Life can be like a Hollywood movie.
I say that because many films start with a rosy picture that falls apart, or with major problems that eventually get sorted.
Fortunately, my trip back to Botswana made me feel like I was in the second type.
Problem number one cropped up two months ago when I learned my 30-year-old truck had packed it in while I was away.
No big surprise, but I needed wheels to sort my business here so that news meant I might have to add an expensive car rental to the cost of the trip.
Then Air Botswana cancelled service between Johannesburg and Francistown.
I was booked on one of those flights, but the airline could only get me as far as Gaborone on the day I flew into South Africa.
Not what I had paid for and AB didn’t offer compensation for changing the destination, so I had to fork out for a train ticket to Francistown.
Fortunately, an English friend who has lived in the capital for 30 years collected me at the airport, took me to his home for dinner, and then dropped me at the station in time to catch the overnight sleeper.
I was bushed, but the bunk was comfortable, the Motswana gentleman sharing my compartment was a good laugh and I really enjoyed the trip.
And in Francistown, an Italian friend collected me at 6am and drove me to my house.
Then, on my second day back, the son of a Zimbabwean friend offered me use of his car for two weeks.
Okay, it needed an indicator light and a spare wheel and tyre, but the price was right and sorting those issues was a pleasure because of the efficiency and friendliness of the Batswana who helped me.
The lad who sold me a P3 indicator bulb walked half a kilometre to the car with three different bulbs to make sure I got the right one, and the man who sold me the second hand tyre and rim assembled the wheel in four minutes flat.
Well… not flat, actually. Gomolemo Senko, who is pictured above inflating the tyre, was friendly, intelligent and extremely good at his job.
So was the employee who helped me at the Marang Spar.
I didn’t catch her name but she was happy to slice a pumpkin seed loaf as quickly as she could, even though she was in the middle of another job and had 17 bread labels stuck to her left arm.
That’s right; I counted them.
And, believe it or not, I even got good service at my bank.
I had to wait in the queue for a while, but once I got to the inquiries desk, it only took 15 minutes for the teller to organise a new ATM card.
I would not have expected same-day service for that request anywhere in the world, but I got it at Galo Centre Stanbic.
My point here is that when things aren’t going well, we should be patient and hang in there because there are many kind people from a number of different countries living here who are willing to help us turn things around.
That stuff doesn’t just happen in the movies.