Wednesday, 1 September 2010

No Visa Required... Yet!

I’m in a psychological tizz… so much to do and I can’t seem to stop for a moment to figure out what to do first. It doesn’t help that in my current frame of mind, I’ve developed what can only be described as a serious lapse in judgment. Let’s put it to you this way… if my mind was an iPhone, then I just downloaded the be-dazzling application… a premium A-grade procrastination tool.

So added to my current list of addictions, I suddenly want to light up my life with enough crystals and sequins and sparkles to rival the freaking Universe. Good thing to have Mother waiting in the wings, right arm on standby at a 40˚ angle, ready to bitch-slap me into next Tuesday whenever I decide to harness that creativity and entertain ideas like be-dazzling the microwave or fridge (come-on who doesn’t want a sparkly Edwardian-Cullinian fridge?!?).

Twinkling tendencies aside, I recently found myself on a most adventurous trip outside of Johannesburg… to… wait for it… Pretoria!!

Now if you’re anything like me and only venture outside of Johannesburg to places like Durban, Cape Town or various destinations overseas, you’ll find Pretoria a spectacle to marvel at. A mere 50-odd-km’s away from Johannesburg, hardcore Jo’burgers like myself rarely give Pretoria (one of our 3 capital cities) a second thought unless *yawn* we’re suffering from insomnia and counting sheep doesn’t work.

So I found myself driving merrily off into yonder all by my lonesome, with no one beside me except the She-Male Garmin as my guide (She-Male because it’s all sexy looking like a male, until an authoritative female voice tells you to “draai links” [turn left] and you feel compelled to obey).

I’ve been to Pretoria about 4 times in my entire life (not counting the 3 times that we went to the zoo) and it’s always to the City or to some or other Consulate situated in the immediate areas around the City, so I’ve never really seen Pretoria. This time, however, I had to go to Pretoria East and my psychic hermaphrodite friend Garmin, sensing some mayhem on the N1 Highway, decided to take me on the scenic route.

I must say, that it was one of the most enlightening experiences I’ve had this year. At one point I’d been driving for a long period of time and found myself in such odd surroundings that I briefly thought I’d driven all the way to Morocco (those thoughts were quickly put to rest when I encountered one of our notorious taxi’s playing dice, trying to run me off the road while competing with one of it’s rivals for passengers). And when I arrived, I found the place to be extraordinarily quiet.

There’s a sense of peace and contentment in Pretoria East that I haven’t found anywhere else in Gauteng. It’s pleasant yet unassuming. In fact, the stark contrast sets the place so far apart from just-about-everywhere-else-in-Gauteng that you’d think you’re in another bloody country. It's so different that I wouldn't be surprised if they told us that we'd have to start applying for Visa's to enter the district. I’d even go so far as to recommend relocating there to anyone who wants to immigrate but cannot afford to… it’s that different. So surprisingly Pretoria East (along with Latin America during the Soccer World Cup) has been somewhat of a revelation.

In other news, I managed to put my glue gun down long enough to realise that it’s officially Spring. Could’ve fooled me because it looks (and feels) like we’ve skipped right into Summer. This is my favourite time of year… a season of new beginnings (I’m sure I’ve mentioned this before. *somewhere*. I think).

Oh and speaking of realizations, I’ve finally decided that my friend Garmin must be a chick… one of those butch-kick-ass-Lara-Croft-Charlie’s-Angels-type-chicks, because no man can be that sexy and still take you exactly where you want to go without getting lost or asking for directions ;)


  1. Sounds like such an exotic place...should put up a bunch of photos though!!

    Scribblers Inc.

  2. SI - I would have added pics, but the thing is theres nothing visually extraordinary about the place... it's all in the atmosphere ;)

  3. I wish I could visit South Africa sometime. Alas money is always an object! :-P

  4. from what I have seen during the world cup and the cricket games it's quite scenic.

  5. I don't know where Pretoria East is - but when I lived in Pta for a few months, we ventured out to the Union Buildings one Sunday - when it was quiet. It felt peaceful, and the views were great it was quite odd for a major city. Kind of reminded me of Kimberly (which I've only been to once).

  6. mezba - Yes it is very scenic and beautiful. You should visit and SA is one of the cheapest countries to tour. Also, there are more than a few people who would be willing to take you and your family about, accommodate you etc. If you and your family ever do want to come, let me know and I could help you out :)

    dreamlife - Kimberley is a spectacle too... a wonder in the middle of nowhere. I find it hard to imagine that they worry about anything at all... they are so at ease and at peace... I find in JHB, like as in any major city, everything is about the rush... we're constantly rushing for whom or what, I don't know :P