With the launch of my new Physio practice, and the fact that I'm only doing home visits to Patients at the moment, I ideally need a car. Problem is, is that my South African drivers license has expired, and so until I can exchange it for a British one, I needed to renew my old one. The first morning that I was in my home town in Kokstad, South Africa, whilst we were there recently, I embarked on this mission.
Usually jobs like these I absolutely dread, and the queues and admin involved in it are a nightmare.
We arrived just as the Licensing department opened, and as I joined the first of a number queues, I realised I hadn't thought to bring my own passport sized photo's. Thinking I would have to drive across town (be driven by my Mother) across town, my heart sank, until one of the traffic officials recommended that I get my pictures done across the road, with 'the ladies'.
I crossed the road and discovered two fabulous women who said they could certainly help me out with some pictures!
The 'Photo Booth'
Yes, that is a sheet hanging from a tree with pegs!
Printer powered by a battery
I was sat on the chair, as seen in front of the sheet in the first picture, and had my picture taken with a digital camera held quite close to my face. And told, "don't worry about the tree at the top of the picture, we can crop", when they showed me the picture on the screen.
And crop they did, perfectly, they also advised me to join the eye test queue whilst the pictures printed, and then delivered them to the eye test building!
Then followed the eye test, a photo taken on the eye test instructor's computer and another queue. I was sat on the wall outside the building waiting for my lift after all of this, when the ladies called across to me and offered me a chair to wait on. As it was the one and only customers chair, I did have to get up a few times whilst someone got their picture taken!
The ladies have had their business going for 6 months, and apparently it's going very well! With the other option for photos, a five minute drive away, they are sure to continue to do brilliantly.
Three days later, I got a call, saying that Pretoria, where the license renewals are done, had rejected my photograph. My heart sank, and I went back to the licensing department, this time with some photo's taken at the Pharmacy in hand. "No, no you don't need those", the official said, "it was the eye test computer photo that had a problem!"
How could I ever have doubted " The Ladies"?
So proudly South African!