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Namibian suidwester journal 30 July 08


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Let's do this one in Engrish and see if my grasp of the language will be able to help me get by in Australia. Ehts roit mate!

Today was one hell of a day. Lovely African summer just keeping it warm enough to make you wonder about your jacket – should you put it on and sweat, or leave it at home and freeze to death?

I felt very sick yesterday, and decided to go home at 11h30 and lie around in bed all day. Problem is, I can't sit around and do nothing. So I messed around on the laptop for a while, and then decided to fix the faucet in the shower.

I tried to fix that on Saturday, but found out that the Municipality had removed my stop valve and installed a new watermeter in a blue box on the sidewalk outside my yard, that I cannot open without their special fancy key. They also demolished by whole little fancy manhole in my yard and left everything just like that. (Months ago, I might add)

Lekka man. After sending a few nasty emails, they brought the key to me while I was lying around at home and doing nothing. So, I decided to fix this damn showertap that has been very hard-headed lately. You have to get a really good grip on it in order to get it to budge just a little.

Anyway, when I get up and move around I get all dizzy and feel sick all over again. I removed the tap, but saw that this is not the normal tap you have at a washbasin. I cannot take the risk of dismantling this thing, passing out halfway, and then leaving the whole house without water because the stop valve cannot be opened again. So I just installed it back into it's hole in the shower wall and went into the street with my pantoffels on my feet to open the stupid stop valve.

Well, that was yesterday. I went to bed early last night.

This morning I woke up feeling fairly OK, and I decided to go to work. When I got there, first thing on the agenda was the cash flow figures for the next three months, which had been totally messed up because our Finance department delayed some payments last month. Now I have to sit and figure out (for the umpteenth time) what has been paid, and what not, because Finance is too lazy to figure this out themselves. I really hope this is not the same in Australia. Every company I have worked with in Namibia has had a fairly useless Finance department.

In the meanwhile I had instructed my wife to get some quotes from the moving companies for containers. Everybody so far recommended Stuttafords, so she calls Stuttafords first. A previously disadvantaged lady answers the phone, and informs her that they "do not move things to Australia". "Why not?" my wife asks, and she gets the reply that "the guy who did this has resigned and doesn't work for us anymore". We have to phone Transworld Cargo. She phoned them , and they arranged that someone will come and check everything out today.

When the lady from Transworld Cargo arrives, it turns out that she is actually from Stuttafords, business card and all. My wife is confused. The lady says that Transworld Cargo ships the containers, but Stuttafords have the people who load the container. They come into your house, wrap up everything in gift-wrap or Gladwrap, and squeeze everything you own into that 20 foot container. They sub-contract for Transworld Cargo, because Tranworld cargo cannot do this themselves.

But don't they (Stuttafords) also ship to Australia?

The lady responds " Well yes, of course we do."

My wife explains what the reception lady told her yesterday, and this German Frau nearly hits the ceiling. She cannot believe it. She will kick some serious backsides when she gets back to the office. So, now we have two companies who will quote for us. Both have the same person who checked out the stuff in our house. That's Africa, mate.

I went to town to try and figure out whether I can transfer money to a friend in Australia. After walking all over town, I finally arrived at the correct Branch of FNB where they do this. While walking in the Main street, I see all these weirdoes. Black guys with dark glasses hiding their faces and checking you out. A fat-ass Police-woman was waggling in front of me at one stage. She can barely walk, never mind running. How must an obese person like this defend the population from criminals? Is she going to sit on them? Unbelievable. She will probably just jump in front of the criminal, and waggle as slowly as she did when she was in front of me – there's no way you can get past that huge hippopotamus on the sidewalk.

I am now assuming, of course, that the Namibian Police actually give a damn about crime and catching criminals…

Got to the bank, finally arrived at the expert with foreign exchange. I tell him that I want to transfer this money to this guy. He says this guy's name looks like a Namibian. I am not allowed to transfer money internationally to a Namibian. I say no, this guy is an Australian citizen, he used to be Namibian, many moons ago. Oh, ehh, but then you have to prove it. And, by the way, you are only allowed to transfer R30 000.00 PER YEAR to anyone outside Namibia. $%^&*!! Can you believe this? Who makes these rules?

I walk back to the parking garage. More memes and Angolans looking at me through their scaly dark glasses. I walk to the plaza where they sell all the African curio junk. Mauritz asked me to see if I can find some Bushman torpedoes somewhere. I look around, trying not to seem too interested, because once you show any indication of interest, these hyenas will not leave you alone. They ambush you with: "wanna buy, wanna buy, cheap-cheap etse"…

I finally see a bow and arrow. I look a bit closer. Man, I am sure my children can also make one of these. It's a piece of wood with a string, and some stupid arrows. Some German tourist may find this extremely wonderful, but I can see this is junk. The meme is on me now.

"I sell you good plice", she says.

I say "how much?", she says: "seventy dollas". (Namibian dollars, same as Rand)

Now it is obvious that a bushman didn't make this. For that price, it must be junk. I say I'll think about it, and I leave, suddenly looking as if I'm in a serious mood and in a BIG hurry.

I could start my own bow-and-arrow factory, I suddenly realise. The potential of the tourist market in Africa is enormous. But I don't think I'll swap my job in Perth for this business idea.

I walk to the parking garage where my car is parked. You have to drive round and round and round until you get to the exit in one street. When I finally get there, this exit is sealed off with an orange cone. I see I will have to turn around in this cramped space, go back round and round and round again, until I get to the other exit on the opposite street. As I am struggling to turn around, a taxi slips in behind me, and the security guard lifts up the cone for this bastard and lets him get out that way. I think: maybe I can also get out here now, but, no, aikona, the guard says go back round the other way.


I get to the pay-point where you exit into the street. A lady with a huge 4x4 vehicle is blocking the way. No one knows what the hell she is doing, but we all have to squeeze past her. I finally get to the pay-point, insert my ticket, and "whalla", only two Namibian dollas. I scratch around in my wallet until I get hold of two of the gold coins. At least this is probably cheap in world standards.

When I finally get into the road called Mandume Ndemufayo avenue, (try pronounce that one!!), I stop at the next traffic light. Next to me is a huge ugly-purple Land Cruiser with weird side view mirrors on the bonnet and an Angolan registration number. I knew trouble was coming, but I didn't know in what form it would present itself. When the light turned green, this lady just drove over straight into my lane without looking left, right, or centre. I pulverize my steering wheel by pressing on the hooter, but she lazily chats on with her passengers as if nothing's happening.

I later visited the doctor to get some medicine for this flue thingy that I have. He even booked me off from work, but I need to hand in my resignation tomorrow. Will probably go to work, give him the sick certificate, type out my resignation letter, hand it to him with a few slimey loud coughs, and whalla – go home and enjoy the African sun. I still need to post off my passports to South Africa, anyway.

What a freakin day…

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Hi BB,

Wow I feel exhausted just reading about your day, hope you are getting a good sleep now.


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Hi BB,

Wow I feel exhausted just reading about your day, hope you are getting a good sleep now.


Just another typical day for the Biltongboer...I'm afraid I might find Australia a bit boring after a while? :lol:

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