What a week.
Just another in a seemingly endless stream of events of a year I like to call the “Tragicomedy”.
Undoubtedly I will recap the events as a whole in an end of the year blog, but for right now I need to share the events of my week.
And since I’m watching Three’s Company season 6 right now, I’m in a great mood to write.
On VERY short notice, I’ve been invited to attend a conference in Amsterdam next week, (therefore needing to fly out by the 6th October)…. Which is all hugely exciting news, except for the fact that my passport expired six months ago – Murphy is clearly handling my travel arrangements.
So…it’s on that basis that I’ve been rushing around trying to organize a Passport (and visa once that’s sorted!)
On Monday, I headed out to the Home Affairs office in downtown Johannesburg, a busy and crime ridden part of the country…as opposed to say…Fourways or Sandton, where crime doesn’t exist.
After driving up and down the 1-way roads that dominated the streets of Jozi, I eventually found parking about six blocks away from the Home Affairs office. That only took 40 minutes. I walked the six blocks in constant fear that my car would be a) stolen b) broken into c) replaced with an exact replica of my car except equipped with a tracking device and hidden camera.
Now, I’ve never been one to be paranoid, but walking in the streets of Jozi, there is a certain panic that follows you, particularly if you are an asian of the cauc kind.
Eventually I got to Home Affairs, sweat already pouring down my arms, and tension building up.
The ground floor was an empty ghost town except for the queue of people waiting for the lift to take them to the appropriate level of irritation. Since I’m in my athletic prime, I decided to take the stairs to the 5th floor.
Off I went.
1st floor. Skipped a few steps and I pranced up the two sets of stairs.
2nd floor. After feeling the burn, I took one step at a time
3rd floor. Took each step two feet at a time.
Between 3rd and 4th floor. Took a break.
4th floor. Prayed for death.
5th floor. Is this an oasis I see before me?
Enter the hall of passports – where order is not on the menu.
I managed to make my way to the counter where I asked for a contact our company travel agent had recommended, who may be able to help me a bit more…speedily…as a favour of course.
Finally a large Afrikaans lady with the most irritated look on her made her way towards me. I thought it was slow motion, but her hair was not blowing, so clearly it was her…um…personality weighing her down.
In all of two seconds she said she can’t help me and I must go stand in line.
I asked if there was someone who took passport photos in the building. Quick answer was no. The long answer was I’d have to go outside the building to one of the dodgy freelance photographers that stalked citizens of the streets of Joburg.
This time I was smart and waiting a few minutes for the lift. And then joined the other four people who made up the “Not more that 12 people in the lift at a time”. The stench, the clearing of phlegm and screaming babies made me reminisce about that one time I went up the 5 flights of stairs.
Back on the street I was quickly offered the best price for photos and escorted into a dark corner building with the windows blacked out. After stripping off… all my jewelry, I took my photos and made my way back to Home Affairs.
Queue for smelly lift… or climb the Andes again.
1st floor. Only four more to go.
2nd floor. Light headed
3rd floor. Eyes began rolling back
Between 3rd and 4th floor. Took a break.
4th floor. Legs unable to maintain weight
5th floor. Loss of bladder control.
I made my way through the lengthy process of completing forms and such and was told I should have my passport in 10 days if i’m lucky. (“Define lucky” I thought…)
Two hours later I finally could make my way back to my car, and hopefully not the space where I would have to say “hey, i’m sure that’s where I parked it”.
One block up and tall thin black guy walk passed me and bumped into me…I ignored him and then he shouted that he was sorry, I turned to him and said don’t worry about . BIG MISTAKE.
He came up to me and started hugging me and said he’s so sorry and started holding me and blocking my arms, finally I was able to push him away.
I immediately looked down at my pockets and saw my brand new phone was gone.
When I looked up, he was nowhere to be seen.
I shouted out “where did he go!?!”
The lady walking up the road said to me, “He’s down there” and she pointed him out, 2 blocks behind me!
Then, my Adamantium claws came out and I rampaged after the guy, running across two busy roads without even checking traffic.
I caught up to him, and without even thinking I punched the guy on the side of the face, knocking him down, I demanded my phone, and he started laughing and said “I’m just joking” and handed back my phone. Then he got up and ran away.
The guys around me told me I should’ve killed him. Yes, I can’t really argue that logic. Now bare in mind, I’m the most non violent person you will ever meet. But wrong day…. wrong time mr. mugger. So ridiculously out of character for me
I reported the incident to the Metro Police a few blocks down, they just shrugged it out. Can’t blame them. This happens more often than it doesn’t.
On a total buzz I made my way back to my car – still there (although I haven’t been able to find the hidden camera).
As I relayed the story to everyone, I was commended for my actions, and the general feeling was that I was not a victim. In the meantime my hand began to swell, and I feared in broke my hand in my girlfight. (the hand has since recovered, thanks for your concern)
My whole assessment of the situation?
1) Its reason 1024 that I hate the country I am forced to live in.
2) I am indeed becoming a Wolverine of rage that is not going to take cr@p from anyone. This also scares me as I have ZERO tolerance anymore. The rage I have inside me came out in a good way…this time.
3) My “tensionergy” is at fever pitch right now, leading to several incidents over the last few days.
Shoo…its going to be a busy week.
Hopefully I get my passport and Visa sorted out, and I head out to see the Dykes.
Then its only a 2 weeks til my birthday. If you wanna see rage…test me on that day universe.
Now… how YOU doin’?