Chronicles V – Border Hopping

Mexican Horse Thief-Amanzimtoti29

I get to the South African side; my problems are far from over. I have no passport and customs and police are the same all over the world, they do not like Gypsies! I give the whole customs thing a miss and just walk passed the building. Now for the gate….  On the right hand side of the road are fifteen policemen, yes fifteen. They are all darker than me and very busy chatting up the ladies. On the left is an officer, he his sitting alone under a tree. He is also a white guy. I decide to try the happy go lucky style, and just walk through that gate. I have done this successfully before, another gate, another time. It is working very well; the fifteen cops do not even notice me. I am nearly through when I hear, “Hey, Boet!” Yip, I am bust by the one lone cop, shit! He beckons me over; I toss my bag under the tree and sit on it. He asked what is for what.  I tell him the truth, which is; I was so busy getting drunk and having fun that I did not update my visa, now they have my passport and all I want to do is get to Johannesburg.

He stares at me for a minute. Then tells me to open my kit bag, I do this. He finds my Bowie knife and AK bayonet, my cammo jacket. He asked when and where was I in “Die Mag”. “Die Mag” direct translation “The Force”, meaning the old South African army; the South African Defense Force. I give him the dates and which unit. He then says in English, we were speaking in Afrikaans until now, “Fok off.” Meaning I can go! Made it! I flit through that bloody gate on light feet! Started walking toward Komatipoort, it is blistering hot so I found a tree with a good view of the river and valley below and ate my Pao and drank a warmish Coke. But I had to move, as I walked I dumped more kit, the bag was just too heavy. I walked all the way to Komatipoort, there I was accosted by a few taxi drivers, shouting, “Johannesburg! Johannesburg! I get told it is R150.00. I say I have no money, but decide to check my bank balance at an ATM next to the shop. I have just over R100.00. I tell the taxi driver and he says that will be fine. I ask him which vehicle is his, as some of the mini busses in the parking lot are really wrecks. Considering we have at least 10 000 people a year killed in accidents in my country and a high percentage involves these taxis, I do not feel I was being over cautious. My guy’s Taxi was a brand new Toyota Hi-Ace. Cool. Chucked my bag in and waited. The next woman that got in paid only R80.00! Huh. This bloody white skin of mine in Africa!

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