When I took on this job it felt like I’d been set free. I used to work in a warehouse in Coventry, it was soul destroying but I always put a brave face on it. “No point in complaining”, I’d tell anyone who asked, “We’ve all got to earn a crust and its a damn site better than working down the mines!”. In reality I felt the minutes, the hours, the days, the years slipping through my fingers and when I pulled up to work for the start of another eight hour shift, another eight hours of my life slipping through my fingers I just wanted to turn the car away and escape. We all feel like don’t we? Most of us have kids and with kids comes responsibility and with responsibility comes a mortgage and that’s why we sell our time to the highest bidder. I digress, we were’t talking about the dreadful warehouse years, we were talking about the current bloody awful Africa years.
So a friend of a friend of mine recognised something in me that my bosses at my various dead end jobs never had and I was head-hunted for a firm that needed foremen to travel around the world and oversee their operations. It was a bit different to operating a forklift truck but they obviously spotted something that no-one else had seen because it turns out I’m bloody good at this job. I’m good with people and I get along with the local labour-force that are the ones doing the grunt-work that I was doing back in Coventry. I absolutely love it, or I did absolutely love it until I ended up in fly -blown Ethiopia on a job that seems never ending. I should have been here for 3 months, its been nine so far and the end is in sight. I’m not a racist but – said every racist ever – but the Africans see things in a very different way to us first world ex-colonial rulers. I know we helped cause it and I know I can’t apply my values to other cultures but by god they cannot think for themselves.
Yesterday I came to work to find one of the workers trying to hammer nails in with a hammerhead, not a hammer as the handle had been removed. After much wheedling it transpired than the handle had been taken home and burnt on the family fire. Now I know wood is scarce but still…
I’ve been feeling a bit under the weather recently, vomiting and diarrhoea and the whites of my eyes have gone a peculiar shade of yellow so I went down to the clinic to see the doctor and I tested positive for hepatitis. It pretty common out here but the problem is, the one I’ve got is sexually transmitted, so how I’m going to explain that to my wife when I get home is a bit of a tricky one.
The moral of this story is don’t get pissed with the workers when you’re away in sub Saharan Africa and definitely don’t end up shagging a 23 year old African who was so beautiful she could have been a model, because no matter how great it seemed at the time Hep C is not pleasant and bloody hell, your wife is going to kill you if the disease doesn’t!