Christmas is looming around the next corner;
cards and parcels sent and received.
At the post office (I wipe off my shoes)
I send off a present to friends in the heat –
they’re home in Zambia, all to the South.
The girl at the counter inspects the address.
She keys in with verve, then halts in her moves:
“Zambia, where is it?”; she’s muddled in guess.
“African South”, I tell her surprised
(Generation smartphone, no one @ home?)
“South Africa, oh!” she exclaims in relief.
I frown and correct her, slightly impatient:
“Southern”, I stress and cannot believe.
She appears to be trapped, asked a trick question.
I feel her brain ticking, about to implode.
I give her the look (howcanyounotknow?).
Her fingers are frozen, stand-by in mode.
I wait for a minute or two or another.
Then, all of a sudden it strikes my awareness:
She won’t find “Zambia” in this one computer
In the language of Goethe, it spells with an ‘S’.
“Try then with ‘S’”(Generation X advices today).
She types again – her face now lights up.
My parcel is stamped and sent on its way.