It is not the same to work with a local company, that also hires foreigners to cut the budget still maintaining the habits of the country, and to be employed within a multinational based corporation. The latter attempts to involve everybody, almost on the same level, under the not written rules of an international coexistence. For such a goal is required an extremely flexible mind prone to accept any kind of insult deriving by mutual misunderstanding, or more realistically a good mix of common sense and duplicity.
Liberals are quite excellent at that, but if someone has got strong opinions, that could also seem despicable to a politically correct audience. For sure it will not be easy to stand fast on his or her own ground. Some contract will be for sure unavoidable, as well as strong convincements. Robust enough not to be easily upset, keep calm and be able to express every point rationally. Eventually a firm mindset is always welcome. Much more appreciated than the soft thinking of a mellifluous diplomat.
Sometimes the teams look like a United Nations committee and some witty tongue could also add that they are no more effective. I have however seen a really effective team so far, even when made up by people born and grown up all in the same area. The international experience has moreover enriched me with a superficial knowledge of languages I wouldn't have ever thought about. For instance, I am now fully aware that when Robert Mugabe summons the mob, bambere is the corresponding word for amen in such whimsical absolutist sunday services. The people is indeed expected to shout loud and clean "Bambere Mugabe", or simply reply "Bambere". A valuable variable is "Bambere ne ponga", to which is also expected to hear the refrain "Bambere!".
Being a white man and unwelcome to any political matter concerning Zimbabwe, I go back to my personal story and forget about Central Africa. Perhaps I could move there, when the invisible hand that rules not just economy, but also history, will have brought freedom of thought and action also on the Equatorial line. My feeling give me the hint that it will be an hard fight, to be started in central Europe.
Far better oriented, or better compatible to my mindset, are Indians and Pakistanis, who, to the doctrines of Nehru and Gandhi, largely prefer a capitalist perspective. Those are my best acquaintances, still influenced by the traditional flair mixed with the entrepreneurial spirit of Asia. They spend most of their free time by looking for new trade opportunities, not necessarily related with their job. I find it divine and try to support their initiatives at my own best.
Not to forget the Middle East delegation. Active as brokers and dealers along the silk road of yore. Some of them have got a second job, but they mostly thrive on an extended social network. When a specific opportunity is spotted, they check among their former friends and colleagues whether anybody could answer with the most appropriate offer. They usually do it also at work, but they never subtract more than a reasonable amount of time to common duties. It is just an alternative to waste energies with lunchtime, internet surfing and coffee break.
The most active one is a Palestinian, who has wide connections with a large part of the shops in the city centre. A purse for your lady, a golf club for your man, a gentleman hat, you should ask him and he will give you some satisfying directions. Just not forget to mention his name when you will be served, or you'll miss some discount and he will lose his commission. He seems to be a nice guy, and seldom discusses about politics.
On the contrary, more prone to waste their time are Europeans, excluding the Britons. Britons are really active as well. When the virus of modern day politics starts to affect my mates from Italy, France and Spain, they so easily lose their focus and begin with useless soliloquies on the magnificence of social assistance and high taxations. They seem to try to keep each other under a continuous brainwashing, not to have to recognize that, if seen under a different perspective, most of their beliefs are based on inconsistent assumptions.