Tuesday, July 20, 2010

The Day We Got Frances The Beetle

Monday July 19 began like every other day has been in Franschhoek. Typical school day, and the weather was beautiful. Nick and I decided it was time to rent a car for the next three weeks and Susan our host set us up with a place called Best Beetle. For 2500 Rand, we were able to rent a car for the month. Sounded great. The people from Best Beetle even offered to send someone to pick us up to take us to Brackenfell where the car was located. The rest of the trip to get the beetle was like a scene from a movie. Our new South African friend Andre was one of the supporting characters, head to toe covered in grease and probably one of the worst drivers I’ve ever been in a vehicle with. Once we headed into the town things began to get significantly sketchier. After passing a few townships and driving down a few dark allies, we arrived at our destination to see a 1977 VW Beetle covered in orange, red, white and blue spray paint. The interior was ripped to shreds with masking tape covering the spot where the radio used to be and there was no left hand mirror. To top it off, in case you were not aware, the steering wheel is on the right hand side AND they don’t have automatic cars..and they drive on the opposite side of the road. I thought I was going to drive it home….sadly mistaken. Nick learned how to drive stick shift in the states so lucky for me he was the one to drive. After going in to sign the contract we were told we have to check the oil before every time we want to drive it, and that even though the speed limit here is 100k, we should not pass 90k (55 mph max) because our beetle is so old. Needless to say, I was feeling real safe…. and it was now getting dark out. So our first experience with our ancient beetle was driving in South Africa at night. The rest of the story will be disclosed once we return to the US.

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