In the Dark … again

We have emerged from the dark after a 14 hour power cut.

Despite persistent calls to my friend, Dominic, at the national power company, Tanesco, nothing happened.

Until finally Dominic said, ‘but there is power now’.

No there isn’t I said.

There is, he insisted crossly, ‘turn on a light and you will see’.

I did. And didn’t see anything.

No, no power I said.

I will look into it, he said. I thought that’s what he’d been doing for the past six hours but politely thanked him all the same.

An hour later he called me, ‘You have power now’.

I don’t.

You do.

I don’t.

You must have power.

I don’t have power.

This is ridiculous I thought; how can he argue I must have power when I’ve made 72 agitated telephone calls in a morning, does the man think I have nothing better to do? Or perhaps he suspects I have a crush on him which leaves me unable to do anything but obsess about the sound of his voice.

I promise you, Dominic, I have no power.

An hour later, though, I did.

I thought it prudent to call him and thank him.

I have power now, Dominic, I said.

Yes, he replied a bit sheepishly, somebody had stolen the power lines; we have replaced them.

Africa will do two things to you: elevate your blood pressure or teach you how to be supremely patient.


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