My 1st ever job was a promo girl at Makro, I used to promote Nestlè’s pro bio milk what-what, the job required me to travel to various branches in JHB. I was 19, in College and the money was good. For hair, clothes, cellphones, I even got a tongue ring from that money. I worked 3 days a week, for 3 hours per day and got R150 per day, so it was a lot of money for me. Plus sometimes the boss would be kind enough to drop me where I needed to be.
Then one day I was doing my last of the 3 day shift at Makro in Strubensvalley, I had to take a train, carrying a folding table, about 10 boxes of Cerealec or some other Nestlè breakfast product that never made it, milk, plastic bowls and spoons, a table cloth. I had asked a friend to assist me, me being the bhari from the Free State and not used to trains was in panic mode nje, but my girl Phindi (She’s a sweetheart mara) was with me all the way! Everytime the train stops I’d run to the door thinking we’ve reached our destination, kanti nex, mind you carrying how ever much I could carry with me…lol! Well, eventually we got to Strubensvalley, we set up and had a successful promo event, my best yet!
I was so traumatized though by the train ride, plus all the stories I heard, all those dodgy looking characters scared the shux outa me! But WE made it, boss was impressed! (Don’t remember if I ever shared my money with Phindi yaz…).
My next promo event was at Makro in Denver, I went alone, and decided to use a train as it was only one trip, carrying all those things from taxi to taxi wasn’t gona work. So off I went. I told myself that I would sit next to the door where I would see my stop. It was a mid morning trip, had more dodgier looking characters then the last time, I was shit scared, kept looking at my watch and out the window, the trip seems to take much longer then the last, and coming from the East Rand-Palm Ridge, Denver is far closer than Strubensvalley so I started to panic. I tried to keep it together, I called my colleague, who had been to Denver before…ohh dear she wasn’t pikcing up!! I tried to keep calm but the tears welled in my eyes…alas I saw a familiar sign, I was nearly there… I was so excited, got up, carried all the things and stood at the door. The second the trained stopped I was the 1st one out!
Got out, the train went, I looked around. This wasn’t where I should be. I saw a security guard and asked, he told me I got off a stop too soon. Gosh I was devastated! What was I going to do now? He informed me that the next train was coming in at 13:00, I had to be at Makro at 12:00. I had run outta of airtime. I kindly asked the security guard where I could get airtime, needed to call my boss…the guard told me where I could get airtime, I asked him if I could leave my things with him, he said that it’s not his work to look after things, but refered me to an old mama who sells fruits just nearby.
I went to the mama, she allowed me to leave my stuff there, I went to the spaza to get airtime! When I got there I found dry cleaners, I asked for a spaza for airtime, they referred me to another place just around the corner…Jeso, that time I’m tired and scared and just wana get to Makro…I walked a few more miles and got to a spaza, bought airtime, explained to my boss and he was worried and advised me to go home rather!
I went back, the train station was empty, almost entirely deserted, I walked to the the spot where the fruit vendor lady was, and poof…she had disappeared. The only thing that was left was the box of flyers. For some strange reason I was calm. I was gona look for the security guard. I walked closer and closer almost wanting to nyonyoba, I silently prayed a few Hail Marys. I turned a corner and there he was, I saw him, speaking to the woman, the vendor and thought to myself ‘Aha! caught you fuckers!’. I ran to them and demanded my stuff, I wasn’t polite, almost implying they’d stolen my promo stuff. The lady asked me to follow her, we walked to what looked like a toilet/office stall nyana looking dirty kinda thing, she gave me my stuff. I counted it, everything was in tact. I was scared to look up, my face had turned all shades of red! What was I going to do? I didn’t even have ‘cold drink’ money to thank these people! I had to lift my head up sometime, I raised my eyes a little and noticed the security guard was there as well…my mind raced…I thought to myself, ‘come on Dixx, you’re a smart girl’, I had to pysche myself. Another short silent prayer and eventually lifted my head with a smile and said wow, “tanki bathong, waitsi the way ho leng hobe kantle ka mo, its not easy ho tshepa batho” they both smiled. Shem, she expained that she needed to move to a place with shade and had forgotten my box of flyers. Shoooo! I was truly grateful, plus I need to ask one more favour, how/where do I get taxis or a train back home! I told them that they can have the milk, and gave each a box of the stuff I was promoting, they were happy. They told me the next train back is coming at 14:00 so I had to sit and chill with them until then.
Amahloni that time yerrr!!
The train came, I said my goodbyes and hopped in, with all my stuff. I sat in next to the door again. Though the seat was occupied by another bunch of bad looking characters there was a bit of space for me to rest my derriere. I was fearless, my faith in humanity had been restored. We went past a few stops, I peaked out the window and realised I was still a bit far.
The train came to a stop, the leather clad, brentwood pants, trainer shoes and Dickies spoti wearing fellow next to me stood up ready to get off, I was relieved!! I even faked smiled him when he looked at me! He smiled back. “My” dude got off, his crew followed and the last of the the guys got off…WITH ALL MY STUFF!!