October 12, 2008

Patience - Impatience

smashed taxi, La Ceiba, HondurasSmashed taxi, an everyday sight in La Ceiba

Honduran drivers, especially taxi drivers, are not patient. Delay one nano-second at a green light and they'll be honking and passing on both sides of you. In fact, I could go far as to say that the same applies at a red light, since those are just taken as possible alternative for those annoying timid drivers. This guy showed us what a macho driver he is! Yeah, I'm impressed. I'll bet he got to his destination real fast.

Hondurans, in general though, have to be patient people. It can take half an hour to check out at some stores, and that is when no one is in front you. A trip to the bank can mean standing in line for an hour. Waiting for a repair can be weeks or months.

A trip to a government office....well, there is no such thing as one trip to a government office. Generally, it is combined with traveling to a copy store, probably waiting in that long line at the bank to pay for your document, and then a few more returns to the government office to find that they have no paper, no ink, no computer system, are on strike, the only person who can sign or approve what you need is on vacation, or any combination of those things − or each of those things, one after another.

Patience is needed to go to two, three, or four different stores to find what you are shopping for. Patience is definitely needed when the power or water goes out so frequently.

But I can think of at least one area in which Hondurans have no patience whatsoever! They (and yes, I will say ALL of them from my experience!) have no patience for waiting longer than about 15 seconds for someone to answer the door.

If you weren't standing behind the door, waiting for them to ring to bell, forget it! They will be gone before you get there.

If I am in the bathroom or preparing food and need to wash or dry my hands first, or even if I have to traverse from another part of the house to the front door, I might as well save time and just ignore the doorbell.

I'm completely serious about this. I can honestly say that by the time I reach the door, more often than not, whoever was there is long gone.

Why is this?

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