just by the caltex garage on kloof there is a toothless, elderly coloured man who sells strelitzias. driving home in peek hour traffic i was seduced & decided to treat myself to a bunch. flowers are in actual fact still something that is affordable in this country – when i eventually get a job i plan to have loads of them all around the house! anyhow i was parked at the red traffic light and started negotiating with the said flowerman about the cost of the flowers. he said i could have the entire bunch for R70 – i beat him down to R50 – yes, yes…. i know…. but i’m unemployed!!!! anyhow the traffic lights then changed colour & before i could get my cash out everyone and his dog was blowing their horns at me so he shouted that i must pullover after the traffic light.

things is…. the only place i could pull over was at least 300m down the road…. i was almost tempted to just keep driving…. but in my revue mirror i could see him running after the car so my conscience got the better of me & i pulled over. huffing & puffing he arrives with the flowers only for me to now realise that i only have a R100 note…..aaaarrrggghhh!!!! does he have change for a hundred, nope definitely not. so now what? i ain’t paying him R100 for flowers that were originally only going to cost me R70 & i feel too bad to drive off. so this old man says he will take the R100 and run back to the gas station and bring me back change….. yeah right!!!!this is africa mate…. your money is a gonner!!!

thing is…. what choice do i really have…. i’m stuck in a one way system so can’t turn around to go get change myself….. so off he goes with my hundred & secretly i know i have just paid R100 for these flowers because i can’t even see the gas station from where i’m parked & well the chances of him coming back are slim to nil. so i wait for a while…. a long while and i start realising that even if he was going to come back he would probably die from a heart attack on the way….. i’m just about to drive off, licking my wounds of trust…. when there in the distance i see this old man shuffling along, out of breath waving the change at me…..

i paid R100 for the flowers!

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