I headed down to the Eastern Cape over the weekend to visit my daughter. Although it feels like I’ve had my emotions shoved through a steam-driven shredder with rusty blades, it was actually a positive experience. I shall therefore save my introspection for the shrink (who is paid to care, after all) and focus on my solo road trip instead.
Travelling alone long-distance can be peculiar. If you have nobody to talk to, it is vitally important not to have any music playing, either. That way, when the engine suddenly changes pitch and starts doing the cha-cha, you have nothing to distract you from visions of red-hot pistons flying through the top of the hood. Damned distributor. If it wasn’t absolutely essential to the functioning of the vehicle, it would have been pounded into tiny bits with the tire-iron just this side of Mossel Bay.
Another exciting aspect is the freedom to drive until your tank is empty or your bladder is full, whichever comes first. No time wasted on anyone else’s comfort. This was how I discovered that one of the filling stations in Riviersonderend has Rosina Wachtmeister prints mounted in the restroom. I have been sorely tempted to tell my colleagues (quite truthfully, mind you) that I stopped at a garage with graphic pussy pictures on the wall of the gents’ toilet, but thus far I’ve managed to restrain myself.
And then there’s the roadworks. Don’t get me started! Who knows – maybe there is some kind of logic behind the orange-coned chaos stretching between George and Knysna, but I just can’t see it. Much as I appreciate the necessity for periodic maintenance, I’m certain the expression “without rhyme or reason” was specifically coined for the National Roads Agency decision-makers and their sodding minions. I’m beginning to suspect that the whole exercise is sponsored by manufacturers of blood-pressure pills. Yeah, that’s probably it.