Last week we did our regular shopping expedition which, in case you've forgotten, involves driving two hours away, running around to several different stores and offices and then heading home.
The first (and last on the way home) hour of the trip is the worst. The road is covered with potholes and in many places there is no way to go around the holes other than going off-road. It is a bumpy ride to say the least. Usually I sit in front next to Tom and the kids ride in the back on the benches that run along the length of the vehicle.
This past week I had been up most of the night taking care of Sara and so I decided to get a bit of a nap during the drive. I brought a pillow and stretched out on the bench--oh so grateful for the horizontal position of my body. My joy quickly faded though as we hit the first potholes. I bounced around that cab like nobody's business. I looked over at Jasmine and asked how on earth I was supposed to sleep without getting thrown off my bench. She told me that I needed to hold onto something and that I would instinctively grip harder in my sleep.
I don't know if that would work or not. I didn't really try it. After an hour of driving we reached the smooth part of the road and I heaved a sigh of relief and settled in to sleep. The only thing I had forgotten was that about 15 minutes before our destination there are two huge potholes. I was deep in sleep when Tom swerved to avoid them. I woke up as my body flipped over and landed on the floor of the cruiser--my feet got tangled in some drink crates and my head hit our ice cooler.
Tom and the kids were wholly unsympathetic I tell you. Tom looked back and said, "Oh, it's time to wake up anyway". and Jasmine said, "Were you holding on?" No respect, people, no respect!
A short time later we were dropped off at the grocery store since Tom had to put the car in for an oil change. The kids and I jumped into a taxi and quickly visited the local Peace Corps house. We were only there for ten minutes or so and then the same taxi dropped us back off at the grocery store.
My routine in the store is always the same--I start with the vegetables and fruits and then move on through the aisles. As I was looking over the selection of vegetables a man came over with his buddy and said hello. Immediately I was wary and looked to make sure my purse was secure in the cart next to me. It was fine and I kept on shopping.
A few minutes later I was at the juice aisle and decided to call Tom to see if he wanted ginger beer (don't worry--it's non-alcoholic) or tonic water. Only problem--no phone. I searched through my purse over and over again. I pulled everything out but still, no phone.
I pulled my son over (he was getting ready to leave for karate class) and asked him to call my phone. He did and it rang and rang with no answer. My first idea was that I had perhaps left it in the taxi. Our grocery helper guy (I'll tell you about him another day) ran outside but couldn't find the taxi. I borrowed my daughter's phone and continued to dial my phone over and over again, hoping against hope the taxi driver or a passenger would find it and return it.
My concern though was about those two men who had greeted me by the veggies. What if one of them had quickly snatched my phone?
My stomach was sick by this time. All those numbers gone. All the saved messages gone. My precious phone gone.
I continued shopping. What else could I do? About halfway through my shopping list, the taxi driver showed up and said he heard I was looking for my phone. (Gotta love Zambia and its gossip grapevine!) He insisted it was not in his car but I sent my shopping helper guy out to look anyway. They came back with nothing. I had been dialing my phone the whole time but they didn't hear it.
I wasn't convinced. Maybe my phone had fallen down inside the seat. My ring isn't very loud--it's more like soft piano music. Maybe they hadn't recognized the sound as a phone ringing.
That was it! I would go look myself. Getting ready to leave the store and continue the search, I picked up my purse, and.....
there was my phone! It had been under my purse the entire time! Boy, was I embarrassed!
And that, my friends, is why I don't deserve respect. I'm a mess!
Of course I totally blamed the head injury from earlier on my absentmindedness. But that wouldn't explain this time. Ah, me!
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