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Thread: Trip to hell and back ( Durban )

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    Trip to hell and back ( Durban )

    For those who don't have the time to read a long post..........now's the time to leave. It's a loooong story.

    So, I was requested to do a job for one of my loyal local clients on one of his properties in Durban.

    No problem. The assignment was to seperate the installation of a double story house into two. A DB downstairs and another upstairs for 2 sets of tenants with their own prepaid meters. Piece of takkie. Do it regularly.

    Firstly, if you have a vehicle with mags, then do not tackle the road between East London and Durban via Port St Johns. You will NOT make it without 1 or 2 rims damaged beyong repair, guaranteed. Fortunately, because of the state of the roads in East London, I long ago had the mags on my Opel Estate removed and steel rims fitted...... I made it, even after all those potholes which are unavoidable at times.

    Halfway between Port Edward and Durban, my assistant says " Mr Stuart, your car is overheating". Checked the guage......normal.
    I then had to explain to him that the heat he was feeling was quite normal for this area and the car was ok. His eyes got bigger.

    The job was in Phoenix, so we book into a hotel at Mount Edcombe.

    The reception area was well air conditioned and cool so I had no hesitation booking in and paying. Unfortunately the same cannot be said for the rooms. No air conditioning and the ceiling fan would not work on any speed other than dead slow. We survived the night, only just.

    It was challenging because the property we were working on had no water or electricity. We had to plan our bathroom breaks accordingly.

    Just a warning. In the Phoenix area, If you need to use the facilities at a petrol station, you are charged R2 to gain entry, but be sure to carry your own bog roll because there ain"t any inside. Don't know what they use the entry fee for ?

    After a sweating first day, we decide to cool down, have a game of pool and relax.

    In the bar at the hotel I order a double of my favourite, with plenty of ice and a soda water. No ice bucket available on counter. Glass arrives with 2 of the smallest ice cubes I have ever seen. Request more ice. NADA. Only 2 blocks per glass, policy, I kid you not. A man is dying of the heat and before you have your first sip, the ice is no more. Ridiculous.

    So we decide to have a game of pool. R5 into the slot and away we go. Trying to play bottom or side, for those who understand is absolutely impossible ..... no chalk available. What do we pay the R5 for? Even a straight shot is impossible.

    To navigate the roads is something else for us out of towners. A nightmare.

    I must say that my trip to ARB in Durban North was not that bad, except that the sales lady didn't know the difference between a flush box and surface box. The free 2 complimentary cups of coffee were good, though.

    Survival kit for contractors from out of town visiting Durban is as follows.

    1. Big brass goens for driving in Durban traffic.
    2. A cooler box with plenty of ice.
    3. A couple of bog rolls.
    4. Chalk, if you into snooker or pool.
    5. First enquire if the rooms have aircons before booking in and paying.

    The best road in Durban ? The N2 South out of Durban. Half way between Durban and Port Edward, the traffic returns to what I consider normal.

    To my brothers in Durban, it doesn't matter how much money you make, you can have that heat and mad traffic. It's not for me. My goens are not big enough.

    I'm glad I survived the last couple of days. Never again.

    Cheers and peace out ... Derek

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    Site Caretaker Dave A's Avatar
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    Derek, Next time come in winter

    And be glad the job wasn't in Richards Bay.

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    Yip i agree with Dave ...come in winter and be grateful you didnt have to work in Richards Bay... i spent 4 month on a contract up there ...stayed at the YMCA ... thank goodness i only went back to the room in the early hours...got up at 5.30 had a shower and back to site... The money was good really good...otherwise i wouldnt have stayed.

    IF you think Durban and Richards Bay is bad ...wait till you have to go to Namibia to work... I was involved in the construction of a water treatment plant in the Capri strip ... 250 km from anything... no ice ... we made fires to try in the plant rooms to try smoke the mozzies out... you couldnt go to the toilet at night because the hippos would roam the site.

    Be gratefull you didnt have to climb in a roof space with a tin roof... we had a job installing wire cable trays and CCTV cabling in the roof space... if you have ever done this you will understand why i started the other thread... people report dogs being left in the car in the heat ...they should come and experience a few hours in the roof when the temp. is 36 degrees outside... when i was younger i use to take off all my clothes leave them at the trap door and work in my jocks.. with a towel around my neck.

    By the way ...there are a few of us from Durban on this forum...you could have asked for advice
    Comments are based on opinion...not always facts....that's why people use an alias.

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    By the way ...there are a few of us from Durban on this forum...you could have asked for advice
    Thank you Ian

    In future, should I need to come to Durban, I'll announce it here on the forum well in advance.
    Maybe you will be able to organize cooler and not so humid conditions and also change the attitude of Durban drivers for the duration of my stay.

    On a serious note, it would have been nice to have an eyeball to eyeball and enjoy a good scotch with more than 2 small ice cubes.

    Go well my brother

    Cheers and peace out ... Derek
    Last edited by Dave A; 19-Jan-20 at 08:34 AM. Reason: tag correction

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    Hi Derek, my second home is 10km’s away from Port Edward and I absolutely love that hell. I’ve just spent spent almost 5 weeks there on holiday and must say the humidity and heat is out of this world. Humidity was on some days 92% that is 8% away from raining inside the house. Our floor tiles and walls were constantly wet due to the high humidity.
    I’ve done a bit of work while there and mixed some concrete and with all the sweat that went into that mix I hardly had to add water, my DNA is in there for ever. But after that mixing nothing like a swim in that sea to cool down all those muscle pains��
    That N2 south coast road is a beauty up to Marina beach, it’s one of the smoothest roads you will get, I think South Africa can host a F1 race on that road, I love cruising there.
    The ice issue, eish! that’s a bit nasty, my ice machine run 24/7 and I even filled it with water at 1o’clock in the mornings when it starts beeping and need water. That place is a no-go zone without ice.
    I have also worked in Bluff at a refinery, now that is hell, those one piece overalls, hardhat, goggles and whatever's is a deal breaker. Also in Durban harbor Island view, lost a couple of kg’s
    I also worked in Richards Bay harbor on fuel tanks, that is hot and I am still having the nightmares. ��
    Now I’m stuck in gangsters paradise this is a different type of hell.
    Next time when you in Durbs make sure you got that cooler box with ice wherever you go��

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    Diamond Member Blurock's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Derlyn View Post
    Thank you Ian

    ... and also change the attitude of Durban drivers for the duration of my stay.
    I live in Durban and I must agree that Durban has the most aggressive and stupid drivers on the planet!
    The BMW's, SUV's and Porche Cayans must have very poor brakes as they are unable to stop behind the white line.
    They also creep forward while the light is still red, so that all 4 wheels are eventually over the line.

    Mind you, the same applies to the cop cars!
    Excellence is not a skill; its an attitude...

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