It contains important fiscal lessons and warnings.
A while ago I decided to sell my offroad trailer. It cost me R27 500 but it is a 1975 model so I advertised it for just R10 000. A guy from gumtree offered me R4000 and I told him, ‘Sack! What you thinking!’
Years later its still parked on the lawn and so when a guy said ‘Hey! What’s that trailer, wanna sell it?’ I said maybe. I’m thinking : It has such character, I’m picturing it on the beach in Mocambique, and it has a fitted stove and a fitted water tank with tap and a grocery cupboard and all crockery and a tent and a ground sheet and . . I’m thinking:
Why was he leaning in and examining it so closely? Was he checking for rust?
‘I can give you R700,’ he said. ‘See, it weighs 640kg and the scrap dealers only give us R2 a kilogram.‘
I told him, ‘Sack! What you thinking?’
sack – short for foosack, English for voertsek, Afrikaans for fuck off!
I mean . . did he even factor in the value of that gorgeous brass tap?
Having decided “We’re Going” we wanted to keep things simple.
Over-preparation can cause delays, complications and second thoughts! I took long leave (I asked me, I said yes, I hired a locum optometrist, all good). Trish was between jobs – looking after kids was her current full-timer – so she was good to go. Mario serviced the kombi for us and gave me his usual lecture about looking after it. He told horrific stories about his trips up north in 4X4’s and how terrible the roads were. Especially the road between Chipata and Luangwa, ‘the worst road in Africa’. I made a mental note.
And instead of buying all sorts of stuff I bought a . . . .
R27 500. Made in Nelspruit / Mbombela 28 years earlier. It had a stove, a gas bottle, a tent, a mattress, a table, ground sheets, cutlery and crockery, a spice rack and a 45l water tank. What more could you possibly need?
In the kombi I removed the bench seat in the middle row and fitted the single seat for Tommy’s car seat next to the new National Luna 65l fridge (about R6500, if I recall correctly) so we could walk around both sides to the back bench, to which Jessie’s sturdy and comfy car seat was attached.
That back bench seat also folded down to become a double bed, so we could all sleep in the kombi if need be, as I also rigged a removable bed between the two front seats for Jess and for Tom we had a mattress on the floor. While checking the tyres Jacks Tyres showed me a second-hand kombi mag wheel just like mine, so I bought it. Now we had two spares, like rugged okes!
For each of the kids I had a rectangular six-sided mosquito net “cage” made that zipped closed over them once they were in bed and we then lifted up the four corner straps and hooked them to fittings I had affixed to the kombi roof, completely enclosing them each in a mozzie net “Four Poster Bed”.
We were ready to go.
We packed food for three days plus plenty of snacks – Aitch’s forte. The rest we’d get on the way, in line with my motto: Weight is the enemy!