Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Jo'Burg Jaunt

   Despite suggestions by Weppie of flying to Johannesburg, I loaded up my backpack and headed to the bus stop. He made promises of cheap flights with the connections from his job at the airport, but I wanted to see the countryside, if only from the flight of an Intercape Mainliner. I waved goodbye to Uncle Jock and Aunt Elsa and settled into the posh seats of the double decker luxury bus. We were offered beverages shortly after we left and I was introduced to coffee the African way; sweet and white. No questions of how you took it (I was used to black at that point, so almost choked on first sips). The chicory blend had nothing on Tim Hortons, Canada’s national coffee emporium. If I wanted a coffee, I had to suck it up though and learn to get over it. It was a 15-hour bus ride and Timmies was nowhere in sight. The South African landscape was what was on offer and I had no choice but to sit back and enjoy the ride.

   While I did thrill in the adventure of finally being single, mobile and free, the bus ride quickly lost its appeal. The red soil of the surrounding countryside fascinated me, as I could not mesh the idea of crops growing in it, versus the rich brown humus of home. Soon enough my mind’s eye was focused on the future though. I shifted my weight from butt check to butt check and imagined what Botswana would hold. Flyers of Victoria falls in Zimbabwe lay across my lap, as I gazed into the pictured possibilities in my head. Eventually my tortured posterior gave up caring about tomorrow and the adventures that would unfold and screamed at me to get over the adventure of today. With Johannesburg finally coming into sight, I breathed a sigh of relief for cramped muscles. The bus ground out a final goodbye and with the applying of brakes gave blissful release into my cousin Naude’s waiting care. I would spend the next few days with him toodling around and even getting a chance to explore Sun City. Sadly, I  found even more barbed wire in Johannesburg and many heavily gated communities. I did discover their savoury pies though. They came in a multitude of flavours, like our chicken pies back home, but also spinach and feta, cheese, pork pasties and a delicious assortment of others. The most important event of my time with him though was a trip to the airport to pick up his wife. A surprise that I never would have anticipated was to greet me with unforeseen consequences.

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