Monday, December 14, 2009

Getting Gas

There are some things that I will likely never understand about this country.

This weekend we ran out of cooking gas for our stove. I mean the gas cylinder was empty. (Think fancy gas grill for what the cylinder looks like.) It was my turn to get one. I hoisted the empty one out to my car which is heavy enough in my weakened, sick state. I drove to the very nearby Caltex station because it was a Caltex cylinder. I vaguely remembered that there was some issue last time because the connection had changed, but we managed one more old type.

There I stood with the guy trying to work out what I needed. Once the full cylinder was loaded and he was off to get me a (hand-written) receipt I noticed that the cars pulling in for petrol were driving off again. I finally listened as the petrol station attendant told the driver, “Hakuna, leo.” There is not, today. While this station had cooking gas it had no petrol for car fuel.

When the man returned with my receipt I asked about the petrol situation. He informed me they had been out for two days. “But it will come tomorrow.” Gotta love that African optimism. I actually had no reason to believe it wouldn’t be there tomorrow. But thankfully I didn’t need any that day.

Within a mile of my house I bet there are 5-7 petrol stations! I wonder if all the stations were out.


Zach Wartes said...

I love that the "Special" is "No Fuel". That's not very special.

Ellen said...

I wonder if this is actually closer to real life where we see and reminded of the scarcity of natural resources. We Americans take for granted that all this "stuff" is just going to be there when we want it as long as we have money...