Thursday, November 20, 2014

Early morning, Nov 20th, 2014

I woke up this morning, and was immediately struck by the perfect silence of everything. 

In a sub-urban area like Ashale Botwe, you don't get the low drones of 'I pass my neighbor' generators clueing you in that ECG is at it again. Instead, you are met with the perfect silence. 

This is day 3. And I decided I'm not going to sit in, stewing in my own sweat, blinking at my To-do list, trying to pipeline what can and cannot be done with electricity until 6pm or whenever ECG decides to be magnanimous.

Instead, I decided to head out to one of several spots I haunt under the circumstances, each with their own set of pros and cons. 

The calm that overcomes one when one stops wriggling and writhing; and accepts the nature of things gave me a clear head to really look at the situation.

We like to rant and rave about ECG this, ECG that, and I always muse about how, at the rate at which we rant about it, the topic would sooner become rather boring. I mean, what else is on? 

Then, I tried to put things into perspective.
Fortunately, just walking up the long, dusty stretch that is Ashale-Botwe, or looking out the window of a trotro on my way to wherever always provides more than it's share of appropriate metaphors.

Today, it was the middle aged woman pulling out of the washing bay and cutting in front of three cars on the main road. She turns in slowly, permitted to do so by the taxi that comes to a complete stop; a rarity for taxi drivers. Naturally, he causes those behind him to also come to a complete stop. 

What does our middle aged lady do? She immediately pulls out a mobile phone and starts a phone call. Does she speed up now that she's on the road and at the head of convoy of 4 cars? No. She maintains the 12km/h speed for another kilometer, until the taxi driver begins honking angrily and cuts in front of her. Her response? To swing her one free hand at the annoyed driver, in a 'You too, get away there' sort of gesture.

While I'm considering this, I take my mind to the example of the countless mates and colleagues I've called on phone as part of a continued discussion about work, opportunity or some project we're both engaged in, and how often those calls go unpicked and no reply is ever forthcoming. Do these people consider MY annoyance, or the urgency of my call? Do they bother to explain themselves later, or just hope the situation goes away, and I simply accept the 'facts of life'? 

Do they even bother to change their Social pattern? Stay off Whatsapp or fail to post 'Inspirational quotes' on Facebook that day? No. Because they couldn't be bothered. After all, 'Is he bringing me Money?'

And yet, of all these people; The middle aged driver on her cell phone, my 'Inspired' mates and colleagues playing ostrich; indeed myself and everyone who has ever had something to say about ECG, our greatest annoyance is less the fact that they cut power, but the fact they lack the 'common decency' to inform the public about their incompetence and failure to deliver, in a manner that may at best, help us plan our day, and at worst serve as a catharsis for what we're made to endure.

We can't change a Corporation or a Government any more than we are willing to change ourselves - At least, not by whining. But we can reflect on our contribution to the problem, and perhaps its solution. 

Complaining is easy. Everyone does it. Even those who I believe, have no earthly business doing so.