Waiting for an email to send in Ethiopia is like watching grass grow, or more potently like having a serious bout of constipation after eating too much injera. The blue bar starts growing as you watch the white one diminish, millimetre by tiny millimetre you stare, strain and grow red in the face hoping that the bar will grow faster and bluer, like your knuckles holding on to the door frame. It is moving, the little blue bar is moving, cause for celebration, hip hoor….. arghhh! It has stopped and you just can’t squeeze it out. You try again, straining against the load wanting to make its way through that one small hole that is the only computer in Ethiopia to the bowl, that is the outside world and the Ethernet! There is movement, your knuckles slowly grow bluer and the light is getting brighter, no hang on that is someone who turned the light on in the bathroom. Was there someone in there? Oh, sorry, will you be long? I don’t know, ask the man behind the computer, now we are going to be slower!
As I sit in agony trying to send my email, a thought starts to grow. On what planet (oh, probably Earth, I think that’s where I am) does someone plan to have all the Ethernet go through one computer? That is like saying that everyone has to shit in the same toilet, can you imagine the line-up? Eating and drinking would become precarious, as you would only be able to go to the toilet about every 2 years. Yes, that is also calculating for the fact that men spend more time on the toilet than women, it is true! Why do you think you only ever find light-porn in people’s toilets (yes, mine is excluded) and the trashy soap opera mags on the coffee table (also excluded). She has had to wait on the couch while he sits in the loo. Ok, I have digressed, but its true, ask any woman.
Then flashes of hope come thin and fast as suddenly a bout of diarrhea sweeps the line and the blockage is temporarily freed. Yes, fleeting is the movement before another blockage sends you into spasms and nail biting. Finally, there is movement in the station and systems seem to be freeing up again (or maybe that is the curry) and the blue bar has almost reached its destination, the end of the line. You unfurl your fists, stop sweating and start to feel like you have accomplished a moon landing while standing on your head and juggling Jupiter, Mars and Uranus (yep, pun intended)! Did you get your email? What, you only got half? I have to send it again? Will my bowels withstand this tension?