Rental Cars and Bets

The time to surf – or at least to try – was over. It was time to move on and see some more places in South Africa. According to the motto: “The more, the merrier”, we wanted to rent the biggest car we could find and fill it up with people we met in the hostel in Muizenberg. Soon we found four other backpackers and decided to travel to Johannesburg together …

Probably not the first time Felix rents a car

It all started when we wanted to rent the car. Well, although during the high season it is practically impossible to rent a car, we still found a Toyota Avanza online and rented it. However, just after the confirmation mail arrived, another mail arrived. In this mail our booking was denied as there was no Toyota Avanza left. Nevertheless, we thought: let’s just head to the car rental place and see if we can still get the car we booked. So Julian, Felix and me went to the car rental place, which was packed with people, who wanted to rent a car. It seemed that most people were unsuccessful. Only those who has booked far in advance received one. Although our hopes were low, we tried it. So I went to the counter…

Left to right: Felix, Elena, Lisa, Julian, Malina, me.

Good morning sir, how are you?

Good morning, I’m fine. Thanks. How are you?

I’m good. How can I help you today?

I have booked a car and would like to take it.

That said, I showed the woman the confirmation mail I’ve received on my phone. Not however the immediately afterwards sent mail deleting our booking.

I’m sorry sir, but apparently we are out of cars of this type. I am very sorry, I don’t know how this could happen!

Oh, ok. Well is there anything we can do about it?

Well, let me think… Yes, I think we still have an Avanza. But it was just given back and has to be cleaned.

Oh if we could have this one, this would be great. I have no problem waiting for it.

Thank you for your understanding sir. So let me just open a new booking for you. I don’t know why, but unfortunately I can’t find the booking reference you got in your mail in our system. Is that ok for you?

Sure.

Group picture before leaving Cape Town

With this we basically had our car. I just had to realize that my credit card was not working, as the money that would have been deducted from my credit card exceeded the daily limit. Luckily Julian and Felix were with me … whose credit cards did not work as well! So in the end we only booked the car for a week and extend it. After we handed the car back in Johannesburg we were informed that the booking we made did not contain any insurance whatsoever, although we did ask for it. Apparently during the hectic time of the booking and the failed attempts with various credit cards, the lady most have forgotten it. Luckily nothing happened. Hence, we saved quite some money … unintentionally of course.

To estimate the amount of bacon, I propose to approximate the shape of the pig spherically … Well, actually it is so fat, I don’t even have to approximate it!

The first night we stopped in Swellendam. A nice little town I guess. We arrived when it was dark and couldn’t see very much of it. However we stayed on a small farm that has switched from farming to offering rooms. There were still a some animals around but not that many. A few goats and sheep, two horses, a couple of ostriches and one massive, heavily overweight pig. It must have been fed by so many visitors as its belly was already dragging over the ground.

Sedgefields’ beach at night

Our next stop was Sedgefield. We stayed there for quite a while, as it had a nice beach. This is also where our group grew by one additional member: Nicole. Our car, although it had seven seats could not contain seven people, as we also needed to put our backpacks inside. But as Lisa could not come with us all the way and left after our stay in Sedgefield, we didn’t need to worry about it.

Building a sand castle

About Sedgefield there is not much more to say. It is a lovely city with a beautiful beach. The only thing that is quite memorable to me is one certain night. As the hostel was fully booked out, we did not get a room there. Luckily however, they also had some holiday apartments for rent. As we were seven people it was basically the same as a dorm room plus a kitchen and living room. The first night at said place we decided to have a great party and drink a lot. At some point Julian came to me.

Too much beer I guess


Ok Colin, we will make a bet! I will think of an amount of money and you will think of one as well. If my amount is higher, I will shave your head for said amount. If yours is higher, nothing happens.

Alright, I’m in!

I thought it would be very smart to choose zero Euros. I said to myself that he will never imagine this number. Just afterwards I had to realize that his number only had to be higher… Well I guess I was incredibly stupid – or drunk! At least I earned 30 Euros in the end.

