So a couple of weeks ago, I spent a short and sweet weekend in JoBurg. It has been said to be one, if not THE most dangerous city in the world. My expectations over exceeded reality. At least to what I have was exposed to in my short 2-day trip, it seem quite safe. But before I get into JoBurg, the really funny story was my taxi ride to the airport in Cape Town!…
It was 0545hrs in the morning. I had only 3 hours sleep the night before, because we had a farewell for one of my friends. Hence we had gone out and came back around 0200hrs! Interestingly, I was so afraid that I would miss my flight, that woke up every hour. Its always nice to wake up and realise that you still have time to sleep. I had called Wesley, a friend/taxi driver to pick me up. Our group had grown towards using him because he is such a friendly guy. Wesley was not a local South African and he had migrated to SA with his family for employment opportunities. He is only 25 years old, my age. Needless to say, he was not a registered taxi driver. Hence he had a dingy old stick shift car. I got a good price from him, but you get what you pay for!
Reverse on the Highway.
Wesley was napping outside my place, in his car that is. It was normal for taxi drivers to nap in their cars. Often they would do 24hr shifts, but more often than not, they would work as much as they could and only rest for about 4 hours a day. So one can empathise with me, when I say that I was kind of scared at 6 in the morning and Wesley driving whilst it was dark out. So we were driving up the hill to the airport, the road was empty, the sky was dark and there was an awkward silence in the car. We couldn’t converse about much, but more so because I was half asleep. This is the moment where his car slows down and decides to die on us…
“…Oh, what happened?..”, were Wesley’s first words, as the car rolls backwards on a one way highway… I was half asleep and had no energy to care that much. Wesley allowed the car to roll backward as he attempted to restart the engine. Although at 6am traffic was not apparent, it was nonetheless pretty terrifying as the few cars that were out and about on that morning, were coming up the hill at high speeds. I was thinking, ‘why in the world is this guy allowing his car to roll backwards?’ Somehow, I wasn’t too afraid about missing my flight. Somehow, I knew that Wesley would have connections and all it took was a phone call to get another cab!
Bro to the rescue.
Wesley was a resourceful person, he had called his brother, Norman or Normah, I can’t remember what his name was. My eyelids were battling my vision. He was 35years old, had moved to SA and was a taxi driver as well! I think he had a Mitsubishi Magna and he looked like an older version of Wesley. I jumped into his taxi and he drove me to the airport. I still had a substantial amount of time before my flight, but Norman was afraid he may not make it. So he drove at an average of 140km/h! – You can imagine my thoughts, 6am, 2 taxis, one broke down, and another going at 140km/h. – And I haven’t even reached JoBurg yet.
At the end of it all, I did not think differently of Wesley’s services and I would still continue to engage him! – It was the most fun I had at 6am in the morning for a long time!