Wednesday, 28 May 2014

Story Episode 16

So here we were, in Cape Town at last. The flight down had been good. It is great that you can leave London at about 9 pm on a Friday night and sleep a bit until you arrive in Cape Town with a whole day ahead of you.

The hotel we are in is fantastic; a five star place quite close to the Victoria and Albert waterfront. Meeting up with Ken and Tom was very emotional for us. We were so pleased to see each other and put our dreadful experience behind us.  Considering what they had been through Ken and Tom looked remarkably well and appeared not to be suffering too many after effects. 

The first thing we did was to order a bottle of champagne; after all G4S was paying for it so why not push the boat out. In fact we ordered a second bottle as one doesn't go that far between five people!

So far we have just been enjoying Cape Town itself. We have done all the usual tourist things; Table Mountain, the V and A waterfront for nice meals - even a bit of shopping. The exchange rate is very good for us Brits right now. Everything here is very cheap for us although of course it is very tough for the locals.

We discovered that the Woolworths chain of shops in South Africa is just like Marks and Spencer at home. The range of goods and the look and feel of the stores is just the same.

We talked about the deal we had made with G4S, that is agreeing to keep quiet about what had gone on in return for this wonderful holiday. Was it the ethical thing to do?
The consensus was that G4S employees had given us a bad time. Although we had come through it OK with not too many permanent physical or mental scars we had every right to get something back from them.

I asked Ken what he thought Barclays would do, if anything. He replied that they would want to hush things up too. They wouldn't want to see anything in the press about the bank being the victim of fraudulent financial activity.  I said that the university too wouldn't want things to come out. By now the Vice Chancellor would have been told what had been going on. He would be keen to ensure that parents of current and future students didn't get to hear that one of our students had gone missing from the university for so long without any of the staff noticing.

So now you know why you haven't seen anything about this story on the news. It seems that it is in everybody’s interests to keep it quiet.

Tomorrow we plan a trip out to Stellenbosch for a visit to a vineyard or two. I am particularly fond of the Boschendal red. The hotel has also organised a drive along a bit of the Garden Route for us. Also a visit to Simonstown to see the penguins.

I am not saying that I would gladly have gone through what we did so that we could have this holiday, but the truth is we would probably never have come here but for what happened.
And Dave too has something extra to show as he would never have met Mandy otherwise.
So sometimes good things can come out of bad things and there can be a happy ending.

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