The Cape (Town) of Good Hope

Cape Town is a beautiful city. But to be honest, to me cities are all very similar. The only way they differ is by the memories by which I keep them in my mind.

The trains come, they don’t come and sometimes on the wrong track.

One of the interesting features of Cape Town is its’ infrastructure. If you have a car, everything is alright. Also, the bus is also a valid option. But you rather use it for travelling between cities. Therefore taxis, or the cheaper (and faster) version, Uber rides exist. Finally there are trains. It has to be said that during the time I took the train, an accident occurred, that blocked one of the lines…
But nevertheless, let’s get started. You can choose between three different classes, each more expensive than the other, with prices ranging from 5 Rand to 25 Rand (40 Euro Cents to 2 Euros). This is incredibly cheap. However, retrospectively I believe not even the train conductors know which wagon is designated to the first, second or third class. So you might as well just go for the cheapest ticket.
But to the good pricing there is a catch. Only God knows when, where and if a train arrives or departs. At least that’s what it looked like every time I took the train. Arriving on unexpected platforms and leaving 2-3 hours late. Classic!

GoPro gone in 3 … 2 … 1 …

Julian and me were in Cape Town City only for a couple of days. Very soon we went to Muizenberg, an outskirt of Cape Town. The intention was to learn surfing. It sure was fun and I can say, my surfing skills have increased dramatically. From none existent to … yeah, no I can’t surf! I managed to get on the board and surf the waves a few times. But unfortunately there is no evidence to that. We started to make pictures and movies of each other while surfing, but soon stopped again. See for yourself! I can just say, if you stand on a GoPro don’t clap your hands. Pick it up!

During my time in Cape Town I thought about continuing my journey via sailing. I had to learn that it’s actually not so hard, it’s just about timing … which I didn’t have. Being at the right time at the right place, and there will be a skipper who will take you. Nevertheless, I tried. And let me tell you, getting in these clubs is not so easy!

Let’s just take one and become pirates – they won’t notice!

Approaching the entrance to the yacht club, which was guarded.

How are you sir? Can I help you?

Hello, I am fine thanks for asking, how are you?

Fine.

I would like to enter the yacht club.

Sure. May I see your membership card please?

Oh, I don’t have a membership card, but I don’t think this should be a problem.

Sorry, only members are allowed to enter. And visitors. Are you a visitor?

It looks nice, warm and sunny on top of Table Mountain. But it’s windy and cold!

Yes … I am a visitor.

Great, who invited you to this yacht club?

I … uhm invited myself?

The guard gave me a long glance. I smiled back, happily into his face.

Sorry sir, it is impossible to be invited by a person that is NOT member of this club.

I see, what a pity. Well but you see, I came here to see if I could hire on a boat and work for my passage. How can I be able to talk to the skippers, if I am denied access to the yacht area.

Again, I tried my best smile.

Sorry sir, but I can’t let you in.

Alright, I understand. Well how about I just go to the reception and ask there if they can help me?

Sigh … Ok, you will only go to the reception and then come out again.

Thank you very much. I wish you a pleasant day.

As soon as I was in the club, it was basically a piece of cake. Entering the office building, I checked the notice board whether skippers are looking for crew. And of course I asked for permission to enter the yacht area. While the guards have strict orders to not let anybody in, the office personal cares little about it. Thus, I was invited to the yacht club. This is how it went in Simons Town. But in the yacht club in Cape Town city it went basically the same way. Unfortunately I was unlucky. I just met one Swiss skipper who was soon heading for Namibia. When asking him, he just replied that he likes to sail by himself and that he would need to be extremely drunk to consider taking me as deckhand. Sadly, he declined my offer to go for a drink ….

Cape Town, next to Table Mountain.

While I had little interest into Cape Town itself, the surrounding nature is simply stunning. Just leaving the hostel in the center of the city and walking for approximately one hour, you arrive at the bottom of Table Mountain and Lions Head. Climbing on top of them grants you with a beautiful vision over the city, the surrounding land and sea. Just remember to take a jacket with you. While the heat in the city melts you, once you are on the top and exposed to the wind only a ski jacket is enough to keep you warm!

