My bad. We arrived at the Mocambique border with Tommy’s passport, birth certificate, Aitch’s death certificate, my application for Tom’s unabridged BC and the receipt for same. No go. They wanted his unabridged BC or a letter saying we’d applied for it. “But here’s the application and receipt” I protested. In vain.
So its Christmas day and we’re looking for a place to stay. We drive to Bhanga Nek, sandwiched between the big Kosi Bay lake and the beach. I’m in my element in a brand-new Avis rented 4X4 with six forward gears and push-button 4X4 transfer case on the Maputaland Coastal Reserve’s sand roads. Kids would rather be in a different element, truth be told.
We get to the Bhanga Nek Beach Camp. Full. We drive to the Community Camp. Full, thank goodness: What an uproar! Everyone has spent their entire bonus on grog and they’ve already imbibed half of it. All are noisy, some are already staggery at noon. Thulani sees me and lurches over, ice clinking in his glass. “I have a place where you can stay” he says. I ask the whereabouts and recognise it as a village we passed a couple of kms back. He hops in and guides me there where they have a lovely bungalow for one night (“Its booked up tomorrow”). Doesn’t spill a drop of his drink on the bumpy road. He’s done this before.
Lovely chalet. We eat and sleep (not a single mozzie!) and the next day I’m back on those wonderful sand roads, vehicle in 4H 2nd gear and easing along like a dream.
“Wow! I say, “Look at that!” Huh? What? “That view!” Oh, Yes Dad. Whatever.
Pearls before swine.
Later, I overheard Tom (mocking my organisational skills) telling his mate “My Dad took us to Bangladesh for Christmas.”
*sigh* At least they do love their home, that’s no maybe!