By Amy Lee
On Sunday, the first full day we were in Johannesburg, we toured the town and saw some museums. On our last stop we were able to shop at some local street vendors setups for a few minutes before getting back on the bus. I got to the last vendor and he was being very pushy and it was getting close to time to get back on the bus. He handed me a giraffe figurine that he thought I would like to buy and I told him no, that I had to get back on the bus. Everyone was calling for me on the other side of the street, so I kept trying to give him the figurine back so I could leave, but he wouldn’t take it. I finally just set it down on the ground and when I did a huge gust of wind blew it over. All the while, my group is still calling for me from the other side of the street. He picked it up after it blew over and said I damaged it even though it wasn’t broken. I was right on the sidewalk and quickly turned to go across the street with the group. I was less than ½ step from the street when I turned and was about to take the step onto the road when a bus came less than a foot in front of me. It quickly hit me (not the bus) that I was almost hit and possibly killed by a bus in South Africa. The bus was traveling on the opposite side of the road than I expected and very close to the sidewalk and I wasn’t paying 100% attention to the road since I was distracted by the local who was harassing me and my group who was calling me. Fortunately I was fine, just a bit shaken up. I now look about 10 times each way before crossing any street in South Africa.
(March 6, 2012)