The southern point of south Africa (but not really).

Of course another prominent landmark is the Cape of Good Hope. The point where the warm Indic and cold Atlantic currents meet, but not the most southern point of Africa! Formerly known as one of the most dangerous passages for trading ships, as the currents are unpredictable, it is nowadays known as a location swarming with tourists. Well after all, it’s a very famous spot and beautiful.

1500 km, 15 Hours and 5 Euros

Julian and I thought it would be a good idea to hitchhike all the way from Windhoek in Namibia to Cape Town in South Africa. As the distace was approximately 1500 km, we estimated that we need about 3 days for the whole trip. 500 km per day.

The point it all started

According to a hitch hikers guide found online we started by taking a taxi to the best spot to leave Windhoek towards southwards. This was at 10 am. As we thought that we would be able to make about 500 km, our goal was Keetmanshoop. After a long time waiting a truck driver, Marten, stopped and offered us a lift. However, only to Mariental, which is about half the way. For the lift he wanted 100 N$ from each of us. The bargaining started and in the end we could reduce the price to a total of 100 N$. Marten was an awesome guy and so was the ride. In his truck he only had one extra seat, but there as a bed in the back. So while Julian set next to Marten, I sat on the bed.

Marten, the awesome truck driver

Mariental is not exactly a place you would like to call home. Well, at least not the area, where Marten let us out. Upon arrival, we saw a large group of street kids outside of the gas station, where Marten had to deliver his payload to. As we weren’t successful to get a lift to Keetmanshop at the gas station, we walk out on the road, only to find ourselves immediately surrounded by those kids. They asked us about the direction we were travelling. After telling them, they found a driver who was willing to take us to Keetmanshoop. But only for a transportation fee of 100 N$, each. Apparently those kids earn some money by filling up cars with travel companions that pay for the ride.

The boys house

We actually didn’t want to accept the offer as we didn’t like the driver. But as there was no other car around and there was already a girl sitting in the car, we felt safe enough to take this lift. When departing, the driver told us about another guy he has to pick up, before leaving for our destination. So instead of heading on the highway south, he turned the other way and drove into the slums of Mariental. The car stopped in front of a small hut and a boy jumped in.

So we can go now?

No, but this boy knows where the guy lives who will come with us.

Burning trash is piled on the side lanes

Then he drove deeper into the slums. After moving through the slum for some time we had enough. We argued with the driver to let us out and give us our money back. Although he wasn’t very happy about it, he did as we told him. So we rushed back to the gas station. By now it was already 4 pm and we were quite discouraged. Such a good start of our journey has turned bad so quickly.

Instead of asking for a lift at the gas station, our new plan was to walk on the highway southwards and try to catch a car there. We did this for about half an hour until a car stopped. A rancher from the area of Keetmanshoop picked us up.
Going home from some cattle markets, he dropped us off at a gas station outside of Keetmanshoop. While Marten went 60 km/h on average with his truck, this crazy guy had an average speed of 160 km/h. Only because of that we were able to reach Keetmanshoop at 6 pm.

The rancher who is responsible for 1.5% of Namibian beef

Close to this gas station was a lodge. As it still was so early we faced two options. Either staying here overnight, or looking for another ride that will take us up to the border, which is about another 300 km away. Talking to other travelers and looking for a lift we met Atti. And let me tell you, Atti is one of a kind.

Excuse me sir, we are two backpackers who look for a ride towards Cape Town.

You want to go to Cape Town. You come with me. I go to Cape Town

Oh this is great. Will you reach the border until tonight?

The border?! F*** that. I go to Cape Town. I come from Swakopmund. I already drive for f***ing 19 hours. These few more hours to Cape Town I will make until tonight. You can come with me.

