I decided I’d go and have my shower early and retire to my tent where I’d have no choice other than to sleep with ear-plugs.
I was just about to doze off when I remembered my Lays tube was in the car … there was no way in the world that if nature called during the night I was getting up and going to the loo with all the honey badgers around!
I went to open the car door but guess what??? Yep, it was locked and the keys were in the ignition. By this time the rugby match had finished and it was very dark in Maroela. I saw light shining from one caravan so went over to it in the hope of finding someone who was a car thief in their spare time!
It looked like I was in luck – okay, the guy was no car thief, but he did have a big box of tools. Unfortunately however, after trying for over half an hour, none of the windows were budging. The guy apologised and left; I resigned myself to the fact that I wasn’t going to get into the park early tomorrow, in fact, I might not get in at all. I was wondering how much it was going to cost me to get a locksmith to come out but then I remembered that the next day was Sunday … I might have to go a whole day without venturing into the park …
I decided I’d better go to the loo again … on entering the Ladies, there were a few ladies there drying their hair. The usual Kruger chat took place … “Hi, how are you?” they asked. I told them about the predicament I was in.
“Oh, no need to worry, go and see George, he’ll sort you out” one of them said.
“George?” I questioned, “who’s George?”.
“George, the guy who lives here; he’s the one who opens and closes the gate, cleans the bins, etc, he’ll be able to open your car for you …” they told me.
I got directions to where George lived … a light was on; I knocked on the door. George answered the door in what looked like long-johns! It was obvious I’d woken him up from a very deep sleep.
“Are you George?” I asked …
He nodded his head (and had a bewildered, half-asleep look on his face).
“Oh, thank goodness!” I exclaimed.
“I’ve locked my keys in my car and I need help to try and get the window down or the door open; one guy has already had a go, but to no avail; I met these ladies in the toilet who said you’d be able to help me …”
George looked at me, rather confused. He mumbled something and put his hand to his ear at the same time …
I put two and two together and came up with …… “I think George is trying to tell me he’s deaf and dumb”.
I slowed down, spoke much LOUDER, really pronouncing my words, hoping that he’d be able to lip-read, and doing all the actions that went with ...
“I ’ V E
M-E ? ”
George continued to look at me - he looked even more confused now. He mumbled something again, but this time he did not put his hand to his ear … he continued mumbling and then I realised he was speaking to me in Shangaan!!!!!
I can’t believe the ladies in the loo didn’t tell me that he couldn’t speak/understand English!!!