An Ex- JW in the SADF Part II



So there I was, getting by rather well all things considered.  My girlfriend was sending me long letters , the type that only a lovesick 19 year old girl can, and the most amazing pakkies too. She was a trainee manager at Woolworths, and got a huge staff discount on all merchandise. My parcels from her were full of goodies to eat. Then for good measure my mom would sending me pakkies,  also with goodies to eat but also an added extra.  I had heard that I would not be getting any alcohol during basic training, and even at that age I was a heavy drinker, by anybodies standards. I put a lot of thought into this problem and came up with a solution.  I got my mom in on this plan, she would send me a BIG bottle of shampoo and another of Conditioner. Only my long suffering mother, I have always being, just a little bit… naughty, would replace the contents with whiskey.  I have always wondered why the men that checked the parcels never caught on to this, only reason I can think of is that they were too busy skimming a chocolate or some biltong to actually CHECK the parcels.

No need to go into what else happened in those long 6 weeks or so we waited to get pass. The day came and we were set free for 4 days! As I had only my army pay I could not afford a bus ticket so hitched “home”. I was welcomed at my girlfriend’s house by all, two sisters and her mom, her dad has passed away a few months before.  Did all the normal things on pass but on the second day, early hours of the morning, the mom woke up and found me in the wrong bed. Vat jou goed en trek Ferreira. Mother shouting, girlfriend and older sister crying I was put on the pavement with all my worldly goods. A friend from school picked me up and I could stay at his parent’s house for the rest of my pass. While there I organized to spend the next pass with another friend that lived in Hillbrow.

Back to 7 SAI, lots of letters and parcels, the ones from the girlfriend were not too cheerful; her mother banned her from ever seeing me again.  Did second phase and went on pass again.  Problem was the first night my friend was not at home, no idea when he would be back. I called my girl and organized that she take off work and meet me in Johannesburg the next morning. She worked with her mother at Woolworths at that stage so needed some real maneuvering , but she said she would. I then went and sat in the bar of a seedy hotel in the Brow. When all else fails, go drinking, I think sitting in uniform in a bar was illegal, but even the MP’s would not go into the hotel I was at. Long story why I knew this place, short version, had an uncle that was a mercenary and he hung out here.  He was not about but the people knew I was related to him and the uniform helped a lot.

So there I was, minding my own business, drinking whiskey, the cheaper kind, and thinking about life when an older woman came and sat by me. Older as in she must have been at least 26! Quite a pretty lady actually, she commented that she was waiting for her brother and would I mind if she sat with me. No problem. A while later a chap came in and she left with him, I was now drinking beer as my money was not a large amount and I had the whole pass to live through on it. The lady came back a little later and asked if she could join me again, she then bought me a drink, Chivas if I recall correctly. We spoke about what it was like in the army, where I was from and why I was in this bar. Another man came up and she excused herself and left with him. On her return she told me, “I am sure you know by now what I am.” I told her I had sort of worked it out. She then bought me more drinks and told me her long sad story, we spent the whole night drinking and talking, she left now and then to attend to business. In the early hours I caught a few sitting up naps, that we learn to do in the army, and the next morning I set out for Johannesburg bus station, I was going to see my girl! ……..

Nosce te ipsum

View the Mexican Horse Thief’s Page

Short Story


Nosce te ipsum

View the Mexican Horse Thief’s Page

Short Story



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One Response to “An Ex- JW in the SADF Part II”

  1. oompievis Says:

    Very entertaining Thanks for sharing.
    I’ve got a couple of my own on if you would like to read mine.

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