesus only talked a little about sins, and mostly talked about how you should act - loving and helping and healing people.
[Liora]: churches that turn a minor point into the major focus I think are missing the point completely - but that's just my opinion.
[Liora's Friend]: that's the way it is here... and that's the way it has been in Europe for a long time (and probably still is)... I don't believe in that anyway
[Liora's Friend]: Look. I'm not a catholic anymore... I dont like church here... but in the US, I felt like in a show
[Liora's Friend]: and I didn't like that
[Liora's Friend]: either
[Liora]: brb
[Liora's Friend]: but that's only my opinion too
[Liora]: For a long time I felt like the 703 service was the [Pastor's Name] Show.
[Liora]: But then other people were more involved ([The pastor] got over his need to run everything), and I got over that feeling
[Liora]: But it's still sort of less like a sober service than a rock concert.
[Liora]: I've never been able to resolve a happy medium - either in real life at another church, or in my head.
[Liora's Friend]: :-)
[Liora]: The German Lutherans do about as good a job as there is I guess - they're all somber until the pastor says something funny, and then they laugh, but then when the laughing's done, it's right back to sobriety for them.
[Liora]: But it's sort of countered by the number of potlucks they have (every family brings a dish and they all share) after their services - lots of smiling and happiness and little kids running around to lighten everyone up
[Liora]: something about eating together makes for happy fellowship I guess.
[Liora's Friend]: I'm telling you, at the end religion is part of the culture, and then it mirrors the way people interact
[Liora's Friend]: Mexicans are sober in their relationships with people
[Liora]: Well, that might be true, but I'm not sure it's bad. (Mexicans are sober in their relationships with people?!? I was expecting them to be a little like the South Americans I know and love - happy, smiling, do anything they can to help sorts of people.)
[Liora]: Our church's main value is "To Extend the Truth, Love, and Power of Jesus Christ in a relevant way to today's society" or something like that.
[Liora's Friend]: We're fun when we're in parties... but in normal life, we are serious... Mexican society is a hierarchical one
[Liora]: Hmm... I never thought of it like that.
[Liora]: Yeah, we Americans are pretty informal - look at me, I'm wearing blue jeans today at work....
[Liora's Friend]: we are fun and similing, but mostly with people we know, and we have confidence in... but not with everybody, especially if we don't know them
[Liora]: Hmm. I think I smile and talk to just about anyone - it doesn't matter if I know them or not.
[Liora's Friend]: yeah, here I wear jeans and they call me "young man", but if I wear a suit, they call me "sir"
[Liora]: Here's a funny thought - I wonder if my personality type is more rare in Mexico because of that - society frowning upon people like me.
[Liora's Friend]: here you smile a guy you don't know, he will think you have a crush on him
[Liora]: eek. that's no good at all.
[Liora's Friend]: or something like that
[Liora's Friend]: once you know people here, then relationships are informal and fun (and mostly sincere)
[Liora]: Well, going back to what you were saying - I'm not sure that religion being culturally relevant is a negative thing at all.
[Liora's Friend]: in the US I never know if people like me or not, because all of them treat me well and smile to me
[Liora]: [Liora's Friend], everyone likes you, you dork.
[Liora's Friend]: no, I mean not in PW, but in parties, at the stores, with people I don't know
[Liora]: They do.
[Liora]: They may not want to become your next best friend, but they like talking to you.
[Liora]: You're an introvert, right?
[Liora's Friend]: when people here ask me about racial discrimination, I can't say anything for personal epxerience, because everybody everywhere treated me well
[Liora]: Then you were never discriminated against.
[Liora]: If you were, you'd know it.
[Liora]: People here are indeed capable of being rude.
[Liora's Friend]: I know
[Liora]: I can't even count the number of times I've been referred to as a "White haired bitch."
[Liora's Friend]: then I guess I was lucky, because I didn't have that kind of experience
[Liora's Friend]: never never in 3 years in the US
[Liora's Friend]: And I'm an introvert, yes, but it's also relationships here with people are different
[Liora]: Education breeds tolerance. Christianity breeds tolerance. In some ways, financial security breeds tolerance. What you have here in [our town] is a largely educated, Christian, middle class culture. Very very tolerant.
[Liora's Friend]: that's very true
[Liora]: If you'd gone to high school here it might have been different - there you would deal with people of all educational, financial, and cultural stratii.
[Liora]: Or if you had been in a different city.
[Liora's Friend]: yeah,that's true... I don't have broad references to distinguish social relationships in the US
[Liora's Friend]: the only reference I have is [our town]
[Liora]: well, even within [our town], if you had lived in certain neighborhoods, or met certain people, you would have had a broader social segment to consider.
[Liora]: In your volunteer work, were you mostly working with Mexican kids?
[Liora's Friend]: yeah
[Liora]: Because you were volunteering, I doubt they would have said anything, but if you had been with other kinds of kids, you would have noticed something for sure.
[Liora]: lower incomes tend to produce more people with definitive prejudices.
[Liora]: it's sad to say, but it's true.
[Liora]: But, if you get to the very very low end of the income spectrum, you find tolerance again.
[Liora]: America is made up of very odd people.
[Liora's Friend]: Yeah, and in any case I guess they would consider me as part of their social stratii
[Liora]: They did, I'm sure.
[Liora]: Well, I've got a ton of work to do.
[Liora]: I finally got the [something I needed for work], so now I have to [work on it]
[Liora]: This has been a very enlightening conversation.
[Liora's Friend]: ok... it was nice to talk to you... talk to you later
[Liora]: Thanks for sharing your thoughts.
[Liora]: later. Have fun today. don't work too hard.
[Liora's Friend]: thanks to you too

This discussion has been archived. No new comments can be posted.

Wasting way too much time at work....

Comments Filter:

Keep the number of passes in a compiler to a minimum. -- D. Gries