This weekend I bought my very first car. I don’t think it’s that much of a big deal, but my friends and family think it is. It’s an old model and has a beat up interior, it needs to be repainted and the seats smell like wet dog but it can take me from A to B and that is all that matters. Saturday I went all the way to Springs to collect it, about 85 Kilometers for those who aren’t in the know. As you well know, I can’t drive for shit, so I asked a friend of mine who has a license to accompany me. We got there, collected the vehicle and drove straight home, and it was a smooth drive or at least that’s what the guy who was driving told me. We reached Soweto and about five minutes from home, my former beer-loving crew called me, they wanted to see my new car.
I dropped off the guy who was driving me at his place and decided to temp fate by driving about five kilometers to where I was supposed to meet. Bad idea. I was stopped by police officers literally two blocks away from where I started driving. They pulled me over and asked for my driver’s license. I don’t have one. They tried to intimidate me by saying that they’ll lock me up and I’ll be prevented from having a license for two to three years, but I’ve lived long enough to know that all they wanted was a little money to get them to leave me alone. So when one officer pulled me aside and said “Bra, let’s cut the crap, you know the way to chase police officers away. Just go to your car and pretend that you’re getting your learners, bring the money to the police car and drop it by the window.” I knew I was getting off Scott free, sans R50. I paid the bribe and they magically went away. Amazing! but on the real though, working in the shady world of construction has taught me that bribing an officer is totally harmless as compared to say, the corruption that I see happening between contractors, Engineers and quality inspectors. Giving an officer fifty rands to make him go away only hurts your pockets. The contractor giving a Quality inspector R5000 to make him overlook the fact that not enough cement was used in the building they are constructing theoretically puts everyone who’ll use that building at risk, but I digress.
I drove, albeit at 20km/h, to my friends’ place and we had an impromptu braai. Because I currently suck at driving, I asked one of them to drive us to the bottle store to buy a few beers. Everybody wanted to get in my car (I just realized how surreal it is to say the words “my car” I guess this is a big deal after all) so there we were, at ten in the evening, packed in a small car driving to the liquor store when suddenly, my front tyre got punctured. There were six people in the car, only two helped me change the tyre, the rest decided to walk home. They still haven’t called to asked how we managed to get home.
I was so disappointed that after changing the tyre I kindly asked to be driven home. That was Saturday, Sunday I decided to conquer my fear and try driving again. To be on the safe side I asked my friend who has a license to be in the car, as required by law. My place of residence is situated in a corner on a busy intersection, since I’m still a learner driver, backing up into the road way horrifying but I managed to do it. People from outside Johannesburg like to complain about how bad and aggressive Jo’burg drivers are, they haven’t seen nothing. They should try to drive in Soweto. The drivers are not that bad, the only problem I have with them is their habit of parking anywhere they please. Which makes it extra difficult for a learner driver to drive considering that Soweto streets are so narrow. The pedestrians on the other hand, they suck balls. They walk anywhere they want and make no effort to move when a car comes their way. I can’t get mad at them though, ’cause I also Jay walk like no one’s business, but all in all, it was a pleasant experience. I’m hoping that maybe in a month or so, I’ll be a way better driver. I just have to make sure that I avoid the Police.
Here’s to my new car *pops champagne*