Sunday, November 08, 2009

when we had to take care of the Security Guard

When our landlords went on holiday for the second time this month, this time to Hazyview, we were asked to take care of the security guard that patrols the streets when we sleep, while they were away. We were to give him "bread or something" every evening, as well as coffee, coffee creamer, sugar and hot water. No compensation was offered; it was simply assumed that we were in a position to comply. Now, we don't even buy coffee creamer for ourselves, because it is so expensive. So I can honestly say, with some shame now, that I very nearly had a fit when I heard the story from The One, who had been the one the landlords gave the request to.

And so it was with a heavy heart that we started the week long feeding scheme. The first evening we gave him what we ate, hake and chips, with three slices of bread and his coffee making ingredients. As I poured the very expensive coffee creamer into his little container, my heart sank as I discovered that it would not last for the week. We went to the gate together where I waited while The One took the guard his food. He met The One halfway along the 50 or so meters between his guard house and our gate. He seemed glad for the food from where I stood.

The next evening we gave him four pieces of grilled chicken, rice and cheese sauce. As on the previous evening we wrapped the plate in tin foil (the last bit on the roll) so that it would keep warm. We gave him three slices of bread, the coffee things and some not too stale cake we found in the fridge. Well, the expiry date was still two days away. I only went to the gate again this time. The One reported on his return that the guard, the same one as before, had thanked us for the good food. I wonder what the other people give him if he thought our meager food was good.

On the Wednesday evening, we gave the guard tinned pilchards and oven chips, with the bread and coffee as before. And the last piece of the cake, which we decided was still safe to eat. We neatly closed the plastic bangs with those wiry things that I had never even bothered to use before. Since we had run out of tinfoil and I had forgotten to buy more when I had been at the shops earlier, we used a glass lid from one of our pots to keep th e food warm. The guard was a new one this time, but also seemed thankful for the food as far as I could determine from my safe spot.

It was becoming a little exciting to see how interesting we could make the guard's food package. Whe gave him mouthwatering meatballs in chakalaka and rice with the rest of the things as before, except for the cake since there was none left. We added tea bags, thinking he may not be a coffee drinker. There was no cutlery in his food bag, so we added one of our six spoons. I am a little obsessive about it, but I want to try to keep the set complete, and I sincerely hoped that we would get it back. It was a new guard again this time. I could still not bring myself to go beyond the gate with The One.

On the Friday, The One felt terrible when he discovered that we had not given the guard his mug on the previous evening. I wonder what he had used to drink from. That evening, he had health bread snackwitches with pilchards and basil from our balcony. Inspired! The rest was, unfortunately, boring since it was the same as before. The guard had not used the tea bags, so we left them in. And, as before we only had our own dinner when we returned from giving the guard his.

We spent Saturday with my mother, where we cooked spaghetti bolognaise for lunch. It was lovely, and my mother gave us the spaghetti and meat sauce that we had not eaten to take home. We were glad for the leftovers since we had stayed at my mother's too late and would be late in getting the guard his food. To save time we could give him the spaghetti bolognaise with pilchards, the last we had left. He had used a tea bag during the night, so we left the remaining one in. We also gave him some of the watermelon my mother had given us. The rest, boringly, was the same as before.

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Miraculously, the coffee creamer had lasted the week. Ironically, I could not help thinking of the miracle of woman in the Bible with the jar of olive oil that would not become empty.

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Update: the landlords only came back on the Monday, which meant we took care of The Security Guard on Sunday as well. Can't remember now what we gave him, but I'm sure it was naaais.I remember we gave him milk because we had no coffee creamer left, all nice in a labeled, disinfected sour cream container.

Written by I
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