Friday, October 27, 2006

Home Affairs: Part II

Yesterday, Boyfriend and I almost got married.

We had to go to Home Affairs to get proof of our single status (plural - statuses? stati?) for our Dutch visa applications, currently being processed.

Arriving at Home Affairs we walked straight past the row of trailers and caravans, batting off the enthusiastic offers to do our passports “chop-chop”, and made our way down to the ID office – which is not the same place as the passport office, in case you were wondering. Follow the dusty, beaten path past something resembling kennels on the left, (I’m sure I saw a few chickens mulling around under the bushes), past the three donkeys and a few shepherds, head right down to the bottom of the property and into what looks like a shed.

We walked into the tiny, crowded room and sat at the back of what we presumed to be the queue. A gentleman walked up to us to as what we’re there for. Well, technically, he started with, “where are your papers?”

Us: What papers? We don’t know what we need.
Him: What do you need?
Us: We need proof of marital status.
Him: Where is your marriage certificate.
Us: No, we need proof that we’re not married.
Him: So you want to get married?
Us: No. No marrying anybody. We need to proof that we’re both single.
Him, nodding with comprehension: So then you can get married.
Us: No… we need to proof that we’re NOT married.
Him: Why?
Us: In order to get our Dutch visas.
Him: Wait here.

We waited. I had a quiet chuckle and tried to keep Boyfriend at a simmering level of calm. We got directed to another lady at Home Affairs. Repeat conversation above, replacing ‘him’ with ‘her’.

I have to say, through all this, and despite the lack of order or system, they were all very polite and friendly, if a little bemused at why we would want to proof that we are NOT married. We couldn’t even help them with an explanation because we’re not sure either. I don’t know why we have to prove it in order to get into the country. We began to think that maybe it would just be easier to get married.

Eventually, we found someone who seemed to know what we needed (although he did try to register us for marriage first) and we were finally able to fill out the correct forms. The forms asked for postal addresses, which we duly filled in – to be told that we had to come back to fetch these blessed documents. Much confusion when we asked what our postal address was in aid of?

Paying was another issue altogether as the man and woman behind the counter (who had by now lost interest in uniting us through better or worse) had a fairly expressive argument about how much we had paid and which of them had lost the money… until they saw me staring in wide-eyed amusement, cash still in my hand. I don’t think they get many requests for proof of single marital status.

Fighting our way back through all the passport-peddlers and picture-pushers, we decided to celebrate our success at avoiding matrimonial heaven… and the Beast needed feeding, of course.

If you’ve been to the KFC near Randburg astro, you might know that the drive-thru has a nifty little speaker with a great big sign that reads: PLACE ORDER HERE. Boyfriend and I completely missed that clever notice and in our excitement drove straight up to the food window, where they patiently pointed out the speaker.

We didn’t feel like idiots at all. Deciding not to get ahead of ourselves and attempt the drive-thru again, we parked and ventured past the speaker that was now screaming, “HELLO!” to the next drive-in customer.

How the hell did we miss that?

Last night, Boyfriend’s hockey team hosted a fundraising dinner for their 2008 drinking, I mean, hockey tour to Australia.

The two guest speakers were Mark Andrews and the ever-stylish Kobus Wiese. The latter couldn’t quite figure why he was speaking at a hockey dinner, but I was impressed with their eloquence (you heard me) and snappy comments. One anecdote from Mark included, “I may be a tight forward, but I’m not that stupid…” The big man also seems to have a somewhat unhealthy obsession with mentioning which flanks he thinks are ugly or good looking. They were surprisingly charismatic.

Before he met me, Boyfriend’s lifelong love was rugby. He didn’t realise that shops stayed open and the country did not come to a grinding halt during international tests between SA and Australia and that, in fact, some citizens didn’t even know the game was on. So this dinner was an opportunity to bond, but in honesty, I was there for the free food. It was a bonus to find myself captivated by tales of tour antics, setting fireworks off in hotel rooms, on-field analytics and most memorable punching moments.

And the food was damn good too.


Anonymous said...

Wow, thats an uncanny similarity to Kobus! damn...

Champagne Heathen said...

I used to have to drive past that stretch of fastfood joints in Randburg. The smell of that fake food would even make its way from their kitchens into my car as I tried my best to speed as quickly past as I could. I am still traumatised by that smell and experience to this day. Bleugh.

Well done on staying single!! Alwasy a comnedable (sp?) feat at this age!

Jeanne said...

What happened to the rule that what goes on tour stays on tour??

Guess what?? We won last night!!!!!

Koekie said...

The big boys refused to answer anything on initiation. "We can't say anything" was the short answer. Because it's a national embarrassment. We understand.

Congrats to the ballerinas for the win... hmmm, maybe it helps when I'm not there?