First World Problems – it’s the new catchphrase of the year (decade?) isn’t it? I think it’s kind of hilarious, a recognition that we’ve all become far too precious in a life filled with labour saving devices and just generally too much….stuff. There is, of course, a web page cataloging such problems: here’s a few of my favourites:“I want to go for a walk around the neighborhood but I can’t until I find one of the six iPhones in my house that plays my walking music.”
How about this one:“The rental car I got on vacation had plates from a different state than the one I was visiting, so I looked like a tourist.”
Or“I don’t have enough chips for my dip, but if I open another packet of chips, I won’t have enough dip for my chips.”
Now, while we live in the developing world, we carry with us all the nutty thinking of the first world. It’s enough to drive you mad, first world expectations in a developing world…and if that isn’t a ‘First World Problem’ I don’t know what is.
The house we live in where Bill works, which is in regional-rural Ghana (ie not in a major city), is a total first world house. Sure it hasn’t been significantly renovated since, like 1947, but we’ve got mosquito netting on the windows, airconditioning, the house itself is huge – bigger than our house in Australia. We sleep in king sized beds, and Jock can skateboard down the hall. Sure the power and water cut out intermittently, but its more reliable than in Kumasi. Compared to a typical house in Ghana, its a freaking palace.
But the water did go out the other day. Just as I was finishing cutting a kilo of onions and a clove of garlic. Sticky, stinky hands…and nothing to wash them with….gross…first world problem, right?
A couple of hours later the kitchen tap belched, then gurgled, then from deep within the plumbing let out a roar.
We raced to the kitchen, expectant faces staring at the taps:
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Woo hoo! Coffee on tap! Can you imagine how much you’d have to pay for that in the First World??!!