I needed to email a flyer to my children’s school today. I’m organizing both PTA and Girl Scouts. This is a huge leap from my typical wallflower approach to most commitments. So, it’s that beginning-of-the-year, get-our-ducks-in-a-row crunch time. Please, school newsletter goddesses, let the wider parental community know that we need Brownie leaders and PTA executives with these snazzy leaflets I’ve produced. Compose, attach, send – right?
Our internet bandwidth is so tiny, so pinched thin today that I just can’t make it squeeze through to the other side. Like trying to suck your chunky, gooey milkshake through a collapsed straw. As many times as I click Send and stare down the unmoving status bar, as many times as I hit reload, reattach, restart, the flyer just won’t budge from my outbox. Fly away! Zoom through the microwaves! Please, I need to recruit Brownie leaders, for goodness sakes!
I resort to uploading said flyer to a flash drive, planning to physically drive the precious file across town to school before the quickly approaching deadline. Except my driver and our car are MIA. He told me he went downtown to collect a completion certificate for his night classes. He’s been there multiple times already – they always say “come back tomorrow”. So he does.
No matter, I’ll take a taxi. Except, the taxis have no air-con and no seat belts. Even if there is a seatbelt drivers take the time to twist it behind the seat rendering it unusable. Not my preferred mode of transport in a very hot, humid country known for its high rate of road accident fatalities. Then, my poor taxi driver takes a very circumvent route to our destination. I would correct him except I speak only enough Myanmar to ask “Have you eaten yet”? and “No fried peas with my mohinga, please”. The circumvent route also takes us directly through a school dismissal hot mess zone. Traffic jam at 11:30am you say? Why yes, in this country there is a mid-day rush hour since schools must operate in two shifts to accommodate all the students.
As I arrive, the school secretary says, “oh, just in time – I was about to send it out!” Phew.
So what could have been a 30-second click-and-send became a two-hour sweaty roundabout debacle through this trying-really-hard-to-develop-very-quickly city with too few roads and too skinny bandwidth. And people always ask what I do all day…