June, 2017: my partner Eve and I are stuck at the visa-on-arrival desk in the domestic transfer wing of Bole International Airport, Addis Ababa. The rest of the transfer passengers, all Ethiopian, are waltzing past us to form a monster queue at passport control. As soon as I get my precious stamp, I sprint off to hold our place before more passengers sneak in front of us.
Ten minutes later, Eve finds me, groggy from our redeye and nonplussed about navigating the Ethiopian visa desk on her own. “Why did you have to run off like that?!” Somehow, “so that we could wait at the departure gate instead of in the passport control line” doesn’t seem like a very good reason.
It was at this moment that I realized I was an unreasonably impatient person.
(In retrospect, I probably should have been tipped off by my compulsion of doing a mental critical path analysis on any everyday activity taking more than 15 seconds, but I just thought that was normal until I started dating people and noticed they often did things in a sub-optimal order.)