Tuesday, September 01, 2009
rontburg affairs de maison
Quick, what are some of the more disgusting places you’ve ever visited?
1) the next door neighbour’s long drop
3) The armpit of a 100 mile-a-day hobo, shoved into your face
4) Home Affairs Randburg
Sweet Mary, Joseph and the rest of the Inn staff.
I’m telling you, you just feel dirty walking in there. You don’t even have to touch anything; the place is grubby and feral enough.
I was last there in 2001, in a fit of pandemonium. Just me being me in a crisis.
My passport had unwittingly found itself spackled in perfume, and now half my head was blotted out from the photo area. The United States had already issued me a visa in this passport, but Virgin Atlantic had, instead, thrown my boyfriend and I off the plane saying something like:
‘Half yer head is missin’ mate. You are going to have to get another visa and another passport if you fink you’re going to step foot in Hingland and ‘Merica for even a second.’
The twin towers had just fallen; it was a bit of a tetchy time.
And yet we had to be in New York – come hell or high water – for a mandotory American orientation session the following day, to get social security numbers.
Nonetheless, in 2001 – I scrambled through the queue like a woman with rabies – mad, salivating from the piehole, and irate – to get a passport done in one day. And that is without handing someone a bribe, because I simply didn’t have two coins to rub together at that stage.
I got that passport, and the US embassy kindly issued me with another visa. Back then Home Affairs was a dirty, dismal, fraught-with-corruption and grubby walls kind of hole, and I was satisfied to note yesterday, with a certain familiarity, that it still looks and smells very much the same. The place is lost in time, and has been whitewashed with human crap. Basically.
Except now, I feel an added hatred towards the ‘officials’ here – and I use that term loosely – as it’s because of them and their fucking syndicated fake passports, that we now need UK visas.
So wasn’t especially looking forward to the trip, to paint the picture.
I paid someone - a passport agent - a whopping R400 not to stand in the queue. What a fucking rip off, crisis, but what is a girl meant to do – my Blackberry’s ringing off the hook, [that shrill noise shoots my blood pressure up something chronic] I have meetings to tear to, shit is crappening, and this woman had the sheer balls to charge me R400 to get me to the front of the queue.
Fine. So be it. So without touching anything – seriously the place is a toilet – and the people there don’t give a FUCK about time or service – the usual – I ordered an extra thick passport.
Then I marched down the embankment in my patent leather fuck-me heels (what in the devils’ name was I thinking?), to get me an unabridged birth certificate.
Why? Actually I don’t know. Perhaps there’s a part of me that’s hoping that I might even slightly comply for a British passport.
I had a British grandmother and a British grandfather, so I’m hoping that if I even try hard enough and go through all the processes that may be, the universe could smile down at me, and I might even get one. [We’ll laugh off the French side of the family for now; they’re completely disorganised.]
I’m drayming. I know.
What the fuck.
Then. THEN. I head back to my car, where some muppet has whacked a bucket on the floor directly behind it.
‘Hey, please can you move your bucket so that I can reverse out.’
‘Give me R2.And your phone number.’
He’s got me on a bad day, and he doesn’t even know it yet. The sense of entitlement makes something in my brain go ‘pop’ and steam starts streaming out of my ears like a DeLonghi kettle.
‘No thanks, just move your bucket.’
‘I like white women, you and I must go and talk over there.’ [Pointing to a bush and rubbing his pectorals, I’d think, in a bid to metaphoricalise my tits.]
‘No thank you. Move your bucket. Now.’
Still following me right to my door: ‘I want to fuck you, come baby, I like white women.’
‘LISTEN HERE YOU FUCKING FUCK. GET AWAY FROM MY DOOR, I’M NOT IN THE FUCKING MOOD FOR THIS, DO YOU FUCKING UNDERSTAND ME????’
He laughs. In my face.
So I reversed over his bucket, and only realised along Malibongwe that maybe I shouldn’t have done that, notwithstanding the simple pleasure of fucking up his bucket, but because I don’t currently have an undercarriage attached to my car.
Proceeded to drag aforementioned bucket across the car park while he laughed in my dust and I felt violated.
And that clearly shouldn’t be encouraged, in case the bucket swallows my exposed engine up whole. Just paid for a trip to Italy, the undercarriage is going to have to wait.
That little shit. Is what I’m saying.
Actually, this is what I’m saying: get an extra thick passport. So you only have to go this godforsaken place once every ten years.