The walk was around the muti (traditional medicine), craft and craft shops in the CBD. It’s a really strange place to be as you are standing underneath amazing skyscrapers, whilst in front of run-down mis-match shops, some old and then some new. Classic Joburg
The walk was an eye opener. We went into a shop called The Museum of Man and Science – not a museum at all, but full of bones, skins, hairs (hopefully all animal!), drums, wood and other such craziness for sale. There was even a full size baboon that had been skinned and had it’s head intact. It smelt kind of musty in there, and my friend said that she saw a man cutting a snake up in the back of the room!
We walked into the most amazing shop that sold cloths – beautiful, bright colours and then the red, black and white of the Sangoma’s – referred to often as witch doctors. The Sangoma cloths are all illustrated with animals, and I REALLY want one! I love the elephant so much, but I saw a really cool peacock cloth that I might just have to pick up next time I am in town!
We went into one of the traditional medicine pharmacies and were greeted with row upon row of beautiful coloured jars. The ladies there told us that the powder was called Imikhando and you bathe in it for good luck. I’ve had a recent run of bad luck and decided that anything was worth a try, so I purchased a jar for R10. She told me to use the whole jar, and assured me that the powder will not stain my skin
I chucked it in my bag and then I forgot about it, but a few days later I was about to embark on the long road to finding employment when I remembered the powder. I had a hare-brained idea that I would bathe in the powder and then apply for jobs
because I have a screw loose and I ran the bath. I chucked the powder in and waited until it was cold enough to climb in. I’m not a bath person and as soon as I was in the water I wanted to get out again
I looked at my foot poking out of the water and realised it was bright purple. I checked my arms and hands and they too were bright purple, and not the kind of colour that looks like it is going to wash straight off when I get out of the bath! I stood up and laughed out loud – I looked like the The Purple People Eater!!. I would have taken pictures but I was hopping about butt naked, purple, staining everything that I touched
I pulled the plug out and as the water ran out I realised that the bath tub was bright purple. Doesn’t stain, my ass!
I showered, scrubbing myself to get the stain off, and then headed into the kitchen to grab the bleach for the purple bath tub. I scrubbed that thing for over an hour. Good luck, my ass!! The purple was stubborn, and all that was running through my head whilst I was scrubbing and burning the skin off my fingers is “oh no, Agnes is going to kill me!”. Agnes is our cleaner. Those thoughts were followed by “oh no, my landlord is going to kill me” and then finally “oh no, Rob is going to laugh in my face”
The one good thing about all the bleaching is that my finger nails were no longer purple, although the same could not be said about the bath. Agnes had to re-bleach it when she came the following day, although I had managed to get most of it out
You know what the worst thing is? I didn’t have time to apply for any jobs that day after all the cleaning!