Thursday, 1 October 2009

Seeking Browner Pastures

This is what some people call a rant. You have been warned!

I’ve always maintained that South Africans in general don’t have a culture of respect, preservation and conservation and I stand by that more than ever these days. I can’t explain to you the depths of my infuriation and frustration. My exasperation grows with every single day as I encounter more and more fuckers of note.

So there’s road works everywhere at the moment right, all in preparation for the 2010 Soccer World Cup. Johannesburg looks like a nuclear bomb paid a visit and traffic in general, which has always been a nightmare, is now horrendous. But it’s all for a good cause right? This is a historical milestone. The Soccer World Cup is the single biggest sporting event in the entire world and South Africa is the lucky bastard nation who gets to host it this time. Now if only there were less assholes on the road. No respect I tell ya, worse than animals. Traffic these days brings out the worst racist in me. And no one is spared. My expletives are all I have short of actually getting out of my car and bashing everyone in sight. Everyone just wants to get to where they’re going to, like NOW, driving around recklessly like they own the fucking roads.

For instance, let’s take yesterday as an example. There I was, driving to the Post Office to post the second letter I’d written to UJ (since he didn’t receive the first one but I’m getting to that in a minute), adhering to the speed limit and the general rules and regulations of the road when fucker1 of note decides to drive so close to me, he was literally sitting on my ass. Drivers usually do that when they want you to drive faster or get out of their way. But everyone who has a brain and uses it is aware of the fact that there has been a recent clampdown on irresponsible driving and that law enforcement agencies have instituted stricter measures on issues like driving over the speed limit.

Contravention of any traffic law results in hefty monetary penalties…and I don’t know about everyone else, but I don’t take any pleasure in pissing all my money away on traffic fines. I know the roads that I drive on, I know where there are traffic police lurking, where the traffic cameras are hidden etc. and I’m extra vigilant on the road. So it IRKS THE SHIT OUT OF ME when other drivers aren’t as responsible, or they want to insult and ridicule you for obeying the law. To retaliate, I usually drive even slower, just to piss them off and while doing so yesterday, it occurred to me to get appropriate bumper stickers for the occasion. How about

Colloquial Afrikaans word 'Blom' means to relax or chill out.


Think they’ll get the picture?

Anyways, then I got to the Post Office and wanted to strangle someone, seriously. There were about 12 staff behind the counter, but only 2 serving customers standing in long queue. Most of them looked like they were waiting to retire or go on holiday. The laziest bunch of assholes I’ve seen in a while. Service levels in this country really SUCK! It’s like no one wants to work anymore and everything is always someone else’s problem.

Now I wouldn’t have been in that position, standing in a queue long enough to reach Uganda, had they delivered my letter to UJ. You see, everywhere else in the world people fight over things like healthcare and taxes. I’d just like MY FUCKING MAIL DELIVERED thank you! And not in 3 weeks…how about tomorrow? If the British can do it and get their mail the next day after it’s been posted, why can’t we?!?! We were once a colony; we’re still part of the Commonwealth aren’t we?

Nobody enjoys a good strike more than the South Africans do. We’re just coming out of our ‘Strike Season’; where just about everyone from the Post Office to the Military strike for higher wages. Granted, they need the money. Because it’s another South African custom for every business to make at least 500% profit by ripping off consumers and over-charging on every product sold or service rendered, and then paying their employees peanuts. They use what I call Reverse Consumer Psychology, where they'll hike up prices, reduce them slightly and make you believe you're getting a better deal. So if something was 500 bucks today, tomorrow they'll hike it up to 1000 and then on Saturday they'll have a 'sale' where it goes down to 700...then they'll rally around, manipulating the customer to believe that its a great deal, while some of us are like "whaaat? hello, it was 500 a few days ago". Greedy motherfuckers. We’re NOT Brunei. We’re NOT rolling around in excess cash…yet every single business out there seems intent on screwing over their consumers, making exorbitant amounts of money to the detriment of the public at large. Whatever happened to making a 50% profit or 100%...

