HERE LIES TEN MINUTES OF MY TIME.
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5:31 p.m. 2009-12-08
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A walk to work

Documenting an error.

This morning my alarm did not go off. Why? Three reasons. First, my first wave of stuff, which contains an alarm clock with battery back up, has not yet gotten to me. I understand that it arrived in Lagos seven days ago, but that last mile is always a challenge. Reason two, my cell phone alarm didnít go off because of government meddling! My phone was inspected, which involved the battery coming out, and the person who took it out was nice enough to reset the time, but they set it 12 hours off. Sigh. The third reason is that I didnít catch the second reason, and when I woke up at some time early on I looked around and thought ďoh, still dark.Ē See, Iím back in the rising before the sun portion of my life, so waking up at 3 AM and 5:30 AM looks about the same from my bedroom.

So, when I did finally wake up, and saw that dawn was breaking, I knew that something had gone horribly wrong. Ok, this horror is the kind of horror that is the easiest to exaggerate. I ended up being an hour late to work. Not that bad at all. But the fun thing was that I had a different trip to work in the morning. Instead of my hitching a ride through the darkness, fighting traffic while dawn is breaking, I had a morning stroll.

Some notes from my morning walk:

I walk faster than Nigerians. I walk like a man with somewhere to go that isnít used to going there in oppressive heat and humidity. You can get away with this early in the morning. I think my way of walking would be a failure if I was trying to do it at 2 pm.

I walked past a peacock on the side of the road. Major road. Major plumage. This is no metaphor. Peacock, chilling on the side walk. That just happened. This morning.

I also walked past a pile of discarded desk phones. That is about as clear a sign that the cell phone is going to replace the land line. If a pile of electronics can be left on the side of the road in Lagos Nigeria, and nobody takes it, its useful life is over. These phones werenít in bad shape, they were justÖ over.

I love the fact that I take a boat to and from work! That is such a cool thing. Everyday that I manage to get onto and off of the rolling platform (from the wake of other passing boats, not sea waves) without falling into the river is a special victory.

There are people living under the bridge. I know because under some of the pylons, they are always there and they hang their laundry up. I suspect that there also people practicing agriculture under the bridge. I think this because one of the pylons has a little more green and the dirt on it seems to be different than the filth on the other pylons.

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