Due to lack of Internet here in Baga, Goa, India the following video will be visible only in your mind’s eye. I can’t upload the actual video. I can barely upload a picture! (Yes, it is quite near impossible to get any work done here, try as I might.)
The setting: an open field just east of Baga Beach off the Arabian Sea.
The camera is held in my right hand and pointed at my face.
I begin speaking.
“Today I want to talk about expectations, because while here in Baga, Goa, India a lot of mine have been shattered.”
“First, here’s an Indian cell phone from Vodaphone.” [I show my cell phone to the camera.]
“The process of obtaining this was an interesting experience. It took 2 days, 4 visits to Vodaphone, and 5 or 6 hours of my time before I actually had this phone working.”
“This morning I tried to place a phone call and got a message saying my paperwork was never submitted and I can’t place outbound calls.”
“I called customer service from the phone and explained the situation. But because I got my phone in Mumbai I have to call the Mumbai customer support. I can’t call customer service in Mumbai because my phone won’t place outbound calls.” (Note: The first customer service call worked probably because I used the Vodaphone Service button on the phone.)
“Second, I got this Tata Indicom USB Internet stick from a friend.” [I show the USB stick to the camera.]
“I went to the local Tata store to get it activated, but since it hadn’t been in use for a year the SIM card is cancelled and can’t be reactivated. They tell me I must buy a new SIM. So I ask to buy a new SIM. They tell me they don’t sell the SIM, but I can buy a new stick. I’m at the Tata store, they tell me to buy a new SIM, but they don’t sell the SIM. :)”
[A cow walks behind me]
“I ask to buy a new stick. They ask me if I have my resident paperwork. Of course I don’t because I’m not a resident. I try to pay them off because that seems to be how everything works here. But they don’t accept my bribe. :)”
“This all boils down to my own ignorance. I was ignorant of how difficult things I take for granted are in the third world, but it makes sense in retrospect. Everything works differently here and I have to learn to roll with the punches or leave. Things (like a cell phone or internet) that should just work, don’t. It’s like real life Windows. Nothing works correctly, and nothing works on the first try. ;) ”
[A young child on a bike stops and stares at me. I make a comment to the camera about the child. The child appears in the video behind me.]
“What I’d like to know is times in your life when your expectations for something have been shattered and how you dealt with it. But if you have examples of expectations being met or exceeded I’d much rather hear that!” ;)