We pay the highest bank charges IN THE WORLD. Our food prices have more than DOUBLED over the past year. Where are the regulators? It's fucking ludicrous, this madness has to end! And sure, I’ll have some cynic saying “but some things, like bread, is more expensive in Britain”...hello, they get paid more in Britain! If companies and government paid their employees well, there’d be no fucking need to strike and act like hooligans.

And don’t get me started on our so-called fucking Internet provider, Telkom. A company that sells us dial-up disguised as broadband. My computer freezes at least three times everyday due to some or other ‘fault’, or when I have more than two windows open for more than 20 minutes at a time. At first I thought that it was just my computer…see that’s what they want you to think, that it’s just you…then I heard complaints from various other people and ALL our computers can’t be at fault.

And what about Eskom? (Funny how all our problems end in 'kom') Our so-called power/energy provider. What a fucking joke they are. And what measures they’ll go to, to fill their pockets with our hard earned cash. They fucked up, made their mistakes and now the whole country has to pay for it. And I find it very convenient how, after they managed to hike up our electricity bills and get funding from the government, that there weren’t anymore power-outages or blackouts. Add to that, the fact that all their management received large bonuses for the privledge, mounting to millions…all at the expense of the public.

I need to do something about my increasingly aggravated state of mind. I hate this place and the general public more and more everyday. I have ceased to appreciate anything anymore. So I reckon that I need to move, leave this country. I need to go to another country, where there are no cars and roads, just a horse and cart to get to the market everyday so that I can appreciate the hooligans on our roads. A country where there is no running water, Internet or electricity, so that I can appreciate this 1GB of dial-up-disguised-as-broadband that I utilise every month. A country where the focus is not on accumulation and keeping up with the Joneses but survival; maybe then I’ll appreciate being bled dry and screwed over by every overzealous and voracious capitalist in existence. Or maybe not…maybe I’ll adjust and come to appreciate a more simplistic lifestyle where corporate vultures and corrupt religious leaders aren’t the dictators of society.


  1. I work for the one f'd up place and in the department you seem to be having trouble with, don't mention it to anyone though, I will swear that I dunno who you are and this comment is just an illusion, so if you have internet probbies, drop me a mail.

  2. It's funny how the only government department that gets an 'A' for service is the taxman - the fuckers that take your money so MPs can buy million-rand cars.

    As far as the banks go, it still stuns me that nothing has been done to prevent the daylight robbery from this cartele that we call the banking industry. You take money out, they charge you. You put money in, they charge you. You transfer money out or in, they charge you. Heck, they probably even charge the other account holder too. You use your debit card, they charge you. You owe them money, they charge you like there's no tomorrow. All that's left is for them to implement a R40 'entrance charge' every time you walk into one of their branches.

    Don't even get me started on Eskom or Sperm Count (Tel.. kom - geddit?) I'd rather give my exorbitant data fees to Vodacom because at least Vodacom WORKS. And it's also why I live in a house where my W&L is included in the rent. But the motherbitches at CityPower already put a wireless switch on my geyser so that whenever I feel like taking a shower all I get is fucking cold water.

    OK, I'm done now.

  3. Azra, why do you always sugar-coat everything? I want to know how you feel about the traffic situation and the drivers you encounter on the road. This time don't hold anything back....

  4. I loved "loved" the second bumper sticker ... you should totally get them printed and sell ...


  6. Toyer - Ay I tell you this internet is an issue. But i suppose its better than no internet. Thanks for the help offer :P

    Edge - Yep, and its like the tip of the iceburg :)

    Hajira - I hear ya, but at least we can complain and we're not getting shot in the back of our heads for looking different...not yet anyway ;P

    LL - LOL, we'll sit here until tomorrow. It's a real mess I tell ya. But hopefully it will be a much better place when its all the works are done.

    Tazeen - Thanks :D

    Mash - I'm not quite sure what I was suppose to be seeing :P