Gone for Tea


I often have to face a practical issue due to my daily routine and the fact that people around here start work when I go to bed. If I have something to be solved that depends on a local service I wake up between 10 and 11, forgetting that tea here happens around that same time and the only reaction I can expect is: a) Gone for tea. b) I don’t care because at this time I would rather be having tea.


Be it on the phone or at the office, the result is always the same. And no use to organize in shifts because: 1) One group would be gone for tea. 2) The second group would be impatiently waiting to be gone for tea. 3) The third group would act as if they were still having tea.


(Extract of a recent conversation between Paul and I. Paul: “You know that the idea of work, the philosophy or culture of work, is Western, don’t you?” Seabell: “What is the African culture then? Que sera, sera?” Paul: “No. That is a Western vision too. Though it describes slow work, it’s still work.” Seabell: “I know! I used it recently: why work if it’s so good as it is.” Paul: “That’s more like it.”)


This week I faced a gone for tea situation. Again. Again and again. Too often. Maybe it keeps repeating so that I don’t forget the national teatime.


I despaired. With a deaf phone on the other side, I decided to send a message by fax: “I’m still waiting for the outdoor fumigation against mosquitoes, cockroaches and ants, as requested in December…” Well, that’s another long story


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