Friday 13th in Bloemfontein began when I dropped my laptop in our hotel lobby and broke it. I called Ralph from the hotel phone, he was out doing the ‘last’ few bits of admin: ‘ring ring’ – ‘hullllllllo?’ – our only phone was answered by an Afrikaans lady, at the other end of Bloemfontein, where he’d left it. Broken computer, lost phone, I had to laugh – there is something wonderful about growing old together.
The huge challenge of this trip is managing our ‘stuff’ when we are constantly on the move, and everything is essential, either being taken out, used or put away. Everything has its right place. This has never been my way, god no, and as for the girls…. anyway I am quite enjoying this new regime, a kind of mindfulness. We are all pretty good at living in the moment, but it’s not necessarily bound to THIS time and place. The girls are certainly off in their own universes, and the dullness of the last two days seems to have consolidated their togetherness in a totally new and amazing way.
Anyway, one heartwarming aspect of breaking my Mac was that I made a few calls and found The Mac Guy of Bloemfontein, Shaul (yes, Shaul, go on, shay it!) who diagnosed the problem over the phone (bloody klutz, ja?) and told me how to sort it out, boring details… that took 2 days of standing around in local tech shops. I have found mac guys all one the world in my time, they are a special breed, pure altruists. I mean it. Someone should write a book.
Anyway the day ended spectacularly when we did a detour to ‘find’ these huge towers with posters of former ANC leaders to mark the 100th anniversary of the ANC’s formation.