January 17, 2008
Every culture has its own logic (or in some cases, "logic"), which often differs greatly from the logic of one's homeland. There are two internet cafes near my apartment. One is about a 3 minute walk away. The other is nicer (and faster!) but it's about a 10 minute walk away. Now, I have a 4 hour break between my morning class and my afternoon classes, so you'd think this time difference wouldn't matter. However, (and this is Annie-logic here) as I prefer to use my 4 hours to check email, eat and (most importantly) nap, I usually opt to head for the closer one.
I arrived there today and was assigned a computer, as usual. I sat down and tried over and over again to get yahoo mail (and then several other sites) to load, but with no success. I realized that other patrons were having similar troubles. Two women who had arrived shortly after me got up and attempted to leave without paying. Their argument was that they came to use the internet, and it wasn't working, why should they pay? (I agreed, although I did so silently.) The fellow manning the place retorted that he had turned on the computer for them, and they had sat in front of it for two minutes - they needed to pay for those two minutes. It wasn't his fault that the internet wasn't working. Eventually they threw down their money in disgust. I left then, too, meekly paying my 3 soms (whatever pittance that amounts to) before trudging 10 minutes to the *other* internet cafe.