Sometimes you are in the right place at the right time, to witness something seemingly small, a fleeting moment, but a moment that can be hugely impactful. That happened to me last night at the garage in Claremont.
I had just pulled up to the Quick shop to buy some electricity, I parked next to a big, black 4 X 4 with a posh looking, well dressed lady getting into it. She got into her car with her groceries, quite hastily, as to avoid the bergie (for those non-South Africans a bergie is a beggar) asking for money outside the shop door.
Turning a blind eye and avoiding them always seems to be the easiest, safest option, let’s be honest. As she closed her passenger door, little did she know, her wallet had fallen out of her car and onto the ground. I was about to get out of my car and pick it up, but the bergie beat me to it. The posh lady turned her head away from him as he approached the car window. He picked up the wallet next to the car and knocked on her window. She obviously thought he was going to ask for money so she ignored him. He knocked again. She still didn’t turn to look at him. The bergie took a step back, held the wallet up, and knocked on the window again. Still she avoided him. The bergie just stood there with his hands in the air, not knowing what to do. At that point the husband walked out of the Quick Shop and saw the bergie, standing next to his car, holding his wife’s wallet. He yelled at him as he ran up to him, and grabbed the wallet out of his hand, quite aggressively. He got back into his car and showed his wife the wallet and stared at the bergie shouting something inside the car. The wife turned her head and looked out her passenger window to see the bergie and realise what had happened. The bergie was walking back to his plastic bag of belongings next to the shop door, looking quite stunned at what had happened.
The story has a happy ending; the husband did get out of his car and rewarded the bergie for his kind doings.
Even in his desperate situation, he chose not to wait till the car had gone and steal the wallet, he had the common decency to be honest and do good.