Thursday, 31 January 2013
Everything you do has some benefit in the end, even a mediocre posting on a blog. As it happens, I got dragged into a fantastic, very typically Russian cat fight on the Russians in Qatar Facebook page about this last posting, which, even I will admit, was just a silly rant, nothing more nothing less.
But it taught me a valuable lesson.
There is no need, really, really, really no need to say things on the Internet that you would not say to someone's face.
.....Or is there?
So many times I read things online and get this overwhelming urge to tell the person what I really, honestly think about them. Oh, it is so tempting!
There is one group someone created on Facebook that I joined which was very nice to start with. It collected old photographs from the street I used to live on back in Baku. It was such a cute idea! We looked at what our building looked like back in the 60es, and later on...what was there and what was added later...( here I wished i could add a photo of the very spooky-looking transvestite prostitutes who for some reason took fancy of one particular corner of Samed Vurgun street at nights; and would approach the cars at the red light to offer their services.) All was going well until one particular woman just joined in and never stopped. She posted pictures of kittens, of course. She also posted stupid jokes- a gigantic number of them. She then started writing pieces of?...- I guess it would be a blog eventually?- and posting those, too. And I resisted really well until one day she asked- Are you all fed up with me yet?
Oh, my.... How close was I to explaining to her just how badly I hated everything that came up under her name recently! How badly did I want to tell her how stupid I thought she was! Did I say anything? Oh, yes. Of course, I did!
But then I deleted it all.
There also was a good blogger I used to follow. She got huge! Absolutely huge. And I had, I guess, a blogging envy going on- a little bit, you know? So, when she disappeared for a while, and then came back saying she got depressed and that is why she was not appearing online anymore recently...she pointed out she had no good reason to be depressed. It was pathetic, wasn't it, she asked.
Yes, it is, I replied.
And then, I deleted it. Because, I asked myself- why is it that I feel like telling this girl I don't even know something so nasty and mean? Maybe it has something to do with the fact her blog has tens of thousands of followers?
Whatever our reasons and motivations are, we often say things online that we don't really have to say.
So, to my latest blog post about things that slowly turn me into an expat bitch, people in Doha reacted with passion. One girl decided it was so sad and negative it possibly reflected my whole outlook on life, not just Doha. Maybe I was generally this frustrated, she suggested.
As I sat there in shock that someone would suddenly write such a long, technically polite, but ever so condescending and judgemental comment, another girl appeared suggesting I had nothing better to do with myself, and should stop whining. 'I hate it when people just whine here all the time!'
Now, you see...in real life, these two girls might be ( might!) quite nice, actually. They might have been nice to me if we met at a coffee morning, and I would have been nice to them, too. We might even have discovered we had a lot in common, and even shared a few funny episodes about our Doha life. But as it turned out, they used written words in just such a way that provoked me to use my written words in just this way...
In the end, just like the joke goes...I let myself relax and enjoy it. Everything (well, within the reason. Everyone tried to hide behind politeness, delivering insults in a subtle, Downton Abbey style, so me swearing and being openly rude was sadly, not appropriate) I would have normally resisted to say, I allowed myself to say. Interestingly, not only did I enjoy the silly cat fight with a bunch of Russian housewives in Doha, I also found a few new friends in the process. In fact, by getting a few people involved in this discussion, I quickly saw who was worth getting to know at some point, and who was definitely not.
In reality, all of us had too much free time on our hands, if we all were to be frank with ourselves. But some people felt the need to justify their involvement in the dialogue. "I have better things to do, you know? I organize a children's' play! You have nothing to do, thus your whiny blog post!"
Now, Doha is a small place. Sooner or later, some of us might meet in real life. So one might suggest not making enemies on Russian forums...But I say-
Oh, what the heck! Why not?
Actually, it is not that bad! You get to know who is who straight away, you don't then need to waste your precious time in real life, trying to get to know someone only to get disappointed later. As expats, we have not got that luxury. We are all here temporarily. We make friends quickly, and we move on quickly, some of us leave the country, some find other friends...So now, I have maybe made a few new friends, and quite a few new enemies, too. I know what not to waste my time doing, events not to bother attending...and also, most importantly...I got all this silly bitchiness out of my system for a while now. So next time, when I feel the urge to comment under someones unfortunate blog or a silly joke...I will simply say nothing.