‘If anything can go wrong, it will’.
We all know this famous statement by Murphy. Another time I only can agree with this wise man. First working day on Monday. First time driving in Cape Town by myself on Monday as well. I already knew before that this will be a recipe for disaster. Since I only had to start at 10am that day, I decided to leave one hour in advance to make sure I will arrive at my future working place on time. The big journey should actually take only about twenty minutes. At 9:10am, ten minutes later than planned, I got on my car and was ready to go. I just wanted to take a last look in the mirror…but the mirror was broken! Don’t they say broken mirrors bring bad luck? I just ignored this warning since it’s only a superstition, right? As things turned out, it’s not. The car alarm went on. Insufficient telephone credits prevented me from calling anyone. I drove on the right side of the street (yes, usually they do drive on the left in South Africa). I moved off in second or even third. I became insane by the many hills, all the other cars on the street and the five lanes on the highway. I listened to the GPS and ignored the directions on the paper, so I eventually got lost. So at 9:40am I was standing in a godforsaken neighbourhood which didn’t seem familiar to me at all and the annoying voice just told me that I have reached my destination. On the verge of tears, I restarted the GPS and finally found my way to the internship place…just in time!
You probably also all know: ‘If there is a possibility of several things going wrong, the one that will cause the most damage will be the one to go wrong’.
2 days later when I got in my car, which I btw named Karlsson, the engine wouldn’t start. Seems like I forgot to turn off the light during nighttime so that my battery was absolutely flat. Seized with panic I ran to my neighbours to ask them to help. Unfortunately nobody was too keen on opening the door for me at 7.30am so I had to wait until I could stop a car on our street to ask for some help. A friendly older guy then eventually helped me to jump-start my car. We were standing there for about 15 minutes; me stepping on the gas and probably waking up the whole neighbourhood but it just wouldn’t work. Even the hot neighbour from across the street tried to help, but no chance. I had to wait for my car hirer to come so I could get another car to go to work. So eventually already on my 3rd day I have been 1.5h too late, which fortunately wasn’t a problem for them at all.
Even though I firmly believe in Murphy’s law, I’m usually an optimist in most situations. So I’m sure that I will be a great driver one day. Haha. No, but to be honest, I’m really getting used to driving on the left side of the street and starting to enjoy it. And besides that I just LOVE my life here, I’m so happy at the moment! More photos and stories about my everyday life in Cape Town will follow soon.