Monday, August 25, 2014

South Africa sucks when it comes to used cars

So Rog and I are trying to find a car. Four months with no car is getting old. Real old. Sure, walking is good for me. Yes, I know I'm at the beach and I'm blessed and blah, blah, blah but it's been windy as hell for the last two weeks and walking to the store is like some kind of endurance test. In some ways, this whole trip is. Yes it's beautiful here and there are many things to be thankful for but I miss my dog and my sister and my home and my stuff and wah...

So, back to the car situation. We sold our Subaru back home before we moved. I loved that car. We figured that we might be able to get something similar here. Not as nice but just a decent little car to get us around. Easier said than done. For starters, a lot of the cars are little foreign rust buckets. A stiff breeze might blow them away. Still, those little rust buckets are expensive. The rust bucket we are looking at now is a brand called a Toyota Tazz. It's a Toyota-lite but still a Toyota and that's the only reason I'm considering one of them. We've called about a couple of them and they have either been sold or they are hours away. Ironically it's hard to go car shopping with no car.

Some other little rust buckets available to us are, Fiat, the Mazda Drifter (free homeless person with purchase) Opel, the Ford Icon, Renault, The Ford Bantam, (yes, here there is a Ford named after a chicken...) the Toyota conquest (with an extra large back seat), the Chevrolet Spark, (Insert joke about car going up in flames here ___________)the Citron (which has lemon built right into the name) and so on...

Here is a picture of a white Kia. Probably one of the most common rust buckets available here. I hate Kia's. Still, I'd buy one if it were affordable.

Couple the lack of familiar brands with the high prices and also the high scam factor and it's enough to make me take the bus. If only our town had a bus. It doesn't. You'd think I would have researched that before we moved here, right? I did not.

What about this little beauty? Makes me think of Breaking Bad. You could cook meth in this, right?

This hideous little Ford Fiesta, a brand that I owned when I was nineteen, is selling for $25,000. Can you believe it? Why does this souped up version of a Fiesta even exist? Who would buy this? I spit on you, $25,000 Fiesta. You and your little bow too...

At last, something in our price range.

Well, this was not a productive day. We tried to walk on the beach but the wind has brought in an unusual amount of trash and debris and there is a sewage leak in the Umlanga River which has blown down to our town. There is a couple we see on the beach each morning and we pet their lovely Staffie dogs and the husband said that he thinks South Africa has been downgraded to a fourth world country. Today I might just agree. Tomorrow will be better. Tomorrow is full of possibilities. And, once we do get a rust bucket of our very own, there is an even higher possibility that one of the tomorrows in my near future might include an elephant in it or a Rhino or a baby giraffe. So there is hope. Hope springs eternal, just like sewage...

Monday, August 11, 2014

The death of Otis and my sanity

I'll start this with a photo Rog took of last nights so called Super moon. I think that might have something to do with my more than usual jumpiness. This is going to sound more like a rant than a blog but so be it. I'm feeling homesick and the death of Otis isn't helping.

In case you don't know, Otis is the elevator in our building. We rented an apartment as close to the Indian ocean as humanly possible. Thinking back, it would have been better to be a few streets off the main beach and have a nicer place. The view is spectacular but the apartment is ancient and fragile, like my nerves. Not to mention that the sea is surprisingly loud. I often wake up thinking we are in the middle of the biggest rainstorm ever and then I remember that I'm living at the beach.

When we moved in, I blogged about the elevator and the fact that it was acting weird. Somehow I didn't have the good sense to realize that it might actually die, cease to be, finito. We don't have a car either so what used to be a simple walk to the store is now more difficult.

Rog and I are on the fourth floor and we hardly see anyone in this ghost ship of a building. There is a handyman who doesn't speak much English but he told us enough to let us know we won't be getting a new Otis any time soon.

We contacted our real estate agent who rented the place to us. He's been less than forthcoming and distracted with other clients I guess. So, fighting this homesickness just got harder because every time I leave my house it's 77 steps to the outside world. It's beautiful here but I want to make a point of saying that a beautiful place alone isn't enough to make a life fulfilling.

I think what I really want is to go back to having a shop again. Shop keeping was what I was best at and I miss it. So, at the end of our stay in South Africa, I will be anxious to get back to America and start doing something productive. I want to start painting again and making jewelry and I want Rog to get back to making his pottery.

On a positive note, I am making the most of my time here. I am trying to get the third book in the Closet Door series finished and I'm also going to be taking a master level Reiki class to round out my education in that area. After the course, I'll be able to teach if I want to.

Cheers from South Africa