Mercenaries, Missionaries and Misfits. That is how someone once explained the members of 'the international community' anywhere in the world to me. Of course this member of this exclusive guild did only refer to others when he explained this to me, and not to himself or me, but it made me wonder. Where do I fit in in this picture?
Preferably in none. But by default in all, I guess.
I came as a missionary, a do-gooder, to BiH. However, experience, disappointments and realism made me view my job at the Court more and more as very cool work, but not as a mission anymore. I looked at my work with interest, instead of with zeal. No missionary anymore, therefore. But am I a Mercenary then? It would mean I am in it for the money. And that is not how I want to see my existence here- it would devaluate what I did here. But it can also mean that I am in it for the excitement of the work that 'the International Community' does all over the world (btw: I put 'The International Community' between quotation marks, since I do not exactly know what it is. It is a concept, that even my favorite website Wikipedia can not clearly describe
. However, I guess most people can make an impression of it), and that I am a gun for hire, that I can and will go anywhere to do the same work that I did here. If that means that I am a mercenary, then I guess I am one. A hesitant one, because at a certain point I want to live in North Western Europe again, but still, a mercenary.
And a misfit? Although I would like to see myself as socially apt, I guess I would currently be a misfit in certain parts of the professional world (read the disclaimer that I put in this sentence!). In the world of '9 to 5', the world of 'knowing that on Tuesday March 5th 2008 you have lunch in the same cantine as you are having lunch in today', the world of expectations of others, in the world of 'normal'.
The first time I heard my colleague talk like this about 'The International Community' I was a bit peeved. Now it makes me smile, and use it to upset others. Because granted, most people do not want themselves boxed in in one of those labels. But I guess everyone can be, more or less.
But then again: who cares? It is good bar-talk.....