Racing though the desert

Julian and me couldn’t realize how lucky we were. We found a driver who would go to Cape Town! And soon we understood why he was so confident about reaching Cape Town by tonight. Atti was a steel worker. But I think racing is his true passion. In average we were going 180 km/h! Atti truly loved the limit. Two hours later, we reached the border. Atti was very hectic and rushed through the emigration process in Namibia. But then something exceptional happened. Looking back, I simply call it Atti being Atti! Immigrating to South Africa, Julian and me filled out the forms to immigrate to South Africa as usual. However, Atti had something else in mind. Probably already thinking himself in South Africa, he wanted to change his Namibian sim card for his South African one. But when he encountered serious trouble to exchange the sim card, he simply gave his phone to the border officer, instead of his passport.

Change it for me. You have hands like a woman. You can do it!

While the truly cooperative officer tried to follow Atti’s hectic instructions, another officer finally got hold of Atti’s passport. Suddenly he shouted:

The police is looking for you! You cannot enter South Africa under these circumstances.

F*** this shit!

After bellowing these words, Atti stormed into the office. I mean, this door shoud be locked, right? Well, it wasn’t. Shortly afterwards, Atti was discussing with the two officers eagerly in Africans. Sometime after, Atti again rushed out of the office. I seriously don’t know what happened, but when looking back I saw the two officers giving the thumbs up. But did it end here? Nope, not yet. Atti of course had nothing to declare.

F*** this shit, only idiots declare something.

But when departing from the immigration bureau, we were stopped at the border.

Good evening sir, do you have something to declare?

No, I deliver drugs!

The officer probably did not except this kind of response. A bit insecure he replied:

Sir, would you please open the back of your car?

Mumbling F*** this shit, Atti got out of his car and did as asked. Now, besides of our backpacks there were some salt crystals for Atti’s wife. But the police officers did not recognized it. While he pulled over some latex gloves he asked:

The next morning. Atti’s house

What is this? Amphetamine?

This shit. F*** no, my wife wants this shit. These are shitty salt crystals.

How can you prove it?

Are you f***ing kidding me?! Just lick it! Why are you wearing gloves? Is my car dirty?!

Sir … it’s the regulation on how to inspect suspicious goods …

Ah f*** this shit!

Apparently by now the officer believed Atti and continued his inspection. He felt Julian and mine backpacks and asked a now bit insecure

Are there any iligal items inside?

No, only shit!

This came of course from Atti.

Ok … I will believe you.

With this the young police officer let us go. Raising his pointing finger, Atti educated us.

Never be calm and nice while crossing the border. The officers will only f*** you.

This was the border crossing. The by far weirdest crossing I have ever experienced. But all in all Atti is a nice guy. As we arrived in the middle of the night, he didn’t want us to look for a hostel as the streets of Cape Town can be quite dangerous at night. So he simply let us stay at his family’s house. The next morning we said farewell to Atti and his family. But we were only allowed to leave if his nephew would take us to the city center!

Cape Town Ahoi!

Overall we departed from Windhoek at 10 am and arrived in Malmesbury, Atti’s den, at 1 am the next morning. Although we had this critical point in Mariental, we made all the 1500 km in about 15 hours. And all in all for 70 N$, which is roughly 5 euro! My conclusion: hitchhiking is worth it!

Botswana – No Gasoline, No Hippos

Paula didn’t even care enough to leave the car

The Story of Pepe the Policeman

Pepe was content with his job: Highway patrol on the road connecting Buitepos and Charles Hill. No hard work at all. Also, Paula, his partner was silent for almoast the whole morning. He was content.
Suddenly he heard a noise. Opening his eyes, he could see a car approaching him rapidly. Slowly he turned on the speeding camera. He whistled, 112 km/h. 32 above the speed limit.
As the car approached, he stood up from his camping chair and slowely walked on the road. Then he gave the signal to halt and pull over on the sidelane. He signalized the car to park next to the police car. But apparently, the driver did not think Pepe’s instructions were clear enough. So instead of halting next to the police car, he pulled over and almost crahsed into the speeding camera that was innocently resting on a tripod.
As the car became dangerously close to his precious camera, Pepe jumped up, not so calm anymore. Furiously, he shouted the driver to halt immediately. Just infront of the camera, blocking its view on the street. Just in this moment another car speeded by. But as the camera was blocked, this driver would not get a ticket.
Pepe took a deep breath while Paula was laughing like a hyena. Then he took another deep breath. Infront of him stood a white corolla with five tourists inside.

