Friday, October 17, 2008

Things I Hate About Africa

  1. The metric system. I have no idea how much of anything I buy at the grocery store, let alone a unit price; how fast I go in a car; how far I go on the treadmill; how much a baby elephant weighs.
  2. Military time. What is with that? Not only does the power go off in the apartment fairly regularly so that I have to reset the clock on the microwave and add 12 to whatever time it REALLY is, but the TV Guide lists programs in military time, and they are either an hour ahead or an hour behind what is printed. I still haven’t figured out which it is.
  3. Driving on the wrong side of the road. I consistently look the wrong way when crossing a street and have very narrowly escaped getting hit by cars.
  4. Celsius. When the temperature is always somewhere between 20 and 23 degrees, it doesn’t seem like much of a difference, but the difference between 68 and 75 is significant.
  5. Speed bumps. They are everywhere here, making me think that a car is slowing down next to me for some nefarious reason, rather than to just calm traffic.
  6. Everything is SLOW. Nothing happens quickly here. Time does not equal money. There is no such thing as a quick run to the grocery store, as people are moving up and down the aisles with the speed of slugs. The only thing moving slower than the customers is the staff.
  7. Telephones. Countries have all different numbering conventions - some with 8 digits, some with 15. Calling cell-to-cell is different than cell-to-land line. Many of the African countries don’t have an infrastructure that even allows for any reliability and the Kenyan system is often overloaded. Good thing I don’t have anyone to call.

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