Sep 3, 2006

Team Building With Ramen

I had an extraodinary dream about aliens.

Their space base on Earth looked like a hotel in the mountain where we got by bus(!). I even had my son with me. All the earthlings knew in advance they were participating in a volunteer experiment, and were provided with the test documentation, so we were aware we were being assessed. The overall objective was to test the level of compatibility of humanity with the alien race, and quite possibly, vice versa.

The hotel was something between 2 and 3 stars (stars are supposed to be huge balls of hot gas, not a measure of luxury:D). The aliens looked like humanoids at first glance, although some had wierd hairstyles (ok, some humans did too), and mingled with us in the lounge areas. We had our rooms but we were instructed not to spend much time there. There was a lake outside the hotel where we could swim and where my son almost drowned while playing with alien kids. There was a lawn of my favorite kind - not completely flat but slightly slopy. Food was served all the time, and sweets were a key ingredient in the menu. I vaguely remember that when you met an alien for the first time, you had to exchange sweets, so I had brought quite a lot. Some sweets remained at the end of the dream...

Which brings me to the confession that I was a grand failure in the experiment. I was so inadequate in communicating with aliens that it reminded me of a painful experience when I was about 11 and went to a folk dancers training camp where I couldn't talk to anyone (a piece of shameful account of my life, yep). Earthlings were almost as much an obstacle for me as aliens and I remember a few blunders of mistaken identity, which is a sign of absolute idiocy, because, you see, aliens gave you the creeps. Literally. When you looked an alien in the eye, there was a palpable tingling sensation in your backbone. They weren't horrific, they were just different. They laughed at different things, they talked about irrelevant (for me) stuff, and they exuded cruelty. I don't know why I thought them cruel, maybe this is my post-dream imagination playing tricks on me.

The dream ended abruptly while I was packing my bag to go. I knew I missed the bus which most other humans had already boarded. The team building was a flop, at least as far as I am concerned. I was so absorbed with myself and my reflections that I didn't even look at people, I refused to adjust my behavior to match theirs (or at least match the test criteria), and I expected them to adjust to me. After all, for them I am the alien, right?

This is my fear of strangers speaking, for those tempted to quote Freud;)

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