The Red Cap and the Rasta
For heaven’s sake, it’s five o’ clock in the morning and we are on the move with me on top of a balding head inside a disgustingly dirty old bakkie. Is this this mad man’s idea of fun? It is still dark outside. The whole town is still asleep, like normal people should be. But no, not us. We are going to visit a farm on the other side of the planet, it seems. Why else would we be on the road at this ungodly hour?
The farm is near Ermelo, in the Free State, somewhere in the Republic of South Africa, on the African continent, on planet Earth (the third rock from the sun) if you must know. And we are going there fast. This old man is driving like a lunatic. Told him to slow down, but he wouldn’t listen and that is why the metro police is currently in possession of a photograph of a man with eyes as big as saucers from shock, and a very surprised look on his face.
The route; Benoni, Springs, Leandra and then Kinros and Trichardt, the heimat of this mad man’s forefathers. Looking at these rundown one-horse towns where his roots are, explains quite a lot about his character, or rather lack of said facility.
Of to Bethal and then the pothole riddled streets of Ermelo and beyond to Sheepmoore, down the hills to our destination in less than 3 hours flat.
The hills are misty and dark clouds, shimmering with water threaten us beautifuly from above. This is lovely. It makes you feel alive, and thankful. Why? I do not know, a Red Cap is perhaps not supposed to understand such things, I think.
This is beautiful country where Rooikat (Felis caracal) and Tierboskat (Leptailurus serval) and jackal still roam, munching their way through the farmer’s flock of sheep, diminishing their numbers at an alarming rate which cause them to be shot at at regular intervals, diminishing their numbers in return.
And this is where we meet mister Buthelezi the Rasta farmworker, dreadlocks and all. And I am promptly honoured to pose in a picture with said Mr Buthelezi, on top of his dreadlocks. The horror of it! Me, a respectable cap, not your 1600 something woollen paddy cap forced by law on non-noble English males, prohibiting them from wearing proper top hats like the nobles. No! I am a respectable red felt cap with arty French connections. And here am I to pose with a ruffled Rastafarian farmworker with hair smelling of hemp/zol/cannabis, call it what you want. I am going to die. I am going to elope, to run away. I will not be treated like this!
Naturally he, the moron that he is, thought it hilarious. Couldn’t stop himself laughthing, and taking dozens of pictures. Even the Rasta feller found it funny beyond words, posed this way and that for the photographs. I made his day, and for that, at least, I am humbly pleased.
When we got home again later that day, what did this moron companion of mine do? He dunked me into an ice cold bucket of tick and flea dog shampoo! The bastard.
Well, I must admit that I felt much better (and insect free) after the bath, although I experienced distinct dizzy spells for the next three days due to the Rasta weed fumes. But we are home safe, not due to his majesties driving skills, but despite it and with the help of half a dozen gods and a handful of angels.