I have been experiencing African time this week. Wikipedia defines it as “the perceived cultural tendency, in most parts of Africa, toward a more relaxed attitude to time.”. This is not the same as being late. Not at all.
When I am in Johannesburg I always like to use the same two taxi companies – one for airport transfers (let’s call them Apollo) and one for going to the office (let’s call them Dynamic Taxis). For the last six months they have been absolutely reliable. Always on time. Until this week.
It was at least partially my fault – Dynamic got used to a 8am / 5pm routine and then I changed it.
First I asked for a 7:30am pick-up so I could make an 8am call. I went outside the hotel to find Bud (one of the regular drivers) wondering where I had been – he had been waiting since 6:30 and fell asleep in the car.
Then I asked for a 4pm pick-up on Friday because I had another call at 5pm. At 4:15 I called to find out where they were. Sisi (another regular) turned up at 4:30. I let his brother-in-law and his friend (also Dynamic drivers) both know about the change in time the day before. They passed the message on, but Sisi just forgot. Oh well. He was so apologetic I didn’t have the heart to be annoyed, and I still made my call on time.
Then I had a pick-up booked with Apollo at 5:30pm today. They turned up at 4:30pm. No, they didn’t get the booking wrong. The driver was in the area and thought he would pop in to see if I wanted to go early. Not really, but oh well.
So why is there a photo of the SA Baobab lounge on this post? It seems my plane home to Perth is running on African time…