I fell asleep and missed my overnight flight to America… Off to the airport hotel I went for eight hours of sleep and eight hours to kill the next day before my flight. Not wanting to make the mistake twice, I dialed the eight hours to kill back to three to allow myself plenty of time to check in at the airport. With these three hours, I chose to visit Constitution Hill, Johannesburg’s prison of the apartheid.
I wandered the outdoor complex spread across several city blocks, exploring isolation cells (segregated at the time by race and by gender,) photographing the grounds where petty criminals, other South Africans, and freedom fighters such as Gandhi and Mandela were incarcerated and tortured.
Wary of time and money, I followed a small tour group in short spurts from a distance so that I could overhear information for free about the history of the place. Now, I don’t normally condone this, but you see, my bogus mistake cost me hundreds of extra dollars and I didn’t have any more to spare.
So, I learned from my mistake and I learned about a new pocket of our world too while padding my personal image collection — and to me, that is certainly what I call making the best of a less than ideal situation.