Mossel Bay

6 October 2007 (South Africa)

mossel bayLast week we planned to make a little road trip and started driving from Wilderness to the west side. Our first stop is Mossel Bay. Many smaller shops in South-Africa have open doors, but you have to ring the doorbell before the owner unlocks the metal see-through fences. This is a very common habit. The whites are scared for raids of the blacks.

In front of our hotel room in Mossel Bay we found a very skinny nearly-dead cat, covered with fleas. The poor thing spent way too much precious energy by jumping up twice a minute because of unrelenting itching. Just before closing time of the supermarket we could buy a can of tuna. And before closing time of the evening store we could buy a few pouches of Kittekat too.
The next day we also found a veterinary to buy flea drops. The advantage of a country with extreme poverty is that you can buy more things per piece. Like 1 cigaret, 1 banana … or 1 pipette of flea killer what usually is sold in a box of 6 pipettes.
After 2 days of force feeding we couldn’t stuff the cat any further and we had to leave him. Hoping he was a bit stronger now, to live the next part of his scruffy life.

We drove northwards and saw many farms (vine growers) with a kind of miniature newbuilt neighbourhoods on the farthest edge of their estate. These were 4 or 5 very small concrete 1 room houses where their black workers reside. Some farmers had put some extra nice houses on an extra visible spot along the road, with a large sign ‘staff village’, so that passenger clearly could see that he is GOOD to his workers.
Officially the Apartheid is over, but the awareness of both colours is still so tangible. Even cemeteries have certain separate parts, unmistakably meant as the ‘slum area’.