Once again, I’m apologising. Make no mistake, however, this is the last, final and ultimate time I will do so. I’m terminating my apologies, curtailing my contrition and generally ceasing to be stressed about not filling out a diary. Why? Because I’m frantically busy, and the less stress in my life there is, the more I get done – so, you see, actually, the less guilty I feel, the more you get to read. In theory.
A couple of weeks back, now, I drove up to Piggs Peak with Cecil (alias Themba, alias Mr. Mbuli, alias the submarine, alias silly bugger who still hasn’t done anything about my visa despite repeated promises) to collect a copy of his neice’s birth certificate (long story). It’s an amazing drive, relatively dangerous but spectacular. Cecil tells me the road was only tarred in 1972, which means that the road between the mining town and the capital Mbabane was left a dirt track by the British throughout their rule. Aren’t we wonderful. Still, we failed to have any unpleasant incidents, despite the distracting 10-year-olds dressed in banana skins, who collect at the side of the road, drumming, high-kicking and whistling at any car with a foreign number plate (stopping as soon as you pass). We also failed to get the copy, although I did succeed in getting stopped on the way out by a roadblock, who threatened to kill me for not re-registering the car with Swazi plates. They fined Cecil E60, somewhat pointlessly as he has no money. I was sent into town to fetch cash from a machine, but none of them worked with a foreign card (odd, for a border town). They gave me the ticket.
I was invited to a wedding. Not a real wedding, but one of those ‘reaffirmation of vows’ things where a married woman gets irritated with getting some 24-hour garage flowers and a last-minute booking at KFC on her wedding anniversary and decides to force her husband to do it properly for once. The added twist was that the couple in question, though Swazi, had a church wedding first time around and thought they’d give a traditional ceremony a whirl for the re-affirmation. I picked up Sipho at 10 a.m., sick with worry that he’d already missed an hour’s drinking. Nevertheless, we cruised down in the baking heat, with nothing but mineral water and biltong for company (both as essential as oil and fuel, I’ll have you know), stopping only once after six consecutive trucks flashed us. Suspicion aroused by the blatant lack of cows, speed cops, or any other low-intelligence road obstruction, we got out and examined the car carefully, looking for loose fixtures or comically low-slung parts of the engine. Thankfully, if there had been one, it had fallen off, so we continued. Perhaps they just liked my shirt.
On the way, we procured beers and some free condoms (there was a Trust concert on) and then legged it to the ceremony.
More tomorrow, I have to go.
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