Full Flavour Behaviour!

Mysteries abound
Feb 7th

I've solved the pie symbol mystery! The symbols represent the pies themselves! The symbols do appear, moulded into the pastry. So there you go. Doesn't stop them being totally illogical, but does at least justify their presence somewhat. I have discovered another comedy facet to replace it, though, as they've started selling very small pizzas without a lot of topping, called, "Russian Pizzas". Apparently they've got "Russsian" sausage slices on, but I couldn't taste them - and it's funnier without, really.

Mystery of the week for this week is, what on Earth is Lindiwe on about in this note, which I picked up this morning?

Clearly the poor woman is insane or something. Hopefully I will have worked it out before next week. She's also offered to bag one of her neighbour's puppies for me.. wasn't too sure about that one, but we'll see how things turn out, eh? Bob is certainly very lonely on his own all day at the weekend.

I am crawling with moz bites and sweating like a gym enthusiast in the heat. It's all a bit much at times, but does at least make me feel lucky to be on this end of the scale rather than the poor commuters forced to kip the night in a snowbound car in the UK. I've slept in a car before, and even in Summer you have to wake up at about 4 to run the engine for a bit and get some warm air in the thing.

I came 7th out of 56 in a Worth1000 contest recently, all thanks to Mark's weevil painting I'm sure. Unfortunately I was back on form with the next one, which is currently hovering around the bottom 10% with only a few hours of voting left. Ah, well.

My weekend in Johannesburg began in exciting fashion on Thursday night as I hobbled Westward in the Benz. I took nothing with me, principally out of fear of some stupid breakdown in the woods near Carolina, a well-known hijacking hot-spot, and having to leg it through the forest on my own. Maybe that's exaggerating, but not much. Anyway, my fears were misplaced; the car cruised straight through without a hitch and Pimane was hugely impressed upon seeing it for the first time, even if I was less than impressed with the miniscule parking place he had kept for me.

I spent a sweaty day organising various nonsense towards getting the papers sorted out and left the car with a friend of a friend in Brakpan. I know, sounds worse than it is. Anyway, he promised to trap the mouse and get the ownership transferred to me, which is an astonishingly easy route for me, so I didn't argue. In three weeks I will be the proud and official owner of a fully-taxed Mercedes. Ceteris paribus.

Friday night was spent in Paul's crumpet catcher - 'nuff said. This beast of a '69 soft-top whisked me all over town and beyond. The only excitement was on the way home from Pretoria when I backed off over the crest of a hill and hit some rumble strips. On the motorway, I thought to myself, this is unexpected. Then I realised that not only was it only at the back, it was only on one wheel, which now had very little grip indeed. I braked very gently and pulled over into the capacious gutter. Blowout. I will gloss over the trauma of rousing Paul's entire family at 4:30am to ask how to open his boot, but suffice to say he was very understanding and after replacing the tyre (interestingly the only bit I had trouble with was finding something to lever off the hubcaps with; eventually I improvised with the fire extinguisher) I drove home a very tired and somewhat thankful boy.

Agnes' birthday celebrations (seafood lunch in Hyde Park) went off like a charm, despite her forty-minute bossing session with the poor waiters, who rearranged her four tables approximately seventeen times before (you guessed it) ending up with them exactly as they were when we arrived. Meanwhile I prepared myself for Paul's arrival with a few stiff cokes. As it turned out my trepidation was misplaced; everyone was in a very good mood and even though Agnes' plan to see the IMAX version of The Lion King was thwarted by a lack of interest and a generousity of portion, it was no great loss to the afternoon. Eventually I retired in the Beetle to the house and then walked to Parkhurst, to catch up on some laundry, and a few drinks with a friend. Anne picked me up at eight for a curry, totally sozzled. Well, you have to enjoy not having the car, don't you?

Mind you, I didn't enjoy waking up early to catch the bus to Nelspruit. Especially when I arrived in the lowveld itself. I'm told it was 40C at 2pm and I can believe it. I stood for two hours or so, attempting to hitch, but discovered that (a) white people are too scared to pick up anybody and (b) black people have a grudge, as evidenced by the four black guys who got lifts while I didn't. Dammit. Anyway, in case you're wondering, the best route by taxi is to Malelane then Matsamo border gate (Jeppe's Reef on the SA side) and through Piggs Peak.

My other tip would be to find out where the taxi rank in Nelspruit is before setting off. And not to try hitching through the hottest part of the day. Unless you're a mentally unstable canine or a person originating from the British Isles, of course.

Many thanks this week to Denis (and his long-suffering wife Tracy) who not only put me in contact with the guy who's looking after the car but gave me a lift from Piggs Peak (an hour's detour) even though he'd just driven from Johannesburg himself.

Yes, I know. I asked him about that myself. Apparently he forgot to phone early enough.

Ah, well.

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