Entrepreneurship is not well in Dakar. I base this sweeping generalization on my recent attempt to order pizza (from one of the few places that make pizza) for delivery. Here's a short play I call "Pizza Nightmare":
(Enter ME and Kelly, tired after a day of work and a rough time putting the babies to bed. The heat is stifling in the room despite the fact the windows are open and the sun went down more than an hour ago. A hint of a mosquito flitting in the shadows. the couple is keen to relax and opts for the easy dinner option of pizza, ordered in.)
ME: (dials number for Blue Note Pizza, lady answers) Hi, I'd like to order a pizza for delivery, please.
LADY: OK, but our delivery man is new and he starts tomorrow.
ME: (pause) OK, does that mean I can't order a pizza for delivery tonight?
LADY: Well, he starts tomorrow, I'm not sure if he'll want to work today.
ME: (double pause) OK, so what does that mean for me? Can you check?
LADY: (slightly annoyed) He's right here. Why don't you talk to him. (hands phone to delivery man)
DELIVERY MAN: Hello
ME: Hi. I'd like to order a pizza for delivery, please.
DELIVERY MAN: Where do you live?
ME: (swats at mosquito, a bead of sweat rolls down forehead, remembers there are no street addresses in Dakar) I live in Almadies. If you're going toward Mamelles, take the left onto the dirt road just before the BICIS bank, take your first right and go to the end of the road. I'm in a white house with a grey car out front, directly across from Hissene Habre's villa.
DELIVERY MAN: In front of Habre's villa?
DELIVERY MAN: Yes, I know where that is.
ME: Excellent, wonderful. (thinks this ordeal may be over soon, excited about looming pizza)
DELIVERY MAN: OK (puts down phone)
ME: (waiting... )
LADY: (speaking to delivery man, without picking up the phone...) So you know where he lives?
DELIVERY MAN: Yes.
LADY: (muffled sounds) What kind of pizza did he want?
DELIVERY MAN: I don't now.
LADY: Ah well.
ME: (into the phone) Hello? Hello?
Lady: (continuing to chat with colleagues, not picking up phone, muffled sounds of music in the background)
Me: (slowly raises voice... realizes they think they hung up) Hello!? I'm here! Pick me up!! (minutes go by, losing hope, babies start crying in the other room, a mosquito lands on ankle unnoticed)
(After five minutes ME, drenched in sweat, hangs up furious and dials again, assuming they have more than one phone line. gets a busy signal. waits as sweat soaks shirt, dials again, still busy. waits another five minutes, dials again, still busy. waits another five minutes, dials again, babies screaming now, still busy. giving up hope.
KELLY: (as lights dim) How did that go?
(curtains falls amid amplified sounds of screamining babies and buzzing mosquitoes) END