In a previous blog (South Africa) I mentioned how you could become friends with white South Africans but somehow they always thought east-west while you were thinking north-south. No more could is this exemplified by two encounters I had with a car overtaking me on my bicycle and then turning left right in front of me.
The first time this happened was in Perth when I was visiting my future wife. When riding around on her bicycle to explore the town a car overtook me and turned left, thereby colliding with my bicycle. I managed not to fall, but my steering wheel had left a gauge in the side of her car. The reaction from the driver? Aghast that she nearly had killed a cyclist, not bothered about the damage to her car, and in the end relieved that the outcome hadn’t been worse.
Now move a few years in the future, the place being Vanderbijlpark where I was living whilst working for Iscor. Nearly exactly the same scenario, apart from the fact that no damage was made to the car, and that the car was driven by a burly South African man rather than an Australian woman. I must have shouted out (what exactly I can’t remember, but it may have contained swear words), because the car stopped and the man came out of the car.
I half expected to hear an apology or words expressing concern for my health, but no, his exact words were : “Vloek jy vir my?” (Are you swearing at me?). Again not totally sure what my reply was, but absolutely clear about being flabbergasted that someone nearly kills you and all he’s concerned about is whether I had been searing! Go figure!