Life In The 3rd World

Life In The 3rd World


  • A gang of rats dancing in the attic and chewing up my ceiling. I met an unnamed man on a street corner to buy poison that kills people to rid them.
  • I’ve had 3 friends in fatal car accidents in the last 3 months.
  • My spare wheel cover fell off in the middle of the street and went rolling down the road.
  • The plumbing in one of our toilets doesn’t work well, in fact I have to turn off the water to my toilet until I’m ready to use it, then hope the water is working when I go to use it.
  • My car is jacked up. It needs fixing in 4 places, but I’m not sure if that’s true or not because I haven’t found a mechanic who’s honest. One mechanic stripped the parts off of my car and replaced it with knock off pieces. Brilliant! Thanks for that.
  • The police tell me that my car is too hot and charge me $20 to pass through the roadblock. “Ah, your car is too hot, you are going to fast.” No worries, here’s $20, keep the change!
  • When entering the national park, we paid for 7 people to camp, but when we got to the final checkpoint, the paperwork was written for 5. Always double check.
  • A friend of mine was boating in the Zambezi River. His boat broke down and he floated onto Zambian land. A bunch of guys came running up to him and he thought they were swarming to help him, but rather they arrested him for entering without a valid visa. Gentlemen and scholars!
  • (Sidenote: Zambian law, if you punch someone and they happen to die in that year. You automatically get arrested.)
  • I was in a meeting with a startup recently. The entrepreneur was talking to me and my business partner and said:
Entrepreneur: “You and I were talking and decided to start the company.”
I interrupt, “Uh, sorry, when were you talking to my partner, I thought you just met?”
Entrepreneur: “No, you and I were talking!”
Me: “You and me? I’ve never met you before, man!”
Entrepreneur: “No, you! The guy’s name is you!”
Me: “What on earth? Spell it…”
Entrepreneur: “H-U-G-H”
“OH! HUGH!”
So many things get lost in translation here.
  • I stopped at an intersection and started giving a South African rand to a beggar. My car stalled and died.
  • We bought a small AC unit for the hot season at our house. While running for an evening, the air conditioning dripped water all over my speaker system down below. Now when the power is on, we’re cool in silence. When the power’s off, it’s hot silence. Stop the madness!
  • During a recent meeting, I realized one of my colleagues didn't know what “metrics" meant. As in, “We are going to follow your online metrics and make sure there’s a good impact in your target demographic.” My colleague then turns to me, “What’s metrics?”

Life in the third world throws emotional curveballs that force you to redefine your version of common sense.

It means you have to take care of things that you really shouldn't have to take care of, in ways that are almost unnatural.

It means you have to be on your guard and not everyone that looks like help is help.

(photo via pandiyan v)