I’ve told the story a dozen times. I replayed it in my head 100 times more…but until I actually get the events of Wednesday the 14th July 2010 on to “paper”, I won’t be able to let it go.
You know, I get criticized a helluva lot for my “negative” attitude toward South Africa and it’s problems.
One of my last blogs was about how much I hate SA…and I didn’t even go into the crime aspect of it. I got so much hate mail from that, I decided to stop writing for a while, because people, for the most part, didn’t allow me to have an opinion.
Heck, we just held a very successful World Cup, we showed the world what we can do, and how crime and safety in SA is over hyped by the media….right?
After what has been a pretty crappy month (I screwed myself out of World Cup final tickets because some people don’t keep their word, I screwed myself out of any ascendancy at work because people don’t keep their word), I truly believed the month could not get any worse.
Anyways, on Wednesday I went to work as normal, had a normal day of irritations, and had the normal end of the day headache. I decided to leave work early at 4pm, because the headache was just too much to bare.
The drive home was normal. The heavy traffic was normal. The idiots causing a dangerous situation because they were texting while driving was normal. My rising anger was normal.
I arrived home at 5.15pm. Opened my driveway gates, pulled the car in. Switched off the car, began closing the gates. All normal things.
Then perhaps the most normal of all things about living in South Africa happened.
From the pavement a man (I call him man for lack of a better word), came charging at me with a gun pointed towards my head.
He immediately forced open the gates I was closing and pressed the gun against my head. I took a few steps backwards and stepped into the flower bed and fell over, ending up halfway between the driveway and the garden. In plain view of anyone driving or walking past my house.
The gun man started going through my pockets, taking the car keys, mobile phone, all my bank cards, driver’s licence etc. He kept asking where the food was. Assumedly he thought that I was coming home to open up the house for the evening and was looking for house keys so he could further plunder my treasures.
I stared straight at this guy with the anger beginning to rage, at that a second gun man ran into the drive way, opened the one gate I had closed and took the car keys.
My mom who was home at the time came out to see what was going on, and with her my dog came charging at the guy with the gun on me. As he turned the gun on the dog, I attempted to get up to “do something stupid”, but at that, my mom came into view and saw me with the gun to my head and started screaming telling me to give him everything, and he turned the gun on her saying “come on mummy, come on mummy”, at that point I backed down not willing to rush him into taking a shot, my mom turned around and ran back into the house, tripping and crawling, fearing the second gun man would come after her. She made it inside, locked the door and called for help.
The two gun men in the meantime got in my car and sped out the driveway and drove off into the sunset. Complete with my laptop, external hardrive and personal belongings. Basically the sum collection of everything I had worked on for the last 12 years.
A normal day in South Africa.
I get the people who now tell me to “focus on the positive”, “it could have been worse”, “you got lucky”.
How do I even respond to that? It makes me so angry. Yes, things could have been much worse, murder, rape, tragedy. But this should not have even happened. I should not have been attacked in my own home.
It was 3 days after the world cup. It was my 4th incident in 8 months.
It was the LAST straw.
My number one priority now, is getting out this country. I want to live and work somewhere where the value of human life is understood, and that is NOT in South Africa.
I’ve begun the process of looking elsewhere, and I know its going to take a while, I just hope my number isn’t up before that happens…because let’s be honest…I’m fighting the odds here.
But I suppose I should stop complaining and take the time to explore the beauty South Africa has to offer…right?
I guess i officially earned my right to complain now…
I haven’t slept for 5 days since it happened. Not because i need therapy, or counselling, but because im desperate. How do i get out of here..New York, London, the whole of Canada…thats where i belong.