“You’re so American Michael said to me. Michael was Canadian. Canadians are pleasant and genuine. Good people. Canadians are good people. Americans too, but sometimes a bit too arrogant, and not enough aware of what they don’t know.
Michael and I were friends; he worked for a Jewish human rights NGO (nongovernmental organization, sometimes also referred to as civil society organization, or CSO, although this is a more recent label) and I worked for the World Health Organization, or WHO. As in double u; H; Oh. Not “who”. Very gauche to call it “who” in global health circles.
We were at a dance to benefit something in Uganda – I’m not sure what it was, whether a women’s capacity building and empowerment program, an orphanage, a school, but it was a good cause. And, with a lot of partying Africans comes a great dance party. Only problem was, the light was too bright. We were in the basement cafeteria / large room with lots of fluorescent flood lights. Not conducive to dancing. But nobody seemed to be in charge of the lights; nobody took action.
So I went out in search of the light switch. I found a large panel, near one of the doors to the hall. I fussed and found a good combination – hall lights bright, dim lights in the room. More people started dancing.
That is when Michael called me out for being an American. Apparently only an American would have the ‘chutzpah’ to turn the lights off, without authorization. Everyone else was disappointed with the ambiance, but didn’t think it was up to them to do something about it.