Let's talk about shoes

Trip Start Jul 19, 2009
Trip End Oct 25, 2010

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Flag of South Africa  , Eastern Cape,
Sunday, February 19, 2012

17/18 Feb.
First of all, thanks for all your well wishing and kind comments. Now I feel like a ninny but very much appreciated:)
This morning I woke up happy as Larry, not yet realising it was only a dream when I sat next to a pilot, high in the sky, and he casually told me to take over. Without questioning I did and found I could fly the plane instinctively. He then told me I had passed the test I didn't know I was taking and was now licensed to fly anywhere at all. I was elated having effortlessly achieved something I never thought possible.
How's that for symbolism ? :)
Well,  I moved on to Port St John's, much against a concerned husband's wishes but Valerie, a kind woman from East London, insisted on taking me to Mthatha to see a private GP, and going on to Port St Johns was the same distance as going back to Coffee Bay.  I am so grateful she did that for me, she went out of her way, literally, and I never could have managed without her. Thank you, thank you and hope to meet you and Tatum sometime later on.
This doctor's visit was a totally different experience from the clinic. A comfortable waiting room with no one actually waiting. The receptionist looked like Patsy from Absolutely Fab, there was fresh water in a cooler, Country Life mags fanned out on a polished wooden table, soft sofas - I wouldn't mind spending some time here, but no, I could come straight through. The consultation was much like you'd find in Europe, questioning and a physical examination. 
 'That's a nasty bite,' the doctor observed. Yes, it is now raised and turning black. Anyway, the long and short of it was I had been given the wrong antibiotics. 'Very efficient for infections, but does nothing for the tick bite fever.' I winced to think of 5 days wasted, the clinic nurse so sure she was on to something with the glands.
Different drugs and most important question: 'How long?' 
'You should feel better in 2 days. Come back if there is no improvement.' I almost kissed him. 2 days and all would be forgotten.
The bill, of course - the Coffee Bay clinic was free but I'm sure the people waiting there would sooner come here given the choice. But this doctor is for the privileged.
This time around I am more aware of that, not so sure how I fit in anymore, how I am looked upon. As always people are friendly and willing, I took that for granted, now I wonder why should they?
When packing my things earlier I was missing three pairs of shoes that had been at the end of my bed all week, now gone. Judy was shocked: 'This has never happened before, I saw them yesterday, the Panama Jack's (ah, my red walking shoes), the Birkenstocks and the Nike teva's. Word will soon get around if anyone in the village shows up wearing those!'
She must have really taken a good look to reel off the brand names, and add, 'very expensive.' Actually I don't give a toss about clothes and designers but somehow I had brought to Africa what must represent a small fortune worth of shoes, but I doubt that their new owner realized that.
 Anyway, it didn't bother me in the least, I was happy I still had the flip flops (Havaianas:))  I was wearing at the time of the mishap, and a pair of impractically high French sandals, that even the perpetrator had no use for. No, I was suppressing a smile at the thought of someone  giving in to temptation, taking the shoes,, wondering who they would fit, even though most go barefoot. Maybe I was wrong to think that is by far the most practical and natural way to go here. Well, at least I did not have to carry them around with me anymore.
 The taking of my possessions I don't take personally, I understand, though don't approve.

Feb 19
The two days have passed, spent mostly in my blissfully peaceful single room, more than worth the extra pennies. This morning I woke up in a sweat, shaking and sore, instead of being miraculously cured as promised. I actually felt cheated and, of course, disappointed.
So how long? If only I knew I could decide whether to stick it out or just go home. Though I would hate to admit defeat, specially when the opponent is such a nasty little bugger.
OK, here's hoping next time I'll be excited to tell you about the pleasures of this beautiful country I love so much, but for the moment this is my life here. Surely it can only get better? 
Tomorrow, just wait and see.........

PS I know some of you are worried, please don't be. The only real danger is that of being frustrated to death. And, believe it or not, I am not totally stupid and will take care, promise x
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Sarah on

.....and please make sure you do!xx

katherine-anne on

watch me :) thanks sarah x

Patsy on

been keeping up with your adventures and mishaps. hope you are feeling much better. watch out for creepy-crawlies with your open shoes,try rubbing your feet (your whole body) with tea-tree oil? must be available at some godforsaken waterhole where the appropriate leaves grow..

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