I travel a lot every day. In my travels I encounter every sort of South African: I see rich whites, hippies, rastas, hot models traversing Kloof Street, and some more.
There are three types of people that I encounter every day without fail: car guards, beggars, and the honest, desperately poor
Every time I park my car (and it is never in parking bays where one has to pay) I have to deal with a 'car guard'. The history of the car guard is a peculiar one. They became popular circa 1994 when every restaurant felt duty bound to protect patrons' cars by hiring these 'guards' to protect their vehicles from petty thieves, of which there were many.
Times have changed since then. Policing has become better, and so the need for car guards has become less, but they are still around. The 'car guard' system is probably the biggest unofficial charity scheme running. Car owners feel duty bound to tip this mostly bedraggled lot with coins from the wallet.
Can one be overly critical of it? I don't think so. This country's unemployment rate is so high that every job, no matter how unofficial and charitable cannot be frowned upon.Car guards probably have families to feed. Never mind that they probably, definitely won't protect your vehicle if it is the subject of a thief's attention: why get hurt over someone else's property when it is insured?
Beggars. Mmmm. I would rather pay a car guard. At least that person is hypothetically doing something for money. This is especially the case when one knows that the 'beggar' is going to be in La La Land after consuming whatever inexpensive drug from the proceeds of your donation.
There are some comical beggars out there: there is an old bugger in Gardens, Cape Town who begs with an intravenous drip hanging out of his pants and a smile on his face. Hilarious.
Then you get the desperately poor: you can spot them. One has to have an hard heart to ignore them. The hard heart usually drives a fancy car.
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