Monday, May 11, 2009

Good times

Because we are nothing if not fair and balanced, I'm going to whine about some things that went wrong the other day. Also, Luke gave me the beating of a lifetime playing Gin, which never gets old.

1. As some of you may know, the NBA playoffs are in full swing right now. Given that we are decidedly not in basketball country, we've given up trying to follow with any regularity. However, there are maybe two or three games a week that make it on the South Africa satellite feed. Amazingly, there were games on Saturday and Sunday, so even though that is prime soccer time in these parts, we had double the odds of catching a game. One we had to miss for official business (seriously, we are really starting to make real progress), but we were all set to watch the other.

Except that the power was out and there were big soccer games. But that is relatively common, so we had a contingency plan. A small place, with a generator, that the soccer hoards only frequent for the biggest of games. We show up, the TV is on and there is no crowd. Golden. Then we go to change the channel and find out that they forgot to pay the bill. Not to worry though, the payment will process before the big Manchester Derby that night (Man U. vs Man City). It's only out for the next three hours. Right when the basketball game is on. But for some reason, CCTV (straight out of the Chinese Ministry of Truth) comes in loud and clear. Whatever. Just brush it off and keep moving.

2. We also spotted a calling center, where we can call home for pretty cheap (around 5 cents per minute). So I cruised over there Sunday night, the only time to really call home with the time change, only to find a line of Indians out the door. Not too surprising, given that they run a lot of the businesses here and also need to call home. So I wait for probably an hour, no big deal. Just the cost of doing business around here.

I finally make it into a booth, figure out how to make calls (just add a # to the end of the number, obvi) and even get through to one of the three people I was trying to talk to (Sorry Mom, Happy Mothers Day. We didn't forget. And Dr. Wazee, good luck with the fire. We'll get through yet). Except that the connection was so terrible that I think we only tried to talk for a minute or two. Thwarted again.

3. So I head back to the room, getting a little frustrated, and figure I'll just do some reading and chill out. I settle in, open up the ol' libro and immerse myself in a bit of well-deserved escapism. Then the power shuts off. Too dark too read. I guess I'll just go to sleep. Damn.

* * * * *

See? It's not all fun and games. Luckily it's still a beautiful country and the people are super friendly and warm. Plus we changed our organizational focus just a bit and it is already paying huge dividends. So don't get me wrong. We're still living the good life.


There's is supposed to be a Sox game on the satellite feed this afternoon, so maybe we'll get lucky. Everybody send some good mojo our way. Over and out.

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