There’s a funny little shop in Linden called Yugo Stores, branded with the Coke sign you expect to find in a berg village. Here you can find the smallest possible packets of sugar, puncture repair kits, bulked packed blue and white mugs for funerals and yellow kettles that you can plant bergrosies in.
It is not a beautiful building, and the people that walk in and out do not have sunglasses perched on their heads. Here, you can buy a loose xxx mint or creme soda in a bottle (not the organic kind). They also sell small packets of koeksoda which I still think is the best name for a chemical that eradicates cystitis.
Recently a large red white and blue auction sign was erected over the shop. Oh my god, it’s going to become a franchised restaurant. This is wrong, being opposite the best biltong in town, according to some or other neighbourhood survey. I am surprised Biltong Man has not dropped dead yet he is so biltongly large as he strides behind the counter of cholesterol encrusted salamis and forces handfuls of tastes on anyone gazing up at his signed collection of rugby team photos. He is next to a pawn shop, a hardware shop and a shop that sells large floral dresses. I can imagine him in one.
Anyway, Mr Yugo – I don’t know his name but he has a large hairy mole on the left side of his jaw that wobbles when he speaks – told me a few months ago he was doing blerry everything to keep the business in the family after the Recent Sad Death. Details of which I don’t know. Jasmine always insists I speak Afrikaans to him for some reason while I’m buying her a R20 plastic toy that costs R120 in Cresta.
There is also a block of flats cobbled on to the building. I looked at one once. Vast. Parque floors peeling up like lichen. Why didn’t I take it? Too big I thought at the time.
Well, I’m pleased to say the auction sign is down, and Mr Mole is happily still offering rainbows of lighters as he hopes that he will be there for at least the next 10 years.