I am in Potchefstroom for another two days of engineering interviews, having arrived at 9:30am after an interesting drive down from Johannesburg in tricky and surprising winter conditions – torrential rain, dark, treacherous roads. Not to mention the pool of water I hit somewhere between Soweto and Carltonville, despite all my vigilance and care, at around 100km – muddy water over the top of the Landy and a wall of mud covering the windscreen! It was a case of hang on tight, maintain a straight line, and plough through to the other side!

Once in town I found a little shopping area – ‘Cachet Park,’ no less – near to the university: only one little coffee shop was sleepily open; apart from a woman smoking outside, I was the only customer. Outside another restaurant across the way, which had an open sign but was still closed, a polite male student addressed me deferentially as ‘oom’ – uncle – I am in a different kinda town here, I tell you!

On second thoughts, perhaps I’m not in another town, but another country?

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