After having lived in Haiti for more than 6 months, the things that really surprise me are not the insanity and chaos - the random killings, the shootouts, the drivers that make drunken 12 year olds look like Mario Andretti - it's the small moments when the funk of ineptitude is momentarily swept aside to show a glimmer of competence. For instance, I had a check I needed cashing. I had a terrible premonition that it would be a long and tiresome endeavor filled with indignation, incredulity and foul language uttered at ear splitting volume. It went so far as to invade my dreams. I had sleeping visions of the bank informing me that I would have to travel to some far off branch, across the country, give a blood and a DNA sample, my first born and my left leg in order for me to wait 6 months for some semblance of action. I woke up just as I was yelling at the tellers, "How is it possible that I could email the Goddamn moon but the bank couldn't coordinate between branches!"
Later that morning I walked into the bank fearing the worst, but to my utter amazement, it went smooth as silk. Smoother, even, than it would have gone in Vancouver. I left with a pocket full of money, knife in hand (people have been robbed 30 feet from the bank after making a withdrawl - the robbers asking for the exact amount that had just been withdrawn) and a feeling of stunned disbelief (mixed with wariness, of course). Even though it went well, I still had to make it home.