All is well that ends well

Fri Feb 25, 2000

In the middle of the flood-ravaged Northern Province on the bus…

Well, we just scraped through Beitbridge before it closed, but some of the roads were impassable and the bus broke down, so this bus will be 14 hours late.

Add that on to the 12 hours already travelled and that makes for a long journey with very sore legs/back/neck. Serves me right for barging through the worst floods in 50 years. Leaving thousands homeless. Perpetuating diseases like Cholera and Malaria. Africa.

Yeah, so that address at the top [redacted] is a guy from Quebec City, in case I ever go there. Really nice guy. I’ve met so many great people on this trip. I wish I could have afforded to go to Malawi and Tanzania.

Yesterday, I phoned Colleen, read the paper, and my taxi that I called never pitched. So I had to run out into the street and flag down a minibus which took me as far as Fife St. Then I ran (with my luggage) the rest of the way. You know I couldn’t backpack if I was much older. Anyway, I managed to catch this bus to hell and it looks like I’ll be on it a while yet.

I must do some email soon. Maybe not a long one at Colleen’s ‘cause they’re too hospitable and have too many people taking advantage of that. I should contact some key people, like parents, to let them know I’m okay.

Much, much later…

I’m sitting here at this fucking station in Joburg without a ride. Got in about eight hours after expected. Phoned Colleen and her maid told me she’s sleeping - I think she’s too afraid to wake her up. Feel really bad about imposing on them - there are buses to Durban tomorrow, but I don’t have any money, so I would have to borrow and pay back. Thomas Cooke closes at four and they have no commission. I think I must phone again in ten minutes. I don’t want to sit here for another two hours. I’m so knackered.

All’s well that ends well…

Just had a hot bath and a shave and washed my hair and ate chops and sweet potatoes, Italian sweet kisses and drank two beers… I feel absolutely heavenly!

Colleen finally came and picked me up, then she dropped me off near Killarney Mall. I went in and changed money and booked my Durban bus for tomorrow morning. Caught a bus back here. Managed to get Gareth to pick me up tomorrow after a few calls to others who couldn’t on such short notice. Good guy, really good guy.

Checked my emails - had 16 messages. Nothing too exciting happening in Vancouver as usual. Not the drama here with floods and power struggles with greedy dictators. They closed Beitbridge today, so I really did just squeeze through before the Limpopo swamped the bridge.

This journal entry has been transcribed from the handwritten original. For more information about this transcription project, see this blog post.

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