townie back where he belongs

So how was your visit to Jozi?” Neighbour Jan asked
Issue date : 03 October 2008

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So how was your visit to Jozi?” Neighbour Jan asked over morning coffee. “With traffic grid-locked everywhere, no matter what time of day or night, even a short drive was a nightmare. Every road and highway seemed to be under repair or construction, so dodging graders and lane-hopping taxis was like driving on an obstacle course. Road rage, as a result, is rife and the middle finger is practised not only by alpha-males in their high-powered sports cars, Jan, but also by the fairer sex in their mommy vans racing to get their kids to school on time.”

“My slow-off-the-mark diesel bakkie with its out-of-town number plates was top of the list for abuse. Being half-deaf, I’ve learned to lip-read and it wasn’t difficult to work out some of the expletives hurled at me! And as for shopping, Jan, you wouldn’t think our country was in recession-mode. Every food hall and boutique was crammed with customers waving credit cards. Come month-end and crunch-time, I guess it’s a case of robbing Peter to pay Paul for Joburgers – drawing on American Express to pay their Diners Club card. Cash has become a foreign currency!” “Other than drive around in traffic, what did you actually do, Townie?” Jan asked. “Helped my granddaughter with her homework and found out that her spelling is better than mine, learnt the names of all her Barbies and got some lessons from my son on what some of the keys on the computer are for.

Unfortunately didn’t get a chance to play golf with my buddies, as jeans and farm boots are not allowed on Jozi’s hallowed courses.” “And the drive home?” “Well, we left at 5am with the traffic already building up. Seems like Jozi’s now on flexitime with people starting really early to finish early. Fridays are half-days – the later half is spent in the pub. then got caught in a speed trap only to discover my license had expired, so we’re on bread and water now. But all this just made it sweeter to return to smog-free air, the Jack Russells who thought we’d abandoned them and a dop or two of Klippies with you, Jan.

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So what’s been happening around here while we were gone?” “Your Dairybelle had her calf. We’ve had no rain, but the dams are holding out. We got R15 a kilo for the last lot of cattle that went to market. Telkom’s coming sometime never to fix your phone line which was blown down in a howling gale. And in case you’re wondering about the smell, your septic tank is blocked. Otherwise, nothing much.” W ell, wouldn’t trade any of this for life in the city! – Derek Christopher |fw