We left South Africa only a few days after our last big South African roadtrip. Whether it was denial, living in a moment, or just plain hurry, the end result was certain things turning into loose ends.

One of them was our beloved and trustworthy companion, our Kia. Faithfully serving us for more than 100,000 kms, surviving potholes in Zimbabwe, getting stuck in mud in Eastern Cape, sands of Namibia, and those curvy narrow roads in Cape Town.

As cars are notoriously well known not gaining value over time, and sitting still for months, we all knew it was time to let Kia go. And as it was under Sporty’s name, he got the privilege to deal with it. [He’s also the lucky one stuck with Telkom, SABC, Nedbank…]

When he left to Cape Town a while ago, I think he was dreaming of running on the mountains and meeting friends in addition to doing business. What really happened, was spending countless hours, days at Civic Centre in Cape Town dealing with paper work. Once again we were reminded how little South Africa likes foreigners.

At some point it already looked like we’ll be stuck with our Kia for the rest of our lives, as a piece of paper stating us as foreigners being allowed to own a car in South Africa, was missing. The problem is, we never ever had such piece of paper. We never ever knew we needed such a piece of paper. And now it was impossible to obtain, as one needs a valid visa (residence permit) for it. South African limbo number two in making…

Somehow, miraculously, after hours of sitting and waiting and demanding and waiting and talking to supervisors and managers, and some more waiting Sporty managed to get the piece of paper. I don’t know how, but I do know he sounded rather exhausted when he just told me the story.

As sad as it was to depart my place of loud singing, occasional swearing, and countless smiles (just because it is so beautiful out there), it most certainly was time to say Kia goodbye.

Still, I will always cherish my last moments with it. Her. Him. It was my last Sunday in Cape Town now in January. I had run Bay to Bay 30 km in the morning (starting crazy 5:30 am), took an afternoon nap (after an afternoon beer), and had headed to Lion’s Head for a hiking reunion in the evening. As usual, I was short with food (a muesli bar and a bottle of water), but the wiser ones had brought a whole piknik with bubbly and red wine. All that running, hiking, sleep deprivation and wine made me drained. So the last moments I shared with Kia were filled with tears, singing out loud – like really loud – Sinatra’s My Way, and feeling hopelessly sad for leaving something of great value behind. Not talking about the car. [By the time I reached the top of Suikerbossie and started my descent to Hout Bay, I was already laughing as it was almost too pathetic…]



Go well Kia! Of all the cars you will forever be the only one I loved.

Welcome one less piece of South African bureaucracy! Never ever going to miss you.


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