Would you PLEASE move the car away from the speeding camera?! Your speed was 32 km/h above the limit. For 20 Pula per km/h and another 100 Pula as a … processing fee. So this will be 740 Pula.

Three more minutes until Old Bridge
Hard working at Old Bridge

The destination of our trip was the Old Bridge Hostel, which is in the city Maun, bordering the Okavango Delta. A green hell full of mosquitos. Although there might be other animals, such as lions, zebras and elefants as well.

This delta is actually quite amazing. It has its highest water level in the dry season. During the rainy season, the rain water in Angola flows through Botswana. Then during the dry season, the water finally reaches the Okavango Delta, resulting in a high water level. Thus, during this period all the animals migrate to this area.

Crocodiles and Hippos
From right to left: The one who thinks to know the way, the one who wants to know the way, the one who actually knows the way
What if he charges towards us?

We booked a tour through this region. While we were on the kanu, I had the following conversation:

So I heard from a friend that one time a hippo came up from under a kanu and turned it over … is this dangerous?

Yes, very dangerous.

Why?

Hippos enjoy killing. Also they swim and run faster.

Ok … so what do we do if a hippo wants to kill us? Swim as fast as possible?

Yes – into the weeds and hope there are no crocodiles.

Later a similar conversation reoccured when we were on an island within the delta. But instead of hippos, it was about the elephants. Instead of running into the weeds we would need to run in between the bushed and trees. Although we didn’t see any hippos, we did see a wild elefant. Thus we were always checking wether there was a respectful distance between us and the elefant.

Oh Botswana, you will be missed

And then there is the car ride back home. On our way out of Maun we realized, we were almost out of gasoline. By this I mean, we only had a quarter left which was about enough for about 200 kilometers. But don’t worry the next gas station is only 50 kilometers down the road. 50 kilometers later:

This gas station looks closed. I don’t think it has run for several weeks.

Ok, well where is the next gas station.

According to this map about 200 kilometers. Close to Ghanzi.

Is there any gas station on the way back.

Yes well in Maun, just next to the hostel we left this morning.

How to fill a tank without spilling a single drop

Then a discussion commenced, wether to try to make it to the gas station close to Ganzhi and maybe get stuck in the middle of nowhere, or ride all the way back to Maun, refill and start all over and then probably won’t make it until tonight. Eventually we decided for a third option. We left the highway and entered, Sehithwa, a village that was close by. By close by I mean the only village before reaching Ghanzi. Although there was of course no gas station, there were helpful people, willing to sell us some gasoline out of their own tank for only double the price. In this way we had enough gasoline to barely make it to Ghanzi and finally refill.

Tomorrow I will continue to travel to Captown. I will try hitch hiking. But not only because it is (hopefully) the cheapest way of travelling, but also because it is the one that results most likely in akward, ridicolous and/or stories to remember!

Long Roads, locked Gates

Where the plan was made

Alright, we will rent the car in the morning. Then we depart and need about three hours to the border. In the evening, roughly at 18.00 pm, we then should reach Maun in Botswana. Then we still have enough time to look for a hostel. Also, in this way we still have one or two hours for resting and eating.

This was the plan. Haha, oh how naive we were!

Good morning, so you will take this room for another night?

This was the first thing I heard this morning. It was Helen’s voice, one from the hostel staff. And it sounded like hammers banging right up in my head. Oh Windhoek Lager, what have you done. With a weak voice I answered

Uhm no, we’ll leave today … what time is it?

Helen apparently was a bit angry now.

It is now 12 am. You are only allowed to stay at the hostel until 10!

Oh ok, give us 20 more minutes please.

The four of us, Nancy, Änne, Julian and me got up, looked around. We rushed to gather all our belongings and packed them into our bags. Meanwhile Julian realized that his wallet was stolen, containing his driver’s license and credit card. What a good start. Finally, exactly 20 minutes after being softly woken up by Helen … or more like two hours … we checked out and headed for the car rental place. There we were greeted by a closed gate. But there was a man standing behind the gate, let’s name him Nando.

