A Brief Note on Chaos
May 4, 2010 5 Comments
A friend of mine out here and I were talking over one of our most enjoyable (i.e. ONLY) past times that we have out here, smoking a cigarette, and he started describing the process we participate in just trying to go on home leave from here and how the process is never the same twice. Points we covered:
1. You could travel down the road to the airport at the same time but on the following day and not know if you will have a smooth ride or if you will be locked n bumper-to-bumper traffic.
2. When do the escorts show up to pick you up from the inbound airport? -God only knows.
3. Oh, look, the airport’s electricity is down again! We get to receive hand-written boarding passes! They will of course be accepted when we get to our second flight, no problem.
4. What time are we actually LEAVING the site to fly to Lagos? Hmmm… any time between 1300 and 1800, just stand by and wait to be called? No problem.
The list goes on, and of course this was supposed to initially be a rant on the vile horrors that is Nigeria, but I turned the conversation on it’s head by letting the guy know one deviant observation about the variances out here. The variance? -When you are in an environment that “evolves” as much as this one out here does, you develop this amazing ability to be ready for any thing because in truth ANYTHING CAN HAPPEN OUT HERE. In response to the four points that I mentioned above, I stated:
1. You know that you may be stuck in a vehicle for some time, so bring something to occupy your time. There is always something bizarre to see on the drive to the airport, so bring a camera to photograph said oddities. Me personally I have about thirty games loaded on my iphone (yeah, I am one of THOSE guys) and they keep me busy for some time.
2. Escort not there yet? Books are amazing in that you can read them to fill in the gaps of time between you being somewhere and going somewhere else. Let’s face it; you are not moving any time soon until they get there, so you might as well resign yourself to that fact and hunker down for a bit.
3. Whatever it takes to get on a plane is what you do. If they will accept hand written tickets in the Lagos airport you USE hand written tickets in the Lagos airport. If you thought ahead and printed an itinerary while still in the office it will be honored at the ticket counter at the next leg of your journey.
4. Remember I mentioned a book? -It had better be a nice long one…
I personally think it is really interesting being in a situation like that and having it as a constant, as the mindset that I have gained from it has some real-world applications and makes you able to… well, pretty much handle anything that life throws your way. I can’t remember the last time that I was actually surprised by anything as the first thought that pops in the old noggin is not “oh SHIT this is NEW!!!” but “I can handle this and already know of fifty different ways to do so”.
Meh, I thought it was an interesting observation.
Here’s a picture of a cat that looks like Hitler for being such a good listener.