Life is rarely dull in Johannesburg, but some weeks are definitely more eventful and weirder than others, the week before last was a case in point.
MONDAY: I nearly got washed off the road during a massive storm. Water was streaming over the central reservation forming a downhill torrent. Instead of going shopping, I went and sat in the school carpark. Grateful to be dry and pleased to have avoided the subsequent traffic, I waited it out. As the school bell rang, the rain stopped and by the time we got back in the car, the road surface was mainly dry.
TUESDAY: We had an unwelcome visitor in the garden.
It was large brown hissing Sid. The front door was open and had it not been for our valiant little dog going berserk, I think this uninvited guest was planning to slither right on in and find a nice comfy place to curl up and surprise us later on. Normally, I love surprises.
Two heroic security guards found its hiding place and took it away in a shoe box, firmly secured shut with a great deal of sellotape.
While I was out, the shoebox was returned with this lovely note:
I was later told that the initial identification was incorrect and that it was ONLY an harmless brown house snake. Well rather not in my house thank you and no, I didn’t need the shoebox back.
WEDNESDAY: Joyously uneventful, although our rubbish bin began to overflow due to Pickitup refuse collectors being on strike in the City of Jo’burg. The bins continue to overflow, the refuse collectors continue to strike. I think it’s now three weeks since our bins were last emptied.
THURSDAY: A group of us took-took a tuk tuk tour through Jo’burg’s gritty inner city to admire glimpses of the architecture, the graffiti and the grit. We hadn’t bargained on an all day deluge though, which meant we didn’t see quite as much as we’d hoped to.
We travelled in convoy, 15 tuk tuks and a five car police escort. The police whizzed up and down the roads alongside us, lights flashing, sirens bleeping, blocking junctions for us so that our tour group could stay together and get around town fairly quickly. It was utterly bizarre and fabulous fun. As the day and rain wore on, the piles of rubbish began to disintegrate and float down the street. A few people were using bin bags as makeshift raincoats.
FRIDAY: Pelting along the N1 motorway my husband’s driver-side window shattered. We’re not sure whether it was a freak accident or whether it was an intentional missile that hit the window – there was a noticeable impact point on the glass. Regardless, hooray for the anti smash-and-grab film.
It was dark and even though he could see little more on his right than refracted headlight haze from approaching cars, the crazed glass held, which meant he wasn’t wearing the window when he got home. We used sellotape to fix a bin bag over the window to catch any glass should the film fail during the night.
We struggled to get the window fixed the following morning. One glass fitter (I shall mention no names) suggested that as they couldn’t replace the window for a number of days, we should just head off on a 4 hour drive with the bin bag and zero visibility on the right for the driver. I’m sure we’d have had a field day with the traffic police and I doubt we’d have arrived with the window intact.
Eventually, with gentle persuasion, an obliging car dealership took a window from a new vehicle and installed it in ours, which meant we could safely head off for the weekend.
Thank goodness for bin bags, sellotape and shoe boxes.
Thank goodness for snake catchers, a protective dog and a persuasive husband.
How was your week?
p.s. If you’re a snake expert, feel free to confirm or correct its identification. Ta.