Thursday, July 2, 2009

it's the little things...

Sorry I have been ghost for a little bit, and forgive the following rant.

The tourism bureau is officially FUBAR. We've had no power at all this week. The bureau, as I earlier mentioned, had their gen break down and they've not been able to get a replacement. But they're also connectd to the city power grid, managed by NEPA, the national power company. Of course, NEPA doesn't know how to run their fucking grid, part of the reason why anyone with remotely consistent power runs everything off of gens here. As a result, I've been without power and internet during the day for most of the week, shooting off business emails in the 15-30 minute time spans when NEPA decides to give us power. It makes work stressful. Thank god this week has been relatively rainy and cool, otherwise staying in the office would be totally unbearable.

So, without power at the office we've moved to the Metropolitan hotel to use their power and steal their internet. Of course, the Metro's internet connection seems to invariably fail around noon each day, so I end up with about as much internet access as I would get if I would stay in the office anyway. So, I've spent most of my days sitting on a couch in this hotel lobby waiting for someone to throw me some work and drinking obscenely priced cokes.

To add insult to injury, I had to drop over N2000, nearly 20 dollars on a shitty breakfast at the Metropolitan this morning because the lodge had no fuel to make breakfast this morning. Of course, no one informed us so I took my malaria meds as I normally do, expecting food at my normal breakfast. So, no breakfast, and a belly full of malaria medication that makes me incredibly nauseated if I don't follow with some food...Needless to say, it's been a shitty week, capped off by a shittier morning.

All of which brings me to my actual point, it's the little things that count. I am perfectly willing to work in an area with little to no power and little to no internet access. That's something one can prepare for and adjust for. What I cannot take is having power and internet and then having it taken away and have no one seem to care at all. And that is probably something that is the most frustrating of working here. You read the newspapers, watch the news, listen to the politicians and you would think nothing at all was wrong with Nigeria. Sure, the country is relatively poor and the economy not great but they're making adjustments, everything else is fine. When you mention the lack of power, the expensive prices for everything, lack of internet and the like and people wanna look at you like your crazy. On what planet do these leaders live on? Most people working here and who own businesses see that Nigeria can't grow with its haphazard infrastructure system but the elites seem to either be delusional, dishonest, ignorant or some combination of all three. I mean, we're staying in government lodgings, pretty nice digs really, and we can't get breakfast? We can't get power during the day? And we're favored guests of the governor? A little honesty would be appreciated.


In my former post I didn't mean to imply that people in poverty can't be noble or possess an incredible amount of dignity. What I meant was that there is no inherent good in being impoverished just as there is no inherent good to being wealthy, and to imply that helping people increase their material comfort is dooming them to crass materialistic lifestyle that is worst than impoverished and "content" is anathema to me. I can't get down with someone who celebrates someone else's poverty while still living high off the hog. At best, the person is blind to their hypocrisy, at worst they're cynical manipulators looking to further cement their own dominance over the poor or disadvantaged. Either way, it's not a good look.

Also, the thrilla in manila was replayed yesterday at this spot where I get goat pepper soup. Frazier really is an incredibly underrated boxer and it's tragic that Ali's legacy and charisma has overshadowed his own. Great fight, though. If you like such things, I reccomend you look at it. Two masters of their styles going at it. It's even more intense when you have a feeling for the political and social context that dominated commentary before the fight. Great stuff.

1 comment:

Frank said...

The documentary makes it impossible to blame frazier for being mad at ali to this day also. it's gritty as it gets sometimes. my heart ached for joe when he was watching the film of the start of the manila fight:
"too far away smoke... get in closer."
he still watches it hoping the outcome's gonna be different.