Anybody and anything wilts in hot, airless taxis

I wonder why people who are fresh-air phobic always dive for the window seats.

I wonder why people who are fresh-air phobic always dive for the window seats.

They will push and squash other passengers to claim the few, precious windows.

Then they keep them firmly closed in the taxi rank while we poor souls bake and shrivel as we wait for the taxi to fill up. Gauteng is in the middle of a heatwave and these bullies want us to drown in our sweat.

Now with all the windows closed - except for the driver's, which anyway lost its handle a long time ago - passengers tend to fall asleep.

I am sure you all know by now that our taxis are fully transformed and carry all races. There is one white gentleman who insists on taking a seat in the front next to the driver. He becomes the accountant during the trip.

What I enjoy most about him is that he insists on speaking broken isiZulu to the delight of everyone. When he gives change he mutters about five bob and 10 sheleng.

He confuses our Model C youngsters, who then count and recount their change.

No one is going to tell him that our kids are New Americans who never visit their grandparents. They do not know a sheleng from a Crimplene safari suit.

The reason he always insists on taking the front seat is that he was once briefly "detained" by a big momma in the back seat.

He got into the taxi and sat near a window, but a large sized lady with an elaborate isiXhosa doek asked him to move to the inside. She then briskly closed the window, saying her saucer-like doek might fly out.

She had many parcels and was carrying a flower arrangement. I think she must have won a prize at work or something similar.

The lady quickly fell asleep in the stuffy, airless combi. Her head drooped to the side and completely engulfed the poor accountant. He could not see in front of him because of his enforced intimacy with the prize-winner.

A long while later he started moaning that the lady was too heavy and that something was stroking his thigh.

We all looked back, but could not see him because he was obscured by the satellite dish-doekie. He was advised to put her flowers on the floor.

Someone asked him if he had paid ilobola for the lady. He indignantly denied this and said his wife would kill him if she found out that he was so chummy with ladies she did not know.

A little clever said to him: "If you give me 10 sheleng I will change seats with you."

When we stopped at a garage for a refill of R30, the man tried to move and received a grumpy haai wena and froze.

He was her pillow for the rest of the journey. The lady woke up and found that her flowers were squashed. Naturally, she blamed him and forgot to thank him for keeping her upright.