Thursday, October 13, 2011

What Drives Me to Drink Bad South African Boxed Wine

Yes, I drink wine, bad wine...perhaps too often.  When I'm in America I drink great wine, not as often.  But then again, in America the stressers, triggers, or crap that just plain irritates me is of a different caliber.

In no particular order.....

Actually I take that back...this jumps to the head of the line.  Lying, incessant, indeterminate, random, lying.

This is a culture based on lying.  I have never seen anything like it.  Rwandans will lie about anything and nothing.  For example, when we asked Angelique how many days she was training prior to her attending her first camp she quickly told Felix, the interpreter, "Everyday!"

Jock just looked at Felix and told him to give her the rundown about lying if you're on the Team.  We do not tolerate lying, plus it really doesn't matter how often she's training at this point as she wasn't on the team yet.  When Felix explained to her our position she quickly responded with an, "Oh, three days."

This is typical.  I have found Rwandans will tell you what they think you want to hear.  They won't tell you their opinions or the truth if they think you won't like the truth.  

One rider lost his place on the team for stealing a razor.  Ironically, it wasn't the theft that got him in the end, it was the lying about it.  He had been asked three different times if he had the razor and he said no.  If he would have confessed to it on the first go round he would still be on the team.

Another perspective rider who had been tested before Jock came to the US showed up at the house asking to be tested and trying to pass it off as if he had never been here and never tested.  We all kept looking at him like we know this guy.  Sure enough it was the same guy and he had lied to Kiki to get in the door.  His test numbers were actually decent, however, he blew his chance to get on the Team because he lied on several occasions to several different people.

I asked the girl at the counter if the insecticide I was buying had a spray nozzle under the cap as it was hermetically sealed and I was not allowed to open the package.  Three times she said yes.  I got home, no spray nozzle.

Here's to the liars in Rwanda!

Laundry + Rainy never fails, every time I have 15 loads of laundry, sheets, towels and bedding after a camp it rains.  
It has rained all afternoon.  I am now down to piles of clean laundry in buckets around the house.  The upside at least is that it didn't rain once during the four days of camp....little blessings.

Here's to loads and loads of wet laundry!

Stupid s&%t that happens on our rides.  Today was a prime example and why tonight I'll swig back some swill.  I have decided that common sense is not really common sense.  It's all stuff we learned from our parents early on.  Some of us learned a lot and had very engaged parents therefore hopefully leading to a wealth of "common sense".  Others unfortunately either never got the lessons, refused to assimilate the lessons or were not given the gene to convert lessons to common sense.  In Rwanda the lack of common sense (early learning) is, I believe, a combination of poverty, patriarchal attitudes and women who pop out babies like an unhinged Pez dispenser.

Today I listened to the kiss kiss sounds made by numerous young men.  I was whacked by a stick wielding little girl who promptly ran off into the field when I slammed on my brakes and three close calls with people walking in front of my bike.  I only rode 25 miles.  Jock and Kiki had to beat off a crowd while repairing a flat.  It's exhausting and makes riding stressful.

Remember the first thing your mom and/or dad said to you when you left the yard for the first time solo?

"Look both ways before you cross the street!

As adults we chalk this up to common sense, however, it really was learned at a very young age.  This is a lesson obviously lost on the majority of Rwandans young and old.  It is mind numbing how many people step into the road and you watch them and they NEVER even look.  I can't imagine walking into a major road without looking both ways.  Our number one accident potential is ignorant pedestrians.  How do you begin teaching something so simple?  Public Service Announcements?

As far as the stupid, nasty, rude and degrading smacking sounds made by the young men...again, lack of education.  Our riders are being taught to not only be great cyclists but to be even greater men, and now women.  If they won't learn it from their parents, guardians, or adult caretakers they will learn it from us.  It has really begun to disturb Kiki and Obed how Jock, Max and I are treated here by the locals on the road.  I am glad they see it, hopefully they can be the agents for change.  

To that....I drink!

Bureaucracy.  Once again we wait for Jock's work visa so he can go to South Africa to meet with Adrien and his MTN Team for contract signing.  Not only Jock but so many of my other ex pat friends are in the same boat.  I don't mind rules, I'll follow the rules, but stop changing the rules as we go!  Molly went two months with Immigration holding on to her passport.  The website says a three day turn around.  Hmmm......

Give me two...

Breaking everything.  In the last 13 days we have had the toilet repaired five times a combination of riders breaking it and incompetent plumbers.  I have been using a toilet for at least 43 years and have never actually broken a toilet.  Pedals that have lasted years for me are destroyed in 6 months.  My cycling shoes are 8 years old, most riders blow through shoes in 8 months.  My guard is not allowed to wash my car anymore after we have replaced every wiper on the vehicle at least once.  I've never yanked a wiper completely off a vehicle.  How do you do that?  I come back from the US and the center console of the car has been completely broken and just hangs in between the seats.  What?  Seriously?

Why does it stress me out so much?  Impossible to get quality replacement parts, no competent repair people and is always at the forefront of every thought.  We don't have it, we need it and every bit is precious.  So, for the love of God, quit breaking s&*t!

That is why I drink cheap South African boxed wine!


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