Yesterday I stood in the queue to renew my vehicle’s license. As queues go, this one was actually not too bad. The woman in front of me lost her disc that shows that she renewed her license. With an affidavit she proved that she had one. She presented all her paperwork and was told to pay R117 in cash. “We don’t accept credit cards”, the man behind the glass informed her.
She frantically searched her wallet in that familiar “maybe if I shuffle hard enough in the bag the money will appear” way. The money didn’t appear and she knew she had to go to the ATM, draw the money and stand in the queue again.
I told her that I would pay for her. Incredulous she responded, “You don’t even know me, how do you know I will pay you back?” I told her that I don’t know her, that I am willing to trust her. She paid for her disc and came back in ten minutes to give me R200. “Keep the change”, she said. “You can give the rest to the church”. I think she knew I was somehow affiliated with “the church” because I was reading the latest installment of Missionalia – which has some excellent articles in.
I often wonder what happens in a society where we have mistrust as a status quo and conversely I pray for a society where we have trust as a status quo. Idealistic? Yes … I know. Queues are fun places … it is a place for unexpected adventures. Do you have an experience you would like to share?