So one of the first things I learnt about being here was this phrase,"TIA".Often said with a sad shake of the head, or with an almost devil-like smile.TIA , for the un-initiated stands for This is Africa!! Haha..that is their way of explaining strange things that may happen..and a way to accept them too!...These were some of the situations under which ,..TIA became my friend!!
I applied to be endorsed on Dr.Mosi's work permit, so that I, a peace-loving virologist can stay here without having to leave the country every month.Now given our profession,money is like a vaccine.Wonderful to have,not easy to develop and needs many trials to achieve .Anyway for that reason, and also perhaps because I don't want to have to pack a ridiculously small bag every 28 days,I decided to apply for the endorsement.We met with a guy,a Timberlake-inspired sort who assured us that the job will only take 2 weeks( but thankfully he didn't do it in falsetto!)It has now been 4 times that, but he maintains that it will come ....hmmm We uneasily asked whether the lack of money changing hands was the problem.To his credit he didn't agree, but said that he wasn't the one to ask.Then who is...God ?? Anyway so here I am....on my last week that I am allowed here..blogging about it...TIA !!
Me and said Mosi went to a shawarma place with a friend this weekend.We sat ourselves down(literally!), and I smiled a beaming smile at all around.I was hungry, but being mature about it.Also, the lure of soon to be eaten hot shawarma may have done the trick.Anyway...5 minutes in and no sight of a menu.Waiter:" what menu? All the stuff we have is up on the wall",Us;" Ah yes...the normal place to have the items listed...." hmmm..Anyway I don't care , I want food!! Happy facade starting to slip just a bit.Finally we ordered and paid for our food....Twenty minutes later, our poor friend went up and stood at the chef's desk...Food?? Ahh yes..Half the order came in..the other half forgotten..Then we were told we hadn't paid for the food.Hmm...what was that money that changed hands at the start..was that the money for my endoresement..Is this guy secretly an Immigration guy?...Anyway..later fed and watered we waddled out...Does a meal really have to be this complicated....Well TIA!!
Ahh and finally..The source of greatest angst.The phone system!! Grr...I am on MTN , a provider here.Provider?? snicker snicker...This company is a stickler for privacy for sure.They ensure you are never disturbed , and never bother anyone!..Calls don't get through...and my parents have gone red in the face and fingers pressing redial!!I can't get through to the husband's phone even when he is right next to me...."Out of service area ",proclaims the lady,oh-so -officially!!! Maybe that's MTN saying serves you right for clogging up our lines...Grrrrr...TIA indeed!!!
And then...what happened yesterday...We and said Mosi sat down to watch the don of all movies..Sholay!..2 bowls of ice cream..and we got into a highly dramatic scene.Jai has been shot..but he hides the wound from Veeru.He tells Veeru to take Basanti( of extremely shy and quiet Hema Malini fame!) and return with more ammo!..He flips the coin , and elects to stay!Just as our ( mine ,for sure) hearts raced with all the action...One dirty shirt- clad ,ugly goonda( read villain!) reached for the gun, the cd clicked and whirred and stopped! What....Nooooooo! Re-loading the cd...forwarding past the said scene,playing it on a computer..nothing would work.The end ..would remain a mystery!....So TIA too? Naah..this is just us...But as long as we are complaining...............
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