|You can see why I love my bike|
I would make a lousy crook. Today, I wanted to leave my scooter parked at the library car park for about five hours while I caught the bus into town to see two important movies, "Sessions", and "Argo". When you live in a crime-ridden country like mine, you are always imagining scenarios in which someone is just waiting for you to give them a chance to break into your house/steal your car/swipe your handbag at the mall etc. We have a huge unemployment statistic for the age group 18 - 30, coupled with a high intake of drugs. So as I locked up my bike, I was keeping a wary eye on the nearest 'car guard' (as we call them): these are usually French-speaking guys from the Congo or other parts of North Africa, who migrate to SA, seeing it either as the land of milk and honey or more often as a place of easy pickings. They patrol our car parks and you are meant to give them a tip for 'watching' your car. My daughter's vehicle was stolen from a parallel parking in the middle of the city under the noses of the cops: it was simply loaded away on a flat-bed trailer in the middle of the day. While I was working at the University, the entire Security Company was sacked, as it was discovered they were responsible for syndicated theft of students' vehicles all over the campus. As I read a lot of thrillers, I made my getaway, keeping a beady eye on the guard and innocently pretending to enter the library - which would normally be a short visit - but in fact I detoured at the last minute around the perimeter of trees, hit the road and hurried off to get the bus. As the bus departed, some sixth sense told me to search my purse for my bike's key: having removed every item I had to admit to myself: no key. There are no stops on the first mile into town, so I discreetly phoned small son, convalescing at home still after his op, and asked him to drive to the library immediately in my car and rescue the key. He called me back in half an hour: I had indeed left the key - an open invitation for someone to drive away with my precious bike - in the lock under the seat. As I said, I would make a lousy crook. In the end, I only watched one movie, too worried about my bike. I rushed back, grateful that my bike was still there. I won't risk that again.