Waiting really sucks.
Time doing nothing is no problem, but when you are waiting for someone it is like negative doing.
You could be doing something, but you cannot because you have to remain somewhere, otherwise you will not make your rendezvous. In an African country where a white man already sticks out, waiting increases your conspicuousness.
In general here white folk have business to take care of.
To linger and look ponderously for the familiar face or vehicle.
It is like adding a neon sign.
As if I wasn’t already nervous at the prospect of waiting some more, suddenly I start to notice that other people have noticed me.
One you spot one person pointing in your direction, you feel the target of some imagined conspiracy.
Time to move, but moving means you may be missed by the person who would collect you.
Like I said, so much less than doing nothing.
It goes beyond boredom towards some kind of non-exhilerating fear.
You have time to think and dream, and this thought makes it no easier.
Not speaking the language makes it worse.
No breaks are permitted from the paranoia.
Small talk provides no relief.
Ah – finally – the relief of being collected.
The momentary past melts away, the fear passed, the pointing fingers become a mark of my mini-celebrity once more.
All is forgiven.