the elusive gas bottle

so there is another gas shortage in south africa. i actually feel quite guilty moaning about this since most of the inhabitants of this country don’t even have gas / heat / water at any time & well since it has only been 3 weeks for us i should probably shut my mouth…. but (surprise, surprise) i can’t!

one of the things that drew me to our house in the first place was the fact that it had a gas hob. something we are accustomed to coming from the uk & let’s be honest – once you have cooked with gas it’s very difficult to go back to electricity….. then again, having said that it’s a rather bleak option when from one day to the next there simply is NO GAS!!!! the reason being blamed on ‘bad management’!!!?? i mean i can understand if the earthly supplies of gas had dried up or the workers were striking or something to that effect but no…. the reason here is because all the gas companies decided to close down for ‘maintenance’ at the same time!!!!! apparently the government failed to co-ordinate this & so we sit with NO GAS!!!! honestly, what are we dealing with here!!!???

not taking it all too seriously at first i decided one day to drive through to woodstock & just take a chance to see if there was any gas. chatting away to my mum on the phone i sat outside the store yabbering away whilst a huge 4×4 whizzed up, a man jumped out with his empty canister & returned with a full one & whizzed off. i told my mum i had better go as it was ten to five & the store would be closing soon, only to venture in with my empty canister & find out that schmuck (trying to make myself feel better here – he obviously was probably a very nice guy!!) had taken the last friggin gas bottle!!!!! aaaarrrggghhhhh! the guy at the counter just shook his head as he had apparently seen me pull up & sit in my car yabbering away……

so it’s been 3 friggin weeks (since my verbal diarrhea caused me to lose out on gas) of calling the gas people in woodstock to see if by any slight chance any gas has come in. i even started apologising to the lady answering the phone every time as i felt sorry for her having to hear all these desperate people wailing about the gas shortage.

tired of having no stove & no heating my husband suggested i should actually drive through to woodstock & double check there is no gas instead of just calling. irritated by his suggestion (i.e. in my head implying i wasn’t doing enough when in actual fact i had pretty much scoured the entire cape peninsula for gas) i hopped in my car & set off to prove him wrong & well, prove him wrong i did – on two occasions i drove through & on both there was no gas. they told me it would be in on wednesday – it wasn’t. then they said friday – it wasn’t. come back on monday….

anyhow i decided to just call on monday & see what the story was & this is how the conversation went:

me: hi, it’s me again….. please tell me there has been a miracle & that there is gas again?
igl (irritated gas lady): no, sorry there isn’t
me: when do you expect it to come in?
igl: wednesday…hold on a second….
(igl talking to someone else) haai man, gee daardie vroumens a 9kg, sy wag vir a 9kg (hey man, give that woman a 9kg, she’s waiting for a 9kg)
igl (back to me on the phone): we expect a delivery on wednesday
me: sorry, did i just here you organising for someone to get a 9kg bottle of gas? do you have gas in store?
igl: no, no definitely not
me: then what was that conversation about?
igl (umming & ahhing): she was collecting an empty bottle (???)
me: sorry but who collects an empty bottle of gas?????
igl: oh some people have left empty bottles here in case we get gas then they can get replacements
me: well then should i bring in my empty bottles & leave them there for replacements? (i’m sooooo onto her now!)
igl: these people have been waiting for 4 weeks
me: well that’s not true because i was there just over 2 weeks ago & you had gas
igl: no we didn’t
me: oh yes you did – i know because i sat outside your store & watched the last bottle go out!!!!!! i know you have gas – no-one is collecting an empty bottle!!!!!
igl: silence

me – hopped in my car & flew to woodstock – we now have gas!