I once got mugged in Louisa Street. By Louisa Street.
Lightly inebriated, I was walking back to res from a trip to Hillbrow to
spend invest some of my Barclays Bank student loan.
The normally dark and deserted Louisa Street in Doornfontein was dark and crowded, with parked cars lining both sides of the road. The Arena Theatre across the road from res had a show on.
Quite unexpectedly – maybe seismic movement from all the tunneling underfoot to reach the Doornfontein gold in days gone by? – Louisa Street suddenly leapt up and smacked me right in the face, breaking my glasses.
For some unfathomable reason it was very important that I gather all the little shards of glass from my shattered lenses, so – as luck or Murphy would have it – I was on my hands and knees when the theatre ended and happy patrons streamed out into the street, their minds filled with the moral of the story (or more likely, flashes of boobs and skin – the few shows we went to had actresses acting daring) to find their cars and drive home to more salubrious areas of Johannesburg. The Arena was surrounded by vacant lots and abandoned houses, so they were probably in a bit of a hurry because of the shady reputation of the neighbourhood – and here, in front of their eyes, on its hands and knees, was proof!
I was not to be put off my search though, so people had to walk and drive around me,
grovelling searching diligently in the middle of the tarmac. Next minute someone bent over me and said “What’s your name?”. The affrontery! It was Mnr “JJ” van Rensburg of the Doornfontein koshuis who was trying to help by getting one of his charges out of harm’s way. “Shwanepoel” I slurred. I spelt it out in case he didn’t know: “S – W – A – N – E – P – O – E – L” .
Explaining that I probably didn’t need to gather every tiny piece as the School of Optometry would likely replace my lenses for me, he coaxed me back to the safety of the res grounds. He was weird, but had a good heart, ole JJ. We gave him sleepless nights.
The red arrow marks the spot where the nose and the nosebridge met the tarmac.
The green arrow is where Agnes ignited. Another story . .
The yellow arrow is where the dead guineafowl passed on.