Monday, April 15, 2013

AFRICAN ADVENTURES: Part three: The flat tire saga, Second installment

Here's how we knew we'd found the right, tire-fixing business:

Yes, we parked on the sidewalk, on the corner, which looked like this:

(On the left horizon, you can see some of the government's new housing)

We found a makeshift shelter in front of a brick wall, underneath which two employees were completing the job of fixing a tire for a pickup truck. We asked the owner/entrepreneur if he could help us, and inquired as to how much he'd charge. The answer was 'it depends how many holes'!

Now what you get in this area is many thorn trees. The thorns they bear are about three inches long and sharp enough — yes — to penetrate a tire. Part of the tire-fixing business's equipment was a metal drum cut in half and filled with water, so the employees could find the holes.

But the answer to my question came: Seventy Rand a hole.
And we still didn't have any cash. Which meant I'd have to mosey along to the (very third world) shopping centre nearby and take my chances at the ATM. Meanwhile, the tire repair began.

So here's the makeshift shelter, and the tree in the background to the left. Also, if you look carefully, you can see a lead coming over the wall to provide electricity for the compressor!!

Before getting out of the car to go and get money, I decided it would be a good idea to put my camera into the glove-compartment. I opened it, and what do you think I found inside? A roll of banknotes, specifically six one-hundred rand notes, one fifty rand note and one twenty rand note, the latter two of course adding up to the seventy rand we needed to fix our tire!!!

So all was well. And miraculously so, especially as that money could easily have disappeared during the valeting that had happened before we took the car. Now all I had to do while waiting was enjoy the warm air and the sight of a white bougainvillea, plus the scent and sight of a frangipani tree in full bloom, both of them just on the other side of the brick wall.

After this we drove back to the park and spent a couple of hours enjoying the wonder of game viewing.
Even these commonly-seen animals provided a thrill.

And yes, we arrived safely and happily back in Johannesburg.

1 comment:

  1. I can imagine how your heart surged when you found that money! What are the chances? It's like a mini-miracle.