We were travelling around the country. On this morning we were sitting in the lapa of a nice B&B having breakfast. The waitress was busy cooking our eggs. Frequently, she picked up her cell phone and started texting. Over the past weeks I had been amazed how closely people all over Namibia were attached to their cell phones. They walked down the streets reading or texting, they even crossed the streets while looking at their little screens. I wonder if there are accident statistics available on how many people have contracted grave injuries due to wandering about traffic while mentally being elsewhere. Now our waitress brought our eggs which were very well cooked. In a short while she returned to refill my coffee cup. She held the coffee pot in her right hand; in her left hand she held her cell phone. She started pouring the coffee, but then she looked at her cell phone and started reading an sms she had just received. She continued pouring coffee and the cup was now full. She continued to read her sms while she carried on pouring the coffee. I was flabbergasted and sat and stared at her as she calmly let the coffee flow and allowed the cup to overflow onto the saucer, then the table and only when the coffee began to flow over the edge of the table and was heading for my clean trouser legs – I finally reacted and jumped away. The waitress was terribly worried and sorry about her mishap and I tried to get it across to her that reading a cell phone and work don’t mix well. She continued to be sorry and nodded so that her added artificial pleats on her head began a lively dance supporting the rhythm of her words. I had to laugh inwardly about the entire scene, but was certain this waitress had just learned an important lesson.
When I looked over my shoulder a few minutes later, the waitress had returned to the stove where she was deftly shaking the frying pan again while she juggled the cell phone in her other hand.