I was going to start blogging when Boet and Melissa actually arrived, but as often happens when Boet is involved, not everything went according to plan. Their flight to Sydney was booked for Saturday, but at around 10am on Friday they received a phone call to say that that flight was cancelled and could they catch a flight later that evening. After rearranging their local flights to Jhb, and much stressing and low flying in motor cars, they made it.
On the way on the Qantas flight, Boet had kicked off his shoes and was dozing off when a movement out of the corner of his eye caught his attention. In the poor light of the cabin, he could just make out that the movement was in fact a cockroach! At 30 000ft! The insect scurried down the side of the cabin past the window and disappeared into the darkness under the seat in front of him. O gross! - but ‘o well, somebody else’s problem’, he thought. A little while later, he realised that he had removed his shoes, as is his wont, on long flights. They were slipped safely under the seat in front of him. Now in economy class it is not that easy to double up his 6 foot plus frame to get hold of them and check that the cockroach had not taken up residence there, so he decided to go to the bathroom in his socks. As he stepped into the bathroom, a cool sensation, like a fresh mountain stream washed over his feet – actually seeped through his sock onto his toes. Somebody had partially missed the toilet bowl and he had stepped into the resultant yellow pool. He proceeded to remove 300 metres of toilet tissue and place it on the floor to dry the area and then gingerly laid down a new layer of basically wall to wall carpet of toilet tissue on the floor, upon which he proceeded to jump so that it would dry his socks. But he did not want to walk back on his bare feet. So he thought he would try and call out to Melissa quietly across the sleeping cabin to bring him his shoes and he could remove his socks and place his cleaned feet directly into the shoes. Standing on his mat of tissue, he opened the door a crack and hissed: ‘Melissa!’
No answer. Sleeping tablets working.
A presence made him glance left. A woman waiting to use the bathroom stared at him, then at his feet, then at the mat of toilet paper which now plastered the tiny bathroom and finally back at his face. Her expression was that mixture of puzzlement and pity reserved for those unsure of whether she was dealing with a mentally challenged person with OCD or just a garden variety nut. She said nothing, just stared at him. He stared back blankly, opened his mouth to say something and wisely, for once in his life, decided not to try and explain everything, backed up gingerly, closed his mouth and the door. He cleaned up as best he could and tried not to cringe the rest of the way to Sydney. I would love to know what she thought he was doing. I really, really, dearly would love to know.
Sunday, 25 April 2010
Monday, 12 April 2010
From the 25th April to the 14th May, my brother-in-law Boet, and his wife will be visiting us here from South Africa. We will be taking them around Sydney and NSW. Since this will be our first time playing tour guides, we will try and run a daily blog (especially between the 30 April and the 9th May, when I will be with them fulltime, recounting their experiences and views of Aus with pictures of course. So join us then as we travel through our new home. Look forward to your company then.