These days when I go jogging in the morning, if a truck is approaching me my strategy is to go to the side of the road, take a few steps into the grass/farm area, turn my back to the road and wait for the truck to pass. This way I minimise the dust blowing up into my face, avoid eye contact and have less chance of engaging in small talk with truck drivers (as much as I am flattered to be asked for my phone number, I’m approaching my mid-40s and I just can’t be bothered with these conversations).

This morning on my return stretch (uphill on a dirt road), I see a truck approaching with about 4 young lads standing in the back and at least 3 young men in the cab. I move over to the side of the road, now stationary, pretty much inside the tall grass at the side of the road, back turned, waiting for the truck to pass but instead it pulls over to where I am, and stops inches behind me! I’m not near any side road, farming destination or dirt to collect so I wonder what the heck they are doing? I turn around and begin to jog past them when the truck driver yells out: “Jody! How are you? Long time! Going for roadwork? How’s Daniel going?”

The driver is Pius, I instantly recognise him: I taught him English 10 years ago when he was in his last year of primary school. This was one pleasant exception when I was happy to engage in small talk (and he didn’t ask me for my phone number!)


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