Isolated lifestyle proves to be full of hidden dangers

Someone used the new political greeting on me last week: "How are you coping?"

Being an ignoramus about politics, I immediately enumerated all my hard luck stories of the past weeks. How was I to know that the political climate in SA had spawned a new vocabulary?

All I knew was that I was attending too many funerals. Auntie Emma calls it funeral fatigue like the donor fatigue that is plaguing the West.

When I mentioned the deep tiredness in my bones and in my heart, everyone in the taxi knew what I was talking about. I received a lot of advice on how to alleviate this heart sickness.

I do not know what will work because I am still sifting through all the "raat" and I am afraid I will have to ask for help again as I have forgotten all the ingredients.

The best "raat" was to lock the gates, stay in bed the entire weekend, switch off the cellphone, and live on bread and jam.

I have tried this remedy for the past two weeks. It was a great way to unwind, except that I still needed several pieces of meat to make the bread tasty.

I had two blissful weekends minding my own business and kept away from all the angst that associating with people can cause one.

The downside was that I felt out of touch with the world after three days indoors.

One of our new taxi drivers has a new tape with Xitsonga gospel music. It was lekker with an uptempo beat. Auntie Emma asked the driver if it was disco music or something like that. It sounded a bit like Penny Penny and Peta Teanet.

The driver was shocked and said it was the latest hit doing the rounds. He told us that it was the new gospel sound.

I marvelled that I had lost the thread of modern Jozi after only three days' absence. I would have learned the new tunes if I had attended funerals on those weekends. The trendsetters will have moved to new hits by the time I learn this new tune.

The second indication that a hermit lifestyle is dangerous was when we were told to get off the taxis about a block from the taxi rank.

The Bus Rapid Transit has infiltrated the ranks and there are distractions for the East Rand commuters. Luckily, the Metro cops turned up after two days of our dicing with death at traffic lights. We now stroll across the pedestrian crossing with a swagger against the impatient drivers.

It is surprising that the taxi drivers are cooperating with the police.

They are good mannered and do not seem to mind the inconvenience at their rank. Not so long ago they were saying "Phansi nge BRT".

Auntie Emma suspects that the taximen are quiet because they are planning to hijack the revamped ranks once they are completed.

But most of the passengers dread the confusion that awaits us once the system starts to operate.