What is Heaven and Hell

What is Heaven and Hell
Lome, Togo West Africa
Sunday, July 22, 2007

The Gas Engine of the Electrical Generator did not start easily the other day here in Lome, Togo. The owner of the home brings over this 16-year-old boy to help me start the motor. There is no electrical start on this small gas powered engine; I need to pull the starter cord. The boy jump in, I think to myself, what the Hell, let him pull the cord a few times.

I truly believe he has never pulled the starter cord to a gas-powered engine before, he does not hold the motor in place with either his hand or foot and it goes jumping across the pavement. He goes to pull it again, in the same manner, I grab him, push him to the side, and say,
- Pas necessaires enfants! -
Or in English
- Not necessary Children! -

I soon discovered I had forgotten to unplug the appliances inside the room, and the load on the generator was causing the problem. I took the load off the motor and it starts.

I have now been dwelling on my lack of confidence in the ability of African people to work on Mechanical devices. Sometimes, I go up in an airplane and pray to myself the Mechanic on the ground was a German, not from the country I just leaving.

I am told I should not stereotype people, I think often of this Joke told to me by a French girl when I was on tour in Tibet.

Heaven and Hell in Europe

What's the definition of Heaven?
French chef
British police
German mechanic
Italian lover ...
... and a Swiss who runs everything

What's the definition of Hell?
British chef
German police
French mechanic
Swiss lover ...
... and an Italian who runs every thing.

What is Heaven and Hell


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