Of flies and good samaritans…

Many years ago, back when I was still young and beautiful, we (the ex-douche bag and I) went to Sodwana for our Diving Exams.

I was without wheels so we took the douchebag’s Opel Corsa.  That car was cursed.  I swear it hated me. Come to think of it the driver also hated me and visa versa so the feelings were all mutual.  Any the way, so we had a lovely diving holiday week.  That is what the brochure said, in actual fact, that diving camp was a dump.  It was hot and muggy.  I realised (halfway through our test exercise in the pool)that I had a pathological fear of bubbles (a post for another day) and they could not in good conscious let me into the ocean.

Long story short ,I ended up sitting on the beach for long hours getting sunburnt (there was no such thing as sun loungers and sun shades in sight) on a beach that is not at all suited to swimming,  with just mangy surfers climbing in and out of ratty wetsuits without their underwear for company, and the largest collection of flies I had ever had the misfortune of seeing in one place.

I am not being my usual over-dramatic self here.  It was so bad that we could not even eat at the same time.  One person had to take a bite while the other fanned their food to keep the big black monsters from devouring all that was in sight. Those flies will give Hitchcock’s birds a run for their money. Truly a memorable holiday.  But I digress.

We were on our way back from hellSodwana, when in the middle of nowhere the car started heating up and spewing great balls of white steam into the air (it looked at one point like we were driving a steam locomotive) and we ended up having to stop every 2 metres to refill the water and wait for what seemed like an eternity for the carspawn of satan to cool down, which was about as likely as ice skating in hell because it was easily 45° C in the shade (I use this word in the loosest term possible,  because there wasn’t any).

So there we were, stranded in the land of nothing, sweating like pigs being grilled alive, not a spot of shade and also not in the best of spirits after spending a week fending of assaults from all sorts of flying, crawling, creeping insects (and stinky locals).

<Years later it dawned on me that all of this would have been made much more pleasant had I just given myself over to drink and kept up a healthy level of drunkeness throughout. Flies? What flies? I will show you flies… any way, back to the story…again (I promise)>

We stopped right across this deserted looking farm, on our twelfth hundred stop for the day to let the car ‘cool’ and lo and behold.  LIFE! Just as we pulled to the side of the road a woman was leaving their gate.  She must have seen on my face that I was about ready to commit suicide <read murder> or pretty much just anything that could get me out of the crapness that was that day. Thankfully she stopped, and for the first time that day we received some good news, her husband was a mechanic and was on his way back home, but if we accompany her to town, by the time we got back, her husband will be home and can help us on our merry little way.

<she needed to pick up some groceries-now that was the most surreal experience I have ever had, grocery shopping with a complete stranger.  It is excruciating enough having to do it with someone you know…that alone should speak to our frame of mind>

Years later, I can’t even remember where the car broke down, or even what this good Samaritan’s name was, but I recall the deep gratitude I felt. I will never be able to repay her (mainly because I have no idea how to find her) but hope that I can pay it forward some way for someone else in need one day.


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