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Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Rotted Milk

There are two types of choices: good ones; and bad ones.  Life’s a whole lot better when you make the good ones…

I should have realized this last week already. But I didn't  No, instead I didn't smell the milk before I used it on my cereal and coffee… At first I thought it just tasted bad because I had brushed my teeth first… Half way through I thought it might just be a new brand…


I thought I’d be a nice sister and cook dinner. But apparently chilli sauces aren't all the same.  Side-of-the-road-Mozambiquan-chilli-sauce is a force to be reckoned with. Dinner was severely diluted with milk. I forgot the milk was off…

3 hours into the document search....
SUCCESS!
And then came moving to Cape Town.  In an attempt to find one very
very very horrendously very important document, I took a trip to Benoni (Think mullets and wife beaters and children who are older than their parents). While it was lovely seeing family and having my first braai since 2010, I knew my mission. It took the better part of five hours, and courage I never thought I could cough up (I also coughed out a lot of dust and cobweb) – but I fought through four households of stored ‘stuff’ (our family being the first to have invaded the cousin’s garage) and came out with not only the document, but a lot more of my earthly belongings than I ever thought I owned. I’m pretty sure they bred and had offspring in my years of absence.

All my worldly possessions...
and the bicycle...
This made relocating home a lot harder than it should have been. Flying was out of the question. I had a full car load of ‘stuff’ so driving was out – not only do I not possess a car – but there was no way I’d drive the 1400 km alone. There are too many luggage limitations on the bus and well, I’d never taken the train…


Sunday morning I rocked up at the train station hoping there would still be tickets. “Sorry” said the friendly Malawian behind the counter “sold out till mid-Feb”. But I pleaded – “there’s no tickets at all??” and that’s how I bought my R340 third class hard seat on board the Shoshaloza Meyl to Cape Town. Like I said, it was a week of bad decisions.


The Zimbabwean next to me was under the impression that it was a 5 hour trip. I probably shouldn't have said anything about the ETA – I’ve never seen a black person turn that white.

Look at all the happy faces!
For every grown up on board there were 37.5 infants and for every seat between Klerksdorp and Kimberly, there were 3 grownups…

The toddlers joined their vocal chords to create a sound track to stay awake to and the plastic non-reclining seats made sure we did. But it could always be worse…  By 3am our carriage was full of police to break up the fights bought on by excessive quantities of alcohol and seat/ floor space reclaimage.


I made friends with 6 year old Kabelo who taught me all about fairies and princesses and marveled at the giftings her 3 year old sister possessed in finding and eating second hand chewing gum. I discussed business plans with people from 4 different African countries and finished reading a book I’ve carried for the last 3 months. But ask any person on that train and none of them will ever take it again. Not economy at least….

A very hot and smelly toilet overflowingly 29.5 hours later – past some breathtaking scenery and some sheep and 3 ostriches and a plethora of other stuff - we pulled into Cape Town. I felt like I’d just single-handedly fought the Vietnam war or run the comrades marathon… and won… and to make it even better, all of my belongings survived too.  


I suppose bad decisions are all part of life and they help you learn and become a better person… but they also get you upset stomachs and sleepless nights and possible diseases… From now on I aim to make only good ones. Life’s too short for 29.5 hour train rides…. 

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