Sunday, March 11, 2012

SA Road Trip

January 2012
I had to book the first bus out to Johannesburg but wasn't in the mood. You know that feeling when for some reason you don't want to do something? That's how I felt! I told my mom about the whole job thing (until then she knew nothing). We both got super excited.

Mom was going to town that afternoon, I decided to catch a lift with her and go book a bus. We drove behind the date guy. I pretended not to see them. He may have done the same too. We parked near each other and they didn't get out of the car. Good thing I always have sunglasses on because I wasn't about to make eye contact and be forced in a really awkward situation. When we went back to the car, they were still in his car at the parking lot. Oh well.

Time for my booking: There I was queuing at Shoprite and I saw this guy from church. People from church can be weird. Sometimes they don't even greet back or smile back. So I decided to ignore him and pretend to be really busy on my phone. When it was finally my turn, they told me the system was off-line. I knew that's why I didn't feel like making the booking that day.

On our way out of the mall, guy from church came after us, AWKWARD! He talked to us for a little bit. It turned out he was one of the nice ones and my mom loves him. I felt so bad. I was like 'wait, I recognise this shirt! Weren't you behind me in line?'. He said yeah, but I thought you didn't recognise me. I was like, 'sorry man!'. Crap!

We walked back to the car and headed home. The next morning, I headed for town, made my booking and ran a few errands before leaving for Johannesburg. Back home to pack. I tell you, if I got a dollar for every time I packed that suitcase, I'd be stinking rich by now! Time was running out because I was determined to fit ALL MY STUFF in one suitcase. It worked. I had to sit on the suitcase to zip it closed. Mom took me to the bus SA ROADLINK. WHAT THE HECK WAS I THINKING? In my defence I did some research and read that the company had improved and bought new buses.

January was HOT! Just before we got on the bus, the hostess warned us that the air conditioning wasn't working. Awesome! We drove for a few hours without any glitches. We stopped to fill up, they gave us a 20 minute break or something. I talked to a lady that was smoking up a storm. Apparently she has some type of a cancer, her son-in-law is dying somewhere in Pretoria, her husband left her and doesn't pay alimony sad sad life!

We must have driven less than an hour when all of a sudden the buss was jerking off (this sounds wrong). We stopped by the side of the road. The driver said it must be the radiator, all he needed to do was pour some water into the radiator and we'd be good to go. Nobody believed him because we just left a filling station, they checked all of that there.

It was around 9 o 'clock when we broke down. We left Uitenhage at 6. An hour later, the driver told us that there was a bus that was coming from Johannesburg headed for Port Elizabeth. That guy had tools with him, we had to wait for him to see if they could fix the bus. That bus would come by at 4am. I went back inside and tried to sleep.

There was a coloured couple behind me that was flirting and pinching each other, tickling each other and Lord know what else. The girl kept saying uh uh man! Uh uh! Good God! The girl was in an SA Roadling uniform. I asked the hostess to ask them to turn the volume down a notch. She said she couldn't. They weren't on duty and therefore had to be treated as regular passengers. AMAZING!

We were on the side of the freeway, there were no lights on the side of the road. One of the passengers went, 'oh nooooo, the bus lights aren't working! We're in trouble now! It's very late and the truck drivers are asleep around this time! They will fall asleep on the wheel and drive straight into our bus and and and. I was like oh my Lord! That's the last thing we need! To be involved in an accident with a bus that's broken down on the side of the road.

Some of the passengers hitch hiked. I slept. My bag was too heavy and we all know what happened last time I hitch hiked in Georgia, hint 'fucky! Fucky!' Around 4:30, the aforementioned bus came by. They couldn't fix our bus. Passengers were getting really annoyed. There was this short Nigerian guy. He kept threatening to beat people up. He wanted to beat his girlfriend up because she was the reason he missed his flight. Apparently he is here on training to be a pilot. He wanted to beat the driver up because he was rude. And he wanted us all to take our luggage off the bus and burn it up. He said if we did that we'd definitely get attention. Then he called South Africans weak because we wouldn't do that, 'you see that's why I love Nigerians'. He talked about Nigerians as if they were the other race. All to find out he himself was Nigerian.

I talked to the driver, trying really hard to remain calm. He told me he was waiting for a bus around 10am. Great! 6 more hours. I went back to sleep. It was kind of hard because normally I'd be up at that hour. I listened to the Zimbabwean dude that thought we were going to get knocked off by a truck. He had more and more negative scenarios. I just kept nodding. He got hungry, I gave him some of my chocolate. I had lots! It's all I had but it was enough. Good thing I can't eat when I travel.

Around 9am, a random dude stopped and talked to our driver. The Zim guy came back and told me that we were going to get a lift to Colesberg where we'd be picked up by an SA Roadlink bus. Last time I took SA Roadling, they picked us up in a Mercedes Vito and dropped us off in Colesberg were we waited 5 hours for a bus. I had bad memories of Colesberg but anything was better than where we were. I didn't believe that that guy was going to come back for us though. Why would he?

He did! A few minutes later, 2 mini buses picked us up. People flew out of the bus with their little hand luggages. I had a 30kg Suitcase waiting for me in the baggage compartment. Darn it! I tried to remain calm and positive. I got on one of the mini buses. We all did, except for the driver. He had to look after the broken down bus until Lord knows when. I felt sorry for him.

As luck would have it, I sat right in front of the cancer lady. She told me more miserable stories about how her son-in-law contracted this weird, fatal disease, how the husband ran away with a 19 year old and and and. Almost 3 hours later, we were in Colesberg. There was an SA roadlink bus idling at the filling station. I tell you, I whisked my heavy suitcase like it was nothing and I was on that bus!

I sat behind a really nice looking, blue eyed guy. He was nice too because we exchanged bus breaking down stories. He was from Cape Town. Their was broke down and they had to wait 5 hours for the next. We were stuck for 12 hours. TWELVE HOURS!
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