Help help I’m trapped in a Graham Greene novel
August 20, 2013 6:41 AM Subscribe
I am in a foreign country. I just had an encounter with another foreigner, on his way back to his own country, which went along the lines of “You’ll never make it here, you are destined to be unhappy, these are people for whom lying is second-nature.” I just moved here and I feel like I’m being sabotaged.
posted by spaceheater to human relations (36 answers total) 5 users marked this as a favorite
Look, I know he had a bad experience and he wanted a place to vent it from the “I’m an old hand” perspective and I stupidly gave him a platform (the hallway between our hotel rooms), but I am really feeling bad about all the things that he said. Most people I have met here have been nothing but gracious and kind to me – to a ridiculous extent. But the gist of what he said is that as an American, I will never understand them. I will never understand that underneath the kindness lies ulterior motives and an impulse to do dark things and a “lack of morality.” And that nothing they say on the surface can be taken to signify what lies underneath the surface. In short, the surface is just a guise for a tissue of lies.
He looked normal enough and he has been here for a long time. Just talking to him has seriously freaked me out. I feel like he’s trying to set me up to doubt every single interaction I will have over the next year.
How do I process this?