May 2, 2017 by petrujviljoen
It’s a trip I wasn’t going to actually make but having done it before numerous times I could imagine the journey well enough. Getting up at 5 am on a rainy morning, wading through knee high wet grass to the closest transport pick up point, waiting and again waiting until the black taxi* should arrive – it could take an hour, depending whether it is school holidays or not. The next pick up point, a mere 12 kms away, does not have shelters under which one can stand, never mind sit, while waiting for the taxi to get full before the journey continues to the next departure point, 35 kms further on. Once there, there’d be shelter, standing room only. Again one waits for the taxi to fill up (with people) before the journey can continue. Peak hour long gone this can take anything from 5 minutes to an hour, maybe longer, even though a bigger business centre.
Along the way various bits of music would blare from numerous loudspeakers, mostly in any of the indigenous languages of South Africa. I’d be the only white person among throngs of black people, a situation I’m comfortable in. I regret not having learnt one (or two) of the local languages, my shyness being the culprit. Or should I say laziness. English and Afrikaans got me through so far. People (black people) are accommodating.
All African music I ever heard has an inherent deep rhythm so one involuntary dances along, even if it’s an inner dance. A silent dance. An appreciation.
My brother, my blood, in hospital in a town 80kms from where I live, had to make do with a phone call. I thus avoided the grating of tectonic plates, coming from a warm, welcoming environment, stepping into one of loud, cold hostility to Other.
Brink of winter’s cold
Hey! Ray Phiri! You rock!
*South Africa’s black population generated a multi-billion rand transport system to answer workers’ commuting needs, the municipal bus system being hopelessly inadequate. It consists of mini buses, able to load 16 people, with the driver, at a time. It’s highly efficient, especially in urban centres. Out here in the country, things go much slower, distances being longer and needs different. The mini-bus would have to be full before it will depart, else it’s not worth the trip.
Linked to Dverse Poets