Thursday, March 15, 2012

Stop this train....

More SA lessons:

1.     “Lekker jol” = major awesome party
2.      The biggest hole in the ozone layer lies directly above the Western Cape of South Africa. Ohhhh, so   that’s why my hellatious sunburn literally felt out-of-this-world painful.
3.      Wine comes in boxes and it is just as good.
4.      Haircuts are suuuuper cheap! R150 (less than $20)
5.    Trains run on their own time, sometimes taking up to over an hour late…
…which is WHYYYY after LSCE recently I thought it would be fine to stop at the gas station for a Coke Light. So I’m taking my sweet time, strolling along, paying my R8 and meandering out of the store. That’s when I hear it. No, not the train…the screams and frantic footsteps from at least 20 young women. They were jumping out of a moving van, running like hell. What?! It’s already here?!?! If I didn’t join the stampede, I would be both A. run over and B. stranded in Lynedoch. So I took off! The train was angry – it started whistling and the conductor even began to close the doors on us; I can’t remember ever running so hard! We managed to jump on just as it was beginning to roll away. I made awkward and relieved eye contact with some of the girls I was sprinting with – then we all shared a bag of chocolate-covered raisins to congratulate ourselves.


The battle was won but the train war continued. A couple weeks later, we found ourselves back on the train after an especially long Friday. We were almost too delirious to notice that we didn't leave the station until about a half hour later. We finally started moving, but came to a stand still once again at the next stop before Stellenbosch.

All of a sudden, everyone is frantic.

"Are you going to Cape Town?!!?" they shouted.
"No....this is the train to Stellenbosch, right?"
"GET OFF. GET OFF NOW if you're not going to Cape Town!"
So we bolted! Who knows what happened...all I could tell was that hundreds of people were now stranded in a random station, 9 kilometers away from Stellenbosch. People tell us its a half hour wait till the next train, an hour wait, 2 hours...no one knows for sure. We call some of our new local friends to pick us up, but alas, no one answered. So what other choice do we have? None, except to walk! It was beautifully scenic...Wildebeests and ostriches along the road kept us company.
Whew! Eventually, our friends Liz and Jaco came to the rescue. Thanks, guys! 
In times like these, ya just gotta say TIA! (This is Africa!)

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