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Easter time - when rural folk come to the fore

By unknown | Mar 25, 2008 | COMMENTS [ 0 ]

I was an hour late for work last Thursday because of the long queues at Germiston taxi rank. I woke up and left the house at the usual hour to go to work.

I was an hour late for work last Thursday because of the long queues at Germiston taxi rank. I woke up and left the house at the usual hour to go to work.

I found that South Africa was on the move.

I had completely forgotten that it was Maundy Thursday and everybody was going back to their ancestral homes to celebrate the Easter holidays.

I had to wait for 30 minutes before I could board a taxi to Johannesburg. I felt aggrieved that none of my fellow travellers had bothered to warn me about the exodus that can cripple the normal travel between Gauteng cities.

I was surrounded on all sides by people speaking in tongues. There were a group of Sepedi speakers in front of me who were excited about a wedding they were to attend.

This group of Jims come to Joburg were comparing the outfits they had bought and their intention to change about five times a day.

I gathered that the wedding was a chance for them to show off their Joburg finery to the lasses at home. It did not seem as though they were close to the bride and groom.

There was a gaggle of Xhosa maidens behind me who were comparing the modes of transport open to them. They were apparently going home to an isigodi that only someone who was born there would love.

One was complaining that she did not like being cooked in a taxi for 12 hours and also having to change taxis in Port Elizabeth. She said she preferred the bus because it was more comfortable and the drivers were concerned about their passengers' safety.

Now there is a big screen at the Germiston rank. While these young ladies were discussing their transport options, a news bulletin or something on TV said a bus had broken down in Eastern Cape.

It had been unable to climb a steep hill and passengers had been stranded for close to 10 hours. This put a damper on the young ladies' conversation.

Just then, a man who looked like a Somalian, approached us and asked for Nespray. We pointed to the tail of the Joburg queue as language difficulties made it impossible to communicate properly with him.

We thought that perhaps he wanted to board a taxi to Nelspruit and did not want to chat about the Lactogen 1 fiasco. He looked too young to have children.

All these happy people made me depressed a little. I had no plans to go anywhere for the holidays. The chilly weather means one would have to lug four or five blankets if one went to visit.

And Eskom's fickle behaviour means an endless round of fish and chips to stave off the hunger pangs. I have come to hate the corner cafe's version of this emergency meal and do not feel like exploring what my cousins subsist on.

I think an enterprising BEE person should write a cookless cookbook to cope with load shedding.


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