Waiting in line can be exasperating, but it is a universal experience for all of us, unless you live on your own little planet with your very own amenities.
You could be waiting in a non-moving line at Home Affairs to finally receive that amended full birth certificate, as I was. Or you could have joined the line at the Namibia Transport Information and Regulatory Service (NaTIS) at 3 am to register for that learners licence test.
(This line had not moved close enough to the entrance of the offices by 10 am, so the officers decided rather to close registrations because there were too many of us.) This cannot be real life… and we had to wait on their ‘Plan B’!
In Namibia, what you wait for, why you wait and how you wait is important. Often, one feels the next line seems to be moving faster. But this is only because you are not positioned within that line and soon realise that everyone has to wait.
Usually, as we wait, most of us whip out our smart phones after supposedly hearing a beep. We assume it’s that reply text or email that we have been waiting for, but alas, it’s only an excuse to scroll through the many social media platforms to pass time and avoid starting a conversation with others.
However, the wait is much more than just a wait to receive a required service – it teaches the virtue of patience and allows for connections with others. And to listen to what Ouma next to you has to share about her younger-self, and simultaneously she makes you laugh and realise… actually, “I’m doing better than I thought”.
Here are a few helpful tips to remember in case you have to wait in line as you travel between destinations in this beautiful country to make your way to Zambezi Mubala Camp:
- Prepare to wait, have patience and relax. Anxiety makes a wait seem longer, and remember everyone else is waiting too.
- Arrive a few hours prior to opening times and join the line in the meantime.
- Avoid shopping during month end period (24-30th) as shops are full and busy.
- Be polite and start a conversation with the next person. Conversation makes time pass quicker, and your new friend might keep your spot for you if you quickly need to step out of the line for a few minutes.
- Have the necessary documentation with you, but also take more than you think you will need, because you might be asked for additional information.
- Take a few snacks or a book with, just in case you end up in a non-moving line.
- If waiting outside in the sun is a possibility, take along an umbrella or a hat and sunglasses.
- Perceived unfairness makes waiting seem longer. You cannot predict how you will be assisted, thus always try to remain positive regardless of how you are assisted.
- Dress comfortably because you might wait longer than expected.
- Take along enough cash in case there are no card machines or these machines are not functioning.
- And if you know a friend of a friend who can stand in line on your behalf it will be great and it will save you some time too.
So remember, good things come to those who wait in the right way – patiently! We do not always have to be in such a rush, as it is in the waiting that we get to meet a few of the beautiful people in Namibia who help us realise that we all have similar desires and struggles.
What are some of your waiting experiences and tips? Where have you spent the most time waiting? Let us know by sharing your story in the comment section below.
Author – I’m Nela, from Windhoek Namibia but born in a small village called Omatunda in northern Namibia. I am passionate about writing, research and photography, as it helps me gain knowledge about people and my country.