There are surely dozens of things that can prepare you for life in (South) Africa. Spending time in the segregated city of Chicago is probably on the list. Practicing the order of a brandy and Coke with a straight face would also help.
But the #1 thing — let me just say — has to be the Comcast experience.
Any of you who have allowed the glory of Comcast to enter your hearts understand the high-on-a-mountaintop-Buddhist-monk level of patience it takes to deal with their shenanigans.
That’s just the JV game, boys and girls. In a country where “just now” is a unit of time, you’ve gotta be a professional Zen master to handle the rainbow of installers, fixers, deliverers, and “I can also do that-ers” who promise to arrive at set times. But never do.
Still, I look back at my complicated relationship with Comcast as practice for this new life. When a repair man tells me on Monday that he will be at my house at 2:00 on Friday, I know that he really means 11:00 on Saturday. And I think, well, if #ComcastCares then this guy must, too.
Today, for example, I am waiting for someone to help me fix our pool pump. I waited for him yesterday, too. He says he’ll be here this morning “at 9:00, 10:00, or 11:00.” I’ll leave the light on…
I suppose if there’s one positive thing about being held hostage in my own house by some stranger’s really screwed up sense of time (and shoddy business skills), it’s that I actually banged out a blog post for the first time in months. I guess I’m actually no better than Comcast or the pool pump guy. I promised regular updates, but only delivered on my own schedule.
I’d say you haven’t missed much, but that would be a lie. Our niece Maddie was here in July. Jenny went to the US and Canada for a month. I got a job (Comms role with Power Africa). We dug a giant ditch in our yard, installed new gutters (DIY, with a friend) and hung 18 meters of PVC pipe to channel rain water. Jenny went to Ethiopia. The usual.
Since I’m writing this post on my phone (remember, I’m patiently waiting for some guy — I think his name is Crispy — to show up and look at our pool), I don’t have the relevant visual evidence of all those things at my now-fatigued fingertips. But I will share these two from Thursday, which was Heritage Day here in South Africa.
We both had the day off, but Ephney and her husband, Alex, and two friends came over to help me remove all the construction debris from the ditch-digging job. AND…a couple of guys we’ve known from living on the University campus last time came to help us trim the giant palm trees.
Since Heritage Day is also celebrated as Braai Day, we made sure to do our part:
Anyway, by now you are probably #Waiting for this post to end. Crispy isn’t here yet, but I’ll let you go.
Just remember, while it’s frustrating to wait for Comcast, it’s nothing compared to Africa Time. And, at the end of the day, your Internet is 10x faster and 3x cheaper. Feel free to fire off a rebuttal. Maybe I’ll mow the lawn while I’m #Waiting for your email to download.