“With the bicycle all that way!? Now that makes a man, uh? I’m a lone farmer, and prospector. Wow, let’s make a fire?!!” By half past nine, Sony Boy as we’d get to know him, came home and welcomed his two surprise guests.
We had, like usual, taken the first turnoff we could find when it started to get dark. Some four kilometers from the main road, it came to a dead end by the railroad tracks. There was a shack of corrugated iron sheets, shaped like a small hangar, but nobody around. So we pitched our tents on the sandy ground, made dinner and went to sleep. When Ben, or ‘Sony Boy’ as he called himself, came home, we were already fast asleep and not that willing to face the cold outside. It was actually the cold that kept us from socializing.
“Sorry, too tired,” I answered (Lina didn’t wake up). “OK, so what do you drink in the morning – coffee or tea?” Ben continued, still excited in his voice of having visitors! “Coffee, please,” I replied. Despite the icy cold outside, I had unzipped a small opening through my tent so we could at least see each others’ faces before going back to sleep.
The next morning, we spend an hour or so with Ben before continuing south. He is 49 years old. He sold his cell phone to buy petrol. Found a meteorite once that gave him 14,000 Namibian dollars – about 1,500 euro. Half of it bought him a metal detector to use in his prospecting – but the batteries are finished now. He invited us for delicious coffee from beans that his brother gave him, and I make us malted grain sorghum (mabele) porridge.