Not really major news, you would think.
I’m an Englishman, raised and well versed in the ways of queueing in an orderly fashion. West African’s have a different way of doing things.
All I wanted to do was change €50 into the local currency. I formed a line between two heftily built gentlemen, waiting my turn at the counter. Man behind the counter was showing no interest in serving anyone, preferring to talk to somebody on the phone, somebody in another office and someone behind him. Finally his attention turned to us and the the man in front of me was served. As he moved away from the counter I advanced to take the empty space. Too slow. The gentleman behind me, belying his size, waltzed past me like an elephantine African Fred Astaire and had his paperwork on the desk before I could blink. I also became aware of three more people around me, eager to take my place if I even thought about blinking at the wrong moment.
I watched the transaction like a hawk, determined to be ready, and as the banknotes changed hands I advanced. I advanced so slowly that two men had got there before me.
I gave up, drove back to our base and changed my cash with one of the local workers.