Cartoon sourced from here

Yesterday did not end well.  Actually, come to think of it – it was not that bad because I learned a few more things about Hoedspruit and the people who live here.  Let’s backtrack to 4.30 pm yesterday afternoon.

I lock up the office and walk to our car – I have the car today because W is out of town.  Our little car is quite old and cranky because we left it under a tree for 3 years while we were in Europe.  Again I am using the royal “we” because the car really belongs to W.  Last month we bought him ( must be male) new tyres and shock absorbers to cope with our bumpy sand road. So he should be happy now…..right?   Wrong!  As I pulled off from the office there was a grinding noise from a back wheel which got a little quieter if I touched the brakes.  Probably some sand in the brakes…. I carried on, needing to rush a bit in order to pick up the Bean.

As I pulled into the school the silly wheel started to squeal like a stuck pig. It so happens that some of the fancy school people were nearby and all gave me very strange looks – they all have really fancy non-squealing cars so I felt like hiding under the dashboard.

It took some persuading to get the Bean into the car as she was pretending to not know me – I think some of the other parents may have thought I was a kidnapper. Not good.  We squealed out of the school with the Bean now hiding under the dash so I couldn’t fit there.  Smile and wave……  what shame.

At this point I drove past the handsome estate agent who was heading off in the opposite direction.  I called him on his mobile and told him I had a crisis – he refered me to the nearest mechanic and continued to drive off into the sunset.  Typical! 

I was getting rather worried at this stage as we do not have any really good friends here yet that I could just call and say HELP!  I was going to have to rely on strangers.  We squealed into the shopping center and drove to the HiQ ( a wheel and tyre place).  They were closing up when we arrived but all stopped what they were doing to watch me squeal  pull in.

I hopped out the car and asked if they could advise me whether I could continue to drive with the noisy wheel or if I should call it a day.  They looked at the crazy blonde woman and shook their heads.  “Best just leave it here” they said.

Right.  We were now 25km’s from home, the Bean was still jammed under the dash and we had no way of getting home.  I pulled all our bags out of the boot and then tried to dislodge the Bean – the worried men looking on. “Have you got any way of getting home?” they asked.  Um..well…no.

No problem to them – they packed us into their cars and took us all the way home, well we had to return to the workshop after a few kilometers because I had forgotten the house keys in the car, but we did eventually get home. 

The handsome estate agent must have felt some remorse because he sent an sms to ask if we had ‘come right’  [edit: let me not be too mean – I think he may have called too – my head was in such a spin I can’t remember for sure?]

The next problem was to figure out how to get to work and school the next morning.  No problem if I had telephone numbers of my colleagues but of course I hadn’t bothered to record them yet.  I asked the HiQ man if he happened to know anyone that works with me – of course he had the number of our packhouse floor manager.

So,  Thank You number one goes to Jaco and company at Hi Q  Hoedspruit for going the extra mile.  Thank You number 2 goes to Ockert, my colleague who collected us at 6am, took us all the way to town to drop off the Bean at school (she just loved arriving in his shiny new pick-up) and then all the way back to work. (Going 40kms out of his way to help us).

Thank You number 3 goes to another colleague of mine – lets call him Mad Oom Jack who will be taking me back to town this afternoon to collect our fixed little car. (Oom means uncle in Afrikaans)

This is a great little town with lovely people!  Any ideas on what car I should buy?


6 thoughts on “Cartastrophe

  1. Hi Q deserves a compliment on

    So few people remember to thank suppliers for fantastic service – I always compliment companies who offer great service or just go that little extra mile – in your case 25 km’s. has become my 2nd best website – I struggled for 7 years to find a swimming pool company – the horror stories relating to swimming pool companies run riot in JHB.

    I do not make any major consumer decisions without first consulting this web page. In fact – minor decisions such as which brand kettle to buy – are now based on sifting through to find out what not to buy.

    I am so happy – always – to hear about great service – Hi Q will now be a place that I will support purely because of your experience with them. That is the power of “word of mouth” advertising. Thanks for sharing that with us.


  2. Wow, don’t you just love “small” town living? Imagine you were in a place like Jo’burg!! Well done on your compliments and I will certainly give a visit in the future. Don’t have a HiQ close by but will remember for the future.


  3. Never a dull moment!!!! The Bean would suggest a “shiny new non-squeaking pick-up” seeing as you have really bumpy, sandy roads there. I’ve had brilliant service from Supa-Quick in Kempton, phenominal (urgh!! spelling!) actually. :>


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