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Tuesday, December 20, 2011

As Casual as You Please

I read an article in National Geographic Traveller - The Bus Stops Here.

City Tour Busses run on a tight schedule. The Bus leaves from Here, at 9.05 or 9.45. Please note the minutes.

Of course there will always be those tourists, cool and casual as you please who stroll up late, nary a cary, oblivious to the jeerings of the other passengers, who have been waiting for up to twenty minutes.

It happens here as well.

A group of six, who asked me to arrange the Johannesburg and Soweto Tour and couldn't contain their excitement, spent the next 25 minutes back and forth to the bedrooms and bathrooms.

They had been scurrying around for the previous two hours, asking me in turn, whether the bus would be on time.

Benjamin, not part of the group, asked me to book a taxi for him the previous night, as he was 'always late for his flights', and the 'stress was getting to him'.

The Tour bus arrived and then that taxi whose driver parked behind the bus.

The tourists were now ready to leave. But, where was Benjamin?

And, there he was sitting at the pool reading a Roald Dahl short story.

"Please ask the driver to wait. This story is so riveting. I cannot put it down."

"And, could I use the wi-fi? I need to make sure-sure of my flight."

Thursday, December 15, 2011

Do Lonely Women Ask for It?

*Sarie du Plessis checked-in and wanted to pay: "Immediately, so that nothing would go wrong."

Her husband, Eddie Winfrey, was returning from the UK, after six months, but she would be returning home, after he had settled in.

"Please make sure that everything is perfect. I will bring platters of snacks and cakes, this afternoon."

Sarie arrived later with her blind poodle - "He won't be a problem, I promise."

"Please confirm the flight arrival times," which changed from Reunion to KLM. "These are night arrivals," I told her, "so there is still plenty of time."

"I think it would be best if I left now, as I am not sure if I will recognise him."

"I'll open the.." I said, looking for the remote, and there was a loud bang! Sarie had reversed into the unopened gate.

Steven managed to open it, while Sarie burst into tears, panic stricken.

At midnight, Sarie returned solo. Eddie did not arrive. "Another man 'phoned me and said that Eddie was on his way to the airport but had a dreadful car accident. He is in a coma, and he needed more money from me to pay his hospital bills. But, I don't have any more money. I have sent him my whole pension. All I have left is my small house."

"Your whole pension?"

"He told me that he did not have enough money saved for the plane ticket, and couldn't wait any longer to meet me. He had helped another woman who had, had her money stolen by a scammer, and I was to be very careful of these men. He also had to pay his late wife's funeral expenses, and brother's brain operation. He sounded so kind and also sent me a lovely bouquet of twelve roses, saying that each rose was for each month he have fallen more in love with me."

"Where did you meet him?"

"On Facebook. I was so lonely."

"I watched Carte Blanche and read an article in People, that there are sociopaths out there, but Eddie was so charming and convincing, and had a wonderful sense of humour. Unlike any man I had ever met. "He told me that he had never loved a woman the way he loved me and wanted to marry me."

"I really believed him, and transferred all I had into his account. Eddie said he was a 'man of means' but was having a problem accessing his money from a bank in Switzerland, as they only allowed him to make one annual withdrawal, which was in 90 days time, as it was such a large amount. I really believed him."

"Eddie said he would send a friend to my home with a large suitcase of money to buy a nicer house, and new car and I was to start preparing for the wedding of my dreams."

"Thinking about it, I'm sure I could have met a nice man at Church or a Social Club. Also, at the airport, there was a group of other ladies, wandering about, holding papers with his name. Then they started arguing, so I left."

I'll never forget how shattered Sarie was, and Steven suggested I call her to join us on Christmas day, but she said she did not want to speak to me.