Half Bottle Honesty

My recent trip to Johannesburg was about meetings and appointments mainly. Besides the colors of the fast coming winter, the few pictures I took reveal an absolute lack of time. Nonetheless, I had a few moments worth to remember: Day 1) A really good car ride with a stop in Nelspruit and at a trout farm in the plateau where Johannesburg is situated. We could have lunch in Johannesburg what usually means a fast, trouble free road trip. Day 2) The morning started with a business meeting, followed by an appointment and afternoon shopping. The highest point was dinning out with family in a pretty good grill-house. Day 3) We spent the morning doing this and that (read the next paragraph to know just a part of this and that), but before noon we were on the road to Nelspruit. Once arrived, more shopping and a few unexpected surprises such as: pouring rain and nice dinner at a really festive Orange Zest due to the presence of the town mayor and a few other local celebrities. Day 4) The 4th day was about another appointment, last minute shopping and returning home.

When I look back at my travel experiences, it’s the unexpected or even the absurd that I remember. I shall never forget the “shampoo episode”. After a tiresome day with meetings, appointments and shopping, no wonder we forgot a bag with Italian organic shampoo and conditioner at the last shop visited. The next morning we went first to that shop and within minutes we were efficiently informed that the bag and its content were safely kept upstairs. A lady from the customer service went to fetch the bag while we praised the honesty of South African people. In Mozambique lost and found works this way: you lose = you never found. It took her less than 5 minutes to return with the shampoo and conditioner. Guess what? It was my stuff, no doubt of it, but it looked like that morning all the staff from that shop had decided to wash their hair with my Italian organic shampoo. Haplessly, I stared at the bottle now half emptied. There must be levels of honesty, so I concluded, and maybe for each country a different level of honesty applies: for some the rule is full bottle, for others half bottle and there’s also the no bottle at all.

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