Had myself a mini adventure yesterday. Had a good ol’ chuckle at myself last night.
My boss asked whether I’d take a drive with her to the department of education here in Jhb city centre yesterday - with parking always being an issue, the plan of action is to park illegally, I will wait in the car whilst she dashes in to do her bit of business. So far so good, we found an illigal parking spot right on a corner of the building and I remained in the car with the Sunday times as company. Some twenty minutes later, with the sweat running down my face, I abandoned the vehicle for the little clothing shop on the corner. I started up a conversation with a Chelsea soccer fan in the shop (also cheer for them), and browsed (amazing how nice some of the items were - and cheap to boot).
The friendly Chelsea fan called me a couple minutes later, quite distressed at the fact that there were two traffic officials at the car, pad and pen at the ready. I rushed out of the shop, hands in the air, blond hair flailing, exclaiming how SORRY I am, and I would immediately remove the car (I must admit, the girl in me came out in full force). The ladies had these bemused expressions on their faces, and one started lecturing me about the dangers of parking where I was, and I’m apologising a mile a minute.
I leapted into the car, and realised that the keyholder in my hand, contained no key… only the electronic button to lock/unlock the car, so here a teensy tiny bit of panic sets in, did I lose the key, dear gods… but no, on frantic inspection, I found a “ignition start” button on the dash, so I start pounding the poor button, but alas, nothing transpires from my ape-like motions, I note a little message on the dash - press in brake to start vehicle - so I shove my head under the dash to see the invisible brake pedal because my feets could only detect one pedal down there.
At this point the officials have become a bit more restless with this blonde chick poking at things in the car (with the numberplate “Rhando” which apparantly means “Love”) and they tapped on the window. After some more floundering I found the button to lower the windown and apologised some more. At this point, the incident is attracting some attention, and now there were 6 officials surrounding the car… and I’m becoming a tad more nervous.
I explain to the lady closest to me that I’m unable to start the car, and that the car actually belongs to my boss - and dear gods, she’s gonna SHOUT me! At which she demands to see my drivers licence - which I duly produce, with lengthy explanations that I have never driven this particular car before. I eventually, by some fluke, managed to start the car, and then set it into reverse in order to maneuver it out of the way, so I roll back a metre or so, move the shift into “D” (for drive?), and here the blasted car told me “hoezit - I aint moving for the likes of you”. So there I am, ass-end of the car sticking out into the right hand lane of Commissioner street and the stubborn refusal of a man-made object to go anywhere.
At this point I’ve got my boss on the phone, hysterically explaining to her that these people are going to lock me up. I have in the last twenty minutes transgressed something like 20 offenses (least of all I’m feeling like a car thief).
So there I sit, now with around 9 officials (I lost count, but there were many yellow jackets), as well as a 20 strong crowd of curious onlookers trying to figure out why there is so much interest in a blond, white, middle-aged woman in Jhb city centre.
I must have been their comic relief for the day though, because they took pity on me… the lady sighed (with a smile), and told me to get in the car and wait for my boss, however, that she will be coming around this corner in exactly 20 minutes, and if I’m still there, she will write me…
My boss arrived some 5 minutes later, put the car in drive, and off we went. I just lifted an eyebrow, there is obviously a reason I cannot afford one of these complicated vehicles, its beyond my blonde head to drive.