April 2011 – 1000km Across South Africa

Something unique and wonderful happened this year. The Easter long weekend was followed by a public-holiday-Wednesday and another long weekend. Easter weekend usually results in 85.7% of the Gauteng population heading towards the coast for a mini-break.

And I headed towards that little town I grew up in called Clarens. To get there I take the N3. And, unfortunately for me the N3 is the way to Durban.

N3
The N3 on 22 April 2011

So there were a lot of people on the highway and everyone was heading my way. This annoyed me, because I like to have my way and when other people interfere I get upset.

I got stuck in bad traffic.

De Hoek Plaza
The traffic just outside the De Hoek plaza

When you’re driving 20km/h you have time to notice things. For example, the family with the heavily loaded car in front of me and their hamster. Yes, there are people who take their hamster to the coast on holiday. This means that either they don’t have an aunty to fill a food bowl or the hamster likes surfing. Either way, this poor hamster was packed up against the rear-windscreen and probably more distressed than I was at not having my way.

Corsa
My average speed - for 40km

Then I did a little math. I was 40km away from the off-ramp I needed to take to get off the N3. Normally, that would take 15 or 20 minutes. But on 22 April 2011 it took me over an hour. It’s a good thing I had a sandwich and water with me, otherwise I may have died. Stopping at the One Stop was not an option.

Engen
Lots of hungry people taking a break

Eventually I was off the highway. I looked back at the source of my torture and saw miles and miles of cars not reaching their holiday destinations.  But it was okay, because I was in the Free State and there wasn’t much happening on the roads. I could drive without thinking about distressed hamsters and how many metres per hour I was driving.

Traffic
Shame, boor bastards. You'll get to your destination in, oh, I don't know, three years.

And in certain pockets of South Africa, there really is nothing of interest.

Frankfort
When I asked the GPS to show me places of interest near Frankfort it showed Frankfort Correctional as an option.

And sometimes the roads lead to nowhere.

Nowhere
Left, right or nowhere?

My trip back was fine. This was a good thing, because the following weekend meant I would be travelling to the bushveld.

There is no traffic in the bushveld.

Road of Donkey
If you look closely you can see how annoyed they are that I am driving past them.

But there are donkeys.

Donkey Kong
I asked this guy for directions. He ignored me, the ass.

And they obey the speed limit.

Donkey Speed
... But sometimes go in the wrong direction.

And have houses.

Lawn Mower
This donkey can be seen mowing his lawn.

And just watch the world go by.

Watching the World go by
"Not much to see in this direction... Even less in the other."

When I grow up, I would like to be a donkey.

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April 2011 – 1000km Across South Africa

It’s always a holiday

I have this fantasy where I live in an apathetic society.

It’s possible to buy marshmallow chocolate eggs again. They come in strip packs or can be purchased individually. They aren’t particularly tasty, and we have about 50 left in the office from last year. The synthetic, sugary insides have become so hard that the eggs can be used as weapons. Or as building material for some uninspired architect that doesn’t want to be awesome and design an eco-friend Hobbit House.

Easter Egg
It looks a little like building material... If you tilt your head a bit.

Between that and the heart shaped sweets for Valentines day, I have no idea what to celebrate (and by celebrate I mean waste my money on)  anymore. Two weeks ago, shops still had Christmas decor up. Now they are plugging romance and bunnies. Consumers don’t even get a holiday to recover from the excessive Christmas spending before they feel forced to get into the next big event.

Here are some special day and special day related facts:

Jesus wasn’t born on the 25th of December.

The Easter Bunny isn’t real.

Chocolate makes you fat.

And when I see a lot of the colour red, I think about meat. So, all I actually want to do most of the time is eat lamb chops and bacon. I don’t want to buy chocolates or roses. I don’t want diamond earrings or perfume. I wouldn’t mind a unicorn, but this is the appropriate time of the year.

Romance
This does not make me want to take my clothes off

But why can’t we all just live? Why do we always have to prepare for some occasion?

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A worthy cause
It’s always a holiday