When things went belly-up, I was caught with my pants down. Not literally thank heavens, but I was not prepared for disaster. There are a few rules that I have always taught the Bean which I had not followed.
- Always have some cash on you. Enough to help you if disaster strikes.
- Always have airtime on your telephone or at least know how to send a “please-call-me”
- Always have a back-up plan when you are on your own.
When W left, I had no cash on me, I had no transport, and I was stuck out in the middle of nowhere without a back-up plan. Again, thanks to the kindness of many people, most of them strangers – I managed to get by.
I walked to the farm next door where the very kind farmer’s wife let me use her telephone and promptly put a whole pile of airtime on my phone (without me asking her). The call I made was to my big sister who has looked after me since I was 15. I caught her at a bad time because she was busy setting up a conference on the other side of the country but she also sent me aitime for my telephone. I walked back home and then sat down to make a plan regarding transport. Here in SA there is really no safe public transport available, especially in the area I live in. Also, because of the property transaction, all of my money was tied up and I was a week away from pay-day. The only other finance that I had available to me was in my home bond on my property in Johannesburg, so I would need to get to the bank 23 kms away to arrange the money to buy a car.
That evening the farmer and his wife arrived at my home with their second car and left it for me to use for the whole long weekend. It is a very good car – I was flabbergasted that they could trust me with their vehicle – a stranger. This enabled me to get to the bank the next day. While I was waiting in the queue at the bank, my friend from Johannesburg called me to tell me she had a car for me to use for the next three months – also a really good car. All I have to do is get to Johannesburg to collect it. She also called me many times a day to pull me through and help me focus on my dreams – she still is. She is my rock right now.
That left me with a gap of two weeks to get to and from work before I could collect the car. Of course one of my work colleagues stepped up to the plate and between him and another lady friend of his they get me to and from work every day – driving out of their way for me. I even get lifted to town every other day to get any shopping I need. Aren’t these people great?
The handsome estate agent is even arranging a lift for me to get to Johannesburg next week.
So a BIG thank you to Oom Jan and his wife, Kerry, Tracey and Rob, Ockert and Joey, Andrew, and then there are others who have given me so much moral support – Rina, Charlene, and Erika
Thank you all so much – I promise to pay it forward.