Since arriving in South Africa, my life has been punctuated by a series of small adventures: Al has driven on the left-hand side of the road without killing us both in a fiery wreck. We spotted a white-tail deer at a country estate. I tried biltong (cured game jerky) and ostrich. And now, we are currently experiencing the small adventure of being locked inside our apartment. Exciting!
The thing about keys in South Africa is that they look like something from the Victorian age – spindly, toothy skeleton keys that require jiggling and cajoling and twisting.
We had been faring alright with the two big keys that unlock, respectively, the outside metal “security door” to our apartment and the inside wooden door. Then, this afternoon, we went to leave the apartment and found that our key would not open the lock. We tried to no avail for twenty minutes to jiggle and twist and cajole the key in the lock, but nothing worked.
After much frustration and a doomed attempt at soaking the key in Canola oil, we got in touch with an emergency locksmith, who is currently replacing our lock with a new one. He seemed suspicious of us, as if we were somehow responsible for the broken lock. But honestly, South Africa, get with the times. Yale locks have been around since 1848 (I checked) – what’s the hold up?
Looks like the locksmith has broken us out of our apartment prison. Time to go about our day. More small adventures await.