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Saturday, May 28, 2011

Most Verbose

Clarice: "I have been thinking, I would like to change my tour. Will it be cold there? Where I come from we have indoor heating. What do you think the temperature will be? And, the scenery? And, the roads? Do you think, I would really want to spend four days at Vic Falls? What is Zimbabwe really like? Is it as bad as they say?"

"Could you please organise the Joh'burg/Soweto tour now? You have to speak to Samuel and my driver has to be Edward."

"Joy, I am so sorry to bother you again, I realise you are busy. Your telephone never stops ringing, so I could not sleep, and I was wondering if you had managed to change my tour for tomorrow yet?"

"This time its Pretoria and the Lion Park. Speak to Samuel and confirm that my driver has to be Edward again."

To Roger, on his arrival:

"Good afternoon. I am Clarice from Canada. What is your name? And, where are you from? This is a very nice place to stay. And, Joy will organise all the tours you want. If you need anything please let her know. She is here to help. I have been here for a two days, and if you need any advice and Joy is busy, I can always help. Where have you been and where are you going to? I have heard that Cape Town is lovely. I am going along the Garden Route, as well as Durban and Port Elizabeth. I hear that is in the Eastern Cape."

Same Roger, who sent an e-mail.

My flight is an odyssey of patience and endurance.

As a young man, I hitchhiked around the world, staying in many a hostel. So your establishment has a special meaning for me as it is a wonderful reminder of my earlier adventures.

Yet, after what will be about thirty hours in a pressurised tin can with only recycled air, I was wondering if there would be sufficient synaptic brain activity for me to figure out a taxi ride to your place. Your offer is the perfect solution.

Once I depart the USA it is essentially a non-stop flight so the only time to contact you is once I land and clear customs.

What have you found the best way to meet up?

Clarice and Roger natted on and on for hours.

Saturday, May 21, 2011

Odd Todd

Todd arrived, via a taxi and informed me that he had to attend a conference in Sandton for two days, and wanted to see the sights, and what was the cheapest option?

"Car hire or the Gautrain," I said. The bus will collect you here on the corner and then take you to the station. The price is R40 each way and the conference centre is across the street."

Todd emerged from the room two hours later and confirmed that he had arranged a taxi, for the following morning, at R500 'but could I arrange the car hire, for that evening?'

This I do and 'phone Todd to collect the car which is available from 5pm.

Todd returns in a taxi.

"What now?", I ask.

"I have arranged with the driver to collect me again tomorrow at 6am," replies Todd.

At 9am the driver has not arrived. Todd's first meeting was at 8am.

I 'phone for another taxi. Then have to cancel and the driver arrives. Todd asks me to re-book the car.

Not a chance, as I'll look like the loony. He is now on his own.

Todd returns midday, rather irate, as this driver now charged him R600. Serves him right.

"So will you be hiring a car now at around R200 per day or use the train?" I ask.

"No, I have arranged with the driver again. He promises he will be on time. I have his mobile number."

The following morning:

"Please may I use your 'phone?" asks Todd. "I have no airtime."

That afternoon:

"The driver told me that he had made a mistake. The price was actually R700. But he promised that he would take me back to the airport tomorrow morning for R200."

"Todd," I say, "the price is R100."

"No, it's fine, he has done me a huge favour taking me all over," replies Todd.

Saturday, May 7, 2011

Blake, not Superman

Blake's other granny Nonna bought him a helmet and bika boots.

All that is now required is a jacket and gloves to complete the ensemble.

I gave Blake an old pair of woollen gloves. "Thank you, Guppee. You are so kind."

Blake is so impressed with his boots. When I see him he hikes up his jeans and points to each one in turn.

After Misty parks her car in the driveway, Blake waits for her to leave to prepare dinner.

He jumps into the driver's seat, presses the button to roll down the window, fastens the seatbelt, and turns up the volume on the radio.

"Broom. Broom. Broom", shouts Blake, turning the steering wheel.

Screeching cats, yelping dogs and baffled birds all flee in unison, and Sanna opens her door, saying: "That can only be Blake!"

Not long after, Misty hears: "Ma, Maah, Maaah! Daddeee!!"

Blake has locked himself in the car!

"Push the button, Blake", says Misty.

"I can't Mom, it's stuck. I am not Superman."

One day is one day when Blake may catapult into the traffic cop's garden next door, while he and his family are having dinner.