Not so much a cookie jar


“If the radio gets stolen, don’t worry about it. It happens all the time.” With this line my rental car was delivered to me in my house in Cape Town. I didn’t know what to say. I was stunned. I was just standing there. Are you kidding? Over the past few years I occasionally drove in my mum’s tiny car that mostly resembles a cookie jar. Therefore I was happy I found a cheap-ish rental company that rents tiny chico’s for long periods. Unfortunately, the car was slightly bigger than I’d expected. It definately didn't resemble a cookie jar! They were out of chico’s. Go figure. To start the car I had to press this, twist that, pull that and then it should be fine. “Ok then, that’s it.” Said the guy who delivered the car after I signed the contract, “If you have any problems, give us a call.” Yes! I had a problem! This was a huge car which I had to drive on the wrong side of the road! I couldn’t drive that car! Couldn’t I get a chauffeur or something! Fearless I stepped inside the car. Only after making sure the guys from the rental company were gone, I started the car and drove around the block. O my god! This is not going so well! After two streets I was totally freaked out. There was an immensely big piece of car on my left side and I kept trying to find the mirror on the right, only to find the rest of the traffic coming towards me. I had absolutely no feeling for this car or for where I could find the curb. Add to that that the Captonians are crazy drivers and the mini busses are reckless, cutting you off everywhere they can, overtaking on all sides, preferable from both sides at once. I was one freaked out girl in that car. I felt like the car was driving me instead of the other way around! I wanted to stop right there in the middle of a small, one way street. All the tiny hair on my arms spiked up in fear. Tears came into my eyes. I was sure I was going to crash the car in my first 500 meters of driving. I really couldn’t get home fast enough. I quickly parked the thing a bit too close to the curb and ran inside the house. I must have looked like a madman to the people strolling on the sidewalk. Tears were running over my face and I was shaking like crazy! Would this ever get better? Would I ever learn to drive in this place? All I knew was that the car was perfect where it was and that I didn’t want to go near it again, preferably ever.

A Hermans

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