After a 1 day of travel, 2 days of rehearsals and 7 solid days of shooting in Cape Town the upcoming day off was something we were all looking forward to. And the chance for me to let down my hair, kick off my dancing shoes and wipe off my makeup. We wrapped for the day quite late that evening, and took the usual half hour trip back to our hotel. I had actually climbed out the combi when one of my co-actors asked our driver what he would be doing that night. He said that he was going to a local hangout, about two blocks from our hotel for a beer. My co-actor asked if I wanted to join them for a cold one:
“I don’t know, I’m really tired, and dirty and I have half of my makeup still on”
“I promise, the moment you want to go back to the hotel I’ll walk you”
I reiterate, and was already out of the vehicle when this exchange took place
So off we went, well after midnight already, for our after-work drink.
When we walked into the bar we were greeted with a cheer. Myself and the other Gauteng-er naturally assumed that our local driver was well known in this local drinking hole, assuming that the others still in the bar at 1:30 on Wednesday morning we also dedicated patrons. Our party of three seated ourselves and asked our driver who the people were, he greeted back: “No idea”
|On the street where I lived|
We had an interesting evening, as I suppose as all nights are when they start at 1:30am in the middle of the week. We were exposed to rather odd people. Two of which introduced themselves to me. Being my friendly self I answered back, which was followed by:
“So what do you do?”
“I’m in actress, I’m actually from Gauteng, but I’m in Cape Town for a shoot”
“What are you shooting?
“I’m not allowed to say, I signed a non-disclosure agreement.”
“How old are you?”
I stupidly answered and the two ‘gentleman’ exchanged a knowing look. I eventually caught on:
“I’m not a porn star! I promise”
Shortly after this incident, and another valuable learning lesson I decided to write off to experience, my fellow Johannesburger and I decided that it was time for our night to reach an end. We then realised that we hadn’t seen our driver for some time. We went outside to look for him after a brief scan of the bar yielded nothing. The car was gone.
After some phrases I will not quote on this blog, my fellow actor climbed on the phone to call our transport home. Who didn’t pick up. A few more unquotable phrases and attempted to phone calls later I was graced with the verdict:
“He left us here!”
“So what do we do?”
“I suppose we walk.”
“I don’t even know which direction the hotel is in”
Cold panic was relieved by my companion’s good internal compass and the fact that he had grown up in Cape Town. We headed into a direction which would take us home.
At one stage, walking home in the dark early morning, my bank card and drivers licence removed from my purse and tucked into my bra, so that my actual purse would be a decoy in the case of a mugging, we found ourselves walking past a long…long row of sleeping hobos. I elbowed my companions in the ribs and pointed. He mouthed back “Bergies” which is colloquial Cape Tonian for hobos and we, two soft targets, sprinted up the hill out of sight of the sleeping homeless.
After this potential dual with unconscious beggers I informed my companion that it was time for food if I was going to be walking any further. It had been hours since I had last eaten on set and we still had quite a walk ahead of us. We literally reached a fork in the road, and had to decide between a Caltex and an Engen. Spotting the Woolworths Food sign made up my mind, and we headed off for Engen. Upon reaching the garage’s court I spotted our driver, drunkenly slumped over the steering wheel of his car. I ran up and jerked the door open, which was unsurprising unlocked:
“Not cool dude” was the only response I could muster in my anger and simultaneous relief as my hotel key was in his car. I then grabbed the keys out of the ignition, locked him in his car and went off to buy myself some food. Upon return to the car, with our Woolies midnight meals, we found party member number three missing:
“I’m a better person than he is, so I won’t leave him here” my Joburg companion claimed, and stomped off to the bathroom, which produced number 3. His explanation for leaving us in a club without transport in Cape Town kilometres from our hotel
“Dude, I was hungry”
Throwing the hungry man in the back of the car, we drove him to our hotel, locked him and his keys in the car and headed off to our respective rooms. It had been a long day.