Tuesday, September 11, 2007

Nickle & Dimed

At least you’re not working in the restaurant business here! Let me tell you how it is… The new manager here, for example, works 7 days a week, 15.5 hours a day, from 7am to 10:30pm with NO DAYS OFF for the first 3 months. No… days… off!!! She has hours of paper work to log each day about food costs, purchases, labor costs, etc which she must do BY HAND! Any mistakes and it throws all of her numbers off and she can’t just change one, like in Excel, and it fixes everything, she has to go back through and re-add everything. Remember, No… days… off! There are very few customers that come in, 30-40 a day, so they are bored all day. I constantly come in and find the servers sleeping in the chairs. They serve “white people food” and have tourists stop in and eat on their way to the tourist spots. The meals for the customers costs about $2.50 a meal, but the workers here must eat rice and beans which would cost about $0.25 a meal, if that. And they eat the same thing for each meal, sometimes only eating 1 or 2 meals a day. And for all her efforts, she gets paid $1 a day. One US dollar a day… They would give anything to be washing dishes in the US and would still find a way to send 1/ 2 of their money back to their families.

Mountain Climbing

I went mountain climbing the other day to ‘get away’. The idea of physical exercise and solitude appealed to my soul. Finding solitude as a white man here is next to impossible. I had to sneak up the ridge I wanted to hike by beginning in a very isolated place. Once climbing, I could hear people yelling Muzungu at me from the homes and gardens below. On the way up, a small band of children began tearing up the hill after me, so I went into full commando mode and made a game of hide and seek of it. Once I reached the top I angled like I was going to the left but then ran (sprinted actually) off to the right and ducked behind the ridge while watching my back for tailgaters. My whiteness shines like a beacon in these parts and people are intensely curious as to why there would be a white man on their hill. Not to mention the fact that I must have money spilling out everywhere which I’ve brought to dole out to anyone who asks.


At 17 September, 2007, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hey, Brian. Spanky here. I found this page in one of my old e-mails. I see you are having an interesting cultural experience over there. I enjoyed reading your blogs. I sent you an e-mail to your hotmail address, so I hope the account is still active. I hope everything is going well for you. Take care. :0)



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