Sorry the shop is closed today.

Oh it’s ok, we only want to pick up the car. We were here yesterday already.

This was enough for Nando. He nodded and opened the gate. Then he turned towards the office building.

Ok, I will get the documents. Which one has been reserved for you?

The Toyota Corolla.

I see … sorry but there are no reservations made yesterday for the corolla.

Oh we didn’t reserve it, we just said that we will rent it today.

Nando gave us a long glance, then he sighed and started to prepare the documents. From now on, everything went as planned. Julian just once, playing with his football, lost the grip of it and elegantly swiped all the papers off of Nando’s desk. But Nando was cool with it. Soon afterwards all four of us … no wait only three? Where was Nancy? Oh just leaning on a wall. Having her fixed up again, we only needed to wait for our fifth man. Klaus. He should be here any moment.

Finally four out of five members

Sorry, can I help you, you look lost.

Andrea looked at Klaus, standing at the crossroad. In the left hand he held a smartphone, in the other hand a chicken burger. Next to his feet rested two six-packs of delicious Windhoek Lager.

Nah, I’m good. I just wanted to meet up with my friends at the rental car place and couldn’t find the way. But my friend just called, they will pick me up.

Andrea nodded slowly, wished him all the best and went on. A little down the road she looked back. Klaus sat down on a traffic isle in the middle of the main road, leaning against a traffic sign, waiting on his friends. His beer still was resting next to him. He enjoyed his roasted chicken burger, meanwhile being roasted by the midday sun. Just then a white Toyota Corolla drove by while loudly honking. Klaus jumped up, grabbed all his belongings and ran towards the car. Andrea looked puzzled as she saw the Corolla speeding away.

Where we picked up Klaus

We finally left Windhoek towards Botswana. It was 3.30 pm. Only 5.30 hours after we planned our departure. Acceptable indeed. Driving on the overland roads of Namibia was so relaxing. A straight line cutting the landscape in halves, perishing at the horizon. No curves, no other cars. It is an experience by itself to travel these roads, listening to music and once in a while catching a glance on some wild animal. Since our departure had a little delay, we could not enter Botswana at the same day. Hence, we decided to stay at a lovely camping ground just at the border, called the East Gate. There we played a match of rugby together with a friendly group of young Namibians. A perfectly started road trip. The next day we entered Botswana …

Sheepes, Goats and cows graze on the sidelanes

Welcome to Namibia

My trip, wherever it may go, now has officially started in Namibia. However, I won’t stay there for long. Already after the second day, I will proceed to another country. But first things first.

From -10°C …

When I arrived at Frankfurt, I went to the counter for Air Namibia to check in, not expecting any complications. But I was informed by Eva that, since I only bought a one-way ticket, I need a ticket for leaving Namibia too, by any vehicle whatsoever. Not even my smile and good looks could persuade her to let me check in anyways.
But when trying to book a ticket that I could cancel right after entering Namibia, I had to discover that my credit card didn’t work for what ever reason. Eventually, I managed to book a flight. The confirmation mail, I soon afterwards got for the online booking, was enough for Eva to finally let me check in. Luckily I barely managed to catch the plane in time. Well, I hope I still can cancel the flight and get a refund …
The flight itself was quite unspectacular and so is the airport in Windhoek. One Gate, one runway, four planes. But the air, aaah the air was so refreshing. Although this could as well be due to being stuck in a metal tube with many other people for almost eleven hours above the clouds.
At the airport, I got picked up by Julian and Nils, another backpacker with a rental car. Convinient it is!

