On the way out

Whenever any of our staff hand in their resignation, they will almost invariably cite family problems as their reason for leaving.

What this almost invariably means is that they have found a better paid job somewhere else. Everyone knows this bit of double-speak, and understand the lie for what it is, but still people persist in telling it.

It’s become a bit of a joke but it still narks me that people I like would bother being so stupidly deceitful about such a simple thing. At this point I’m tempted to go off on a rant about certain other related issues, but will refrain.

I’m writing this instead to say that I am leaving my present job. Not for family problems, or ‘family problems,’ but for, well, I just am.

I’ll be leaving Afghanistan in a month or so. I may be back, or I may not. This blog may continue after then, or be revived at a later date, or it may not. I’d planned to stay in Afghanistan for longer than one year, but seems like I’m just another short-termer after all.

So, I am in Ghor for the final time. I’d like to think of be returning, but it’s not the kind of place one can just drop by as one’s passing.

Which makes saying goodbyes that much harder; there can be little pretending it’s ‘see you later.’ There are a lot of people out in the districts I won’t have the opportunity of saying good bye to at all. But while I’d like to think otherwise, I know to most of my colleagues I am just another expat briefly passing through.

Part of me will be glad to get out of here. Over the last few weeks in Ghor I’ve found all the normal frustrations magnifying themselves in my mind. Now I don’t have to put up with the many inconveniencies of living here, or to be so diplomatic in my relations with others, it’s been tempting to let fly.

I haven’t, yet. Instead I’ve been withdrawing myself mentally. Part of me has left already.

The other part doesn’t want to go.

To explain why feels beyond me right now, and would require a whole lot of rambling.

I had too many thoughts crowding in my head last night and couldn’t sleep. The shortest night of the year felt like the longest. Sometime in the wee small hours I gave up and went to sit outside, watching the nearly-full moon arc across the horizon, blinding out all but the brightest stars.

Today I am ill. I have rebuffed the sympathy of my colleagues and the suggestion that I should go to the PRT clinic in favour of alternatively crawling up in a ball and staring blankly at my computer and the words that refuse to form themselves into the report I need to write.

In my currently befuddled state I can’t deal with the contradictions between wanting the hell out of here and wanting to stay put. Actually, I probably couldn’t at the best of times.

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3 Responses to “On the way out”

  1. ash Says:

    harry. i hope that where-ever you go will be another stepping stone for you. i’m grateful for your experience there and i’m sure that it’s “just time.” what contribution you have made, i’m sure, the afghanis are grateful for. and it would be great if you kept us up on your adventure w/ every turn you take! (wink) ciao

  2. Frida Says:

    i guess you know that i had similar mixed feelings – thinking of you

  3. harryrud Says:

    Cheers guys

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