The second day of the New Year, which I spend in bed, sleeping(!!) I went to Ghanzi. Hard to say good bye to all the nice people i met. This seems to get harder and harder! Hm! (old age?) I received a lift to Ghanzi from Florian (i know everything and I know it better) together with the definitely I know it all AND i know it BEST girl from Russia. After half an hour of listening to the two young people playing one up manship, I fell asleep. I had decided to stay and share accomodation with the Russian girl (sometimes it is just so much cheaper) However after three hours in the car with her, and finding out that “on the fringe of the township” meant over fifteen kilometers OUT of the town. I decided, to ask Florian to drop me back off in Ghanzi itself. I stayed in the one and only hotel in town. Way above my budget, but hey, it was my last day and night in town, so i lashed out.
The hotel had a very large and clean swimming pool and i spend the rest of the afternoon just swimming and playing in the wonderful water. I met Cilla and Francois (her son) from South africa. We laughed so much!1 Cilla (my age) was smoking in the pool. I commented and her answer was”ik nie sex nie; ik nie drink nie”(i don’t do sex nor do i drink) she was so funny! Cilla had been married FIVE times before, just to make sure she didn’t like it!! We chatted and laughed so much!! Have I mentioned that South African people are terribly obese? Well, I want to make a point of this. I can spot them a mile off! Especially the men!
I also can’t remember if I mentioned that I can speak and understand Afrikaans? (i probably did many times, ah well, one more time then!) But reading is the easiest. Afrikaans is the old Dutch dialect from the Boeren (farmers/peasants) if I speak the dialect of my home town I can get away with it!
Anyway this obesity is enormous. I have read somewhere that Port Augusta had the highest rate of obese people in South Australia, well, take my word for it, they are NOTHING like the Afrikaners!!! It must be all the “braai” (barbeques)
The next morning I was @ the station at 7.00AM as the hotelmanager had told me that would be when the first bus goes! Duh! Not! There was NOBODY and I mean NOBODY there at all! On the sign it said that the bus to Charles Hill (near the Namibian border) would go at 12.00PM. There are only three buses that leave from Ghanzi! I mean how hard can it be to memorize THREE buses’ time tables?? I went back to the hotel (I had all ready checked out) demanded my key, air con and television (only local channel) remotes and went back to the hotel. Had a leisurely breakfast another swim in the pool and relaxed till ten o’clock. Then I decided, as now I had to chck out anyway, that I would go back to the bus stop, and just wait there. And this was an absolutely excellent idea, as the bus was all ready waiting, I got the front seat, AND the bus filled up so rapidly that we left by 10.30AM!!!Service in Botswana is non existing, hence my excellent idea to be there two hours BEFORE the time mentioned on the board.
We had a blow out on the highway, barely any traffic and NO jack. Not too worry, all the men on the bus grabbed the back of the bus and lifted it of the ground! The kind and funny young driver drove me all the way to the border, which he didn’t have to do, and the conductor objected to loudly and obnoxiously! Going across the border, although very hot, was quick and easy. At the Namibian side I asked the girl what to do about getting to Windhoek as there were no buses. She would help. After she told me to wait near the police man at the gate, who changed some money as this is the first border crossing WITHOUT a “bureau du change”, this was a good side line for him, and very beneficial for me, as the one and only ATM across the border had NO money in it!! Anyway, I had just put my bag down, when this car stopped and asked if I wanted a lift to Windhoek! So there you go. For twenty dollars I was on my way! (I had heard from my friends in Botswana that it was near impossible and very very expensive to get across the border! so here you go! I did well!)
The border crossing is in the middle of the Kalahari desert and extremely remote!
Nothing exciting happened on the four hour trip to Windhoek, beside spending an hour trying to pick up more passengers, Sydney, the driver getting a speeding fine, and the young un~smiling man on the back seat, who got on at the border with me, wanting to see my passport! This was not in itself such a big deal, lots of people ask for this. But I had just been gabbering on about being in Windhoek for three months, painting, and having an exhibition at the end of it! well, this young man looking at my passport, asked WHY I had NO visa, duh, I am an Australian, I get 90 days FREE !!! “Oh, was I going to sell any of my work??”Suddenly I became suspicious, why did he want to know this?? You guessed it, he was an immigration officer! Duh!! How fortunately was I? I told him not to worry, as my work was just going on show, and was NOT for sale!! Ah well, see what happens later on, I doubt very much he will be thinking of this for three months!! (and then catch me on the way out!!) Life is good and god is great! I arrived at Windhoek at 6.00PM and asked Sydney to drop me off at the backpackers, as I had no SIM card of Namibia, no money, and was too exhausted to do anything about it all today! Windhoek is wonderful!!