Laughter warms a cold Jozi day

On this very chilly Joburg Wednesday I went out to buy candles in one of the colourful shops in my neighbourhood.Walking though the passage that used to be the Indian Fruit Market I noticed a refuge recycler sitting at the foot of one of the passage’s pillars facing the Internet shop. The image of this, in my mind undoubtedly homeless, person stuck with me and I resolved to give him some money on my way home.

His face lit up when I handed him the money and he confirmed that yes, he’ll buy some hot tea to warm him up. Concerned that the neighbourhood shops might refuse him entrance, I offered to buy the tea for him. He kindly and confidently declined, saying he first wanted to finish watching the movie in the Internet shop, thank you very much, and then he’d get his tea.

It was only then I realised he wasn’t sitting down to ask for a handout but that I’d actually interrupted his movie experience. Me realising this fact had both of us both laughing out loud.

Josine Overdevest, 22 June 2022

Image: David Goldblatt, Trader’s Alley Diagonal Street, Johannesburg.

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