… to more than 25°C. Just after ariving at the hostel
I don’t know this guy
The famous Christ Curch in the middle of Windhoek

The same day I used the time to discover the city Windhoek. Well, after I bought a pair of sunglasses. This is a necessity. Besides that, Julian, Nils and me walked through Windhoek and its historical buildings. On our way back we experienced for the first time that someone wanted to steal from us. It started with a guy. You know what, I’ll just name him after some funny names I stumbled over here in Namibia. We’ll name him Mr. Cash.
Mr. Cash was begging for money from Nils. When Nils refused, Mr. Cash jumped forward and tried to reach into Nils pocked. When this didn’t turn out succesfully he kept hold on Nils shirt. He threatened him and called his friend Pupkewitz for help. Pupkewitz, another guy standing by we haven’t noticed until now, came forward and did if he would get a knife from under his shirt if we wouldn’t give Huck some money. As we didn’t back back and made Mr. Cash let go of Nil’s shirt, Mr. Cash and Pupkewitz ran away.

But this is not where it stopped this night. In the evening we met up with two girls, Rabea and Sophia, who have traveled through Africa for the last couple of months. We went eating and afterwards to a karaoke-bar to have a few more drinks. Afterwards, we all went back to the hostel, we three guys stayed at: the Cardboard Box. As the hostel bar still was opened, we joined the last few brave drinkers. Since I haven’t slept now for two days (I couldn’t sleep on the plane), I was too exhausted to continue drinking and went to bed. Nils soon followed and only Julian remained with the Rabea and Sophia and the other people we met at the hostel-bar. Next morning when I woke up, Julian told me about a quite bizarr story that just happened after I went to bed:

From left to right: Leo, Nils, Rabea, Rich, Sophia, Colin, Sarah, Julian

It was already late, so Rabea and Sophia wanted to go back to their hostel. So Julian went to look for the security personal to ask them to call a cab. Let’s call them Alfred and Bismarck.
You should always ask people like Alfred or Bismarck to call you a cab because the employed personal usually knows real taxi drivers. Most cabs on the road are uncertified and usually don’t even have a drivers license.
But anyway, getting back to Alfred and Bismarck.
So Julian found them at the hostel entrence, talking to two strangers. We’ll just name them Rob and Bob. They said to be members of the secret police and ask Bismarck to open the door and let them check the hostel. Now, while Bob talked to Alfred and Bismarck, Rob “checked” the hostel. Soon afterwards, they left again. Now Bismarck and Alfred finally had time for Julians request. So Alfred wanted to call a cab. Only to find out that his phone, which had been charging up on the desk of the reception, was stolen. There was no doubt who the thief was. Both, Alfred and Bismarck, equipped with truncheons, immediately ran out of the hostel and tried to find Rob and Bob. They weren’t succesful. After returning Bismarck had the idea to call Alfred’s phone. Surprisingly it worked and Bob answered it. Although Julian couldn’t remember the exact conversation Bismarck and Bob had, it went approximately this way:
Bismarck made Bob clear that they have them on camara and their identity has been revealed. But he will give them another chance, so he’ll forget the incident when Rob returns the phone. Rob however replied he wanted 500 dollars for taking the phone on a walk. Apparently this was too much for Alfred. He grabbed Bismarck’s phone and yelled at Bob and Rob, illustrating them how both of them how they will end up in prison. They should decide already now, who will be the “girlfried” and reach for the soap. This only lead to the price being doubled, 1000 dollars.
At this point I have to point out that 1 euro approximates 15 namimbian dollars. After calming down, Alfred and Rob eventually agreed upon a location, where to exchange the phone for the money. The parking lot of the local supermarket. However, Alfred and Bismarck returned without the phone but faces seemingly made of stone. Ready to murder. Next they called the police and the Armed Response for help. The Armed Response is a private security service that is armed and patrols the cities.
To make things short, neither the police nor the Armed Response could help Alfred to recover the phone. But nevertheless the Armed Response offered to take Rabea and Sophia back to their hostel. So after a pretty long waiting time they evetually managed to get a “cab” back to their hostel.
Later we were told this is not a rare thing to happen. This exact situation happened already about 13 times in this hostel.

Now Julian and I will leave Namibia behind us and continue our trip through Botswana. Therefore, we will rent a car. We’ll see what happens next. Well if I haven’t noticed it before, I do now. I am not in Germany anymore. Welcome to Namibia.