A few days ago, I returned from my journey to a parallel universe- the universe of international negotiations. I will not talk about substance here. You can read all about that in the news. I'll tell you about what life is like in this parallel universe.
Several times a year, people from all countries in the world gather there. We leave our homes and family and set up this alternate reality. For some, it is a chore, part of the pain of their job, and they grasp desperately at the threads that link them to life back home. For others, it is an escape from the pressures, obligations and other social straight jackets they are bound to back home. And there are those for which this is the highlight of their year.
In this world, everyone is consumed by one topic only. Which makes it easy to forget everything else that is happening outside. Everyone is conversant in the same language, which makes it easy to socialize. Everyone is taken out of their comfort zones, which removes the usual inhibitions. We all greet each other with hugs and kisses when we meet, whether it is in our regular culture to do so or not. Our delegations become our family, and those with similar interests become our neighbors. For 2 weeks, this becomes our village, our reality.
In this universe, the resilience of a human body is shown. Starting work at 8am and ending at 10pm is considered humane, while all-nighters are considered normal. We work despite the physical environment- we have been baked, frozen, steamed, starved and suffocated, but we plod on. Weekends are fairy tales, and public holidays only exist in our imagination.
There are the usually characters you see in every story book or movie- the villains who block all rays of hope, the extras milling about in the background, the supporting characters who breathe life, comedy and drama into the scenes, some bumbling fools, and a host of people jostling for the role of the hero.
At each gathering in this parallel universe, the plot is generally the same- each character says their pre-scripted lines, tensions builds, long agonising waits, and then suddenly, the clouds part, and an agreement is reached, and we all go home feeling a little pain and a little pleasure, patting ourselves on the back, for a job well done. Till the next time the intergalactic portal opens again to take us back to this parallel universe, where we do all that is necessary to protect all that we have in the real world.at 2:37 PM