The other day, I was giving my boyfriend a summary of the weird, funny expat stories I’d recently heard out of Afghanistan. One involved expat NGO employees finding an old round bread at their guest house. The bread was as stiff and hard as wood, so they decided the best thing to do was use it as a frisbee and play for a while.
My boyfriend, who is Afghan himself, lowered his eyebrows and gave me an annoyed look. Then, he sighed, “They should have just given that bread to a poor person. There are a lot of starving people in Afghanistan, and it wasn’t nice for them to play with bread, even old bread. You can’t understand that, and this is why I worry about where the [development] money is going.”
It’s uncomfortable but nonetheless necessary to be reminded, every so often, of how easily privilege can blind you to the truth of things.