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Traveller from Kasi

By: Brian Wandile Madala Mtshali 2014-07-31 21:30

Let’s just face it, traveling can be a bliss.

Ok, maybe not when you are travelling from your comfortable home to your work place where you earn a living, at least for some of us who wake up coz we haven’t strive to live the life where one gets paid for doing what they love. NOW THAT’S A BLISS! Not too sure if that applies to my friends in the entertainment industry though. Some would have to live a life they can’t afford just coz society would be perplexed why would one be on all sort of media platforms (TV, Radio, print, etc.) and be seen walking the streets of Jozi and taking a taxi to their designated destination like any other individual who takes taxi.

But again, I won’t pull a Kermit frog (my celeb friend is still my friend) on my celeb friends though that’s a topic for another day.

So, you wake up at 4am to prepare to get to work. You should be in the office by 7am sharp or should you be in after that, you’d need to pay back that time through your lunch/tea or for those who are lucky enough on your smoke break.

I sometimes ask myself: “smoke break”! What constitutes one to be entitled to a break called smoke break? Any who, not that everyone smokes, I guess we all entitled to some break, even if it’s not for smoking. So what can one who doesn’t smoke justify their break as? Stretch break? Air break? *Thinking*

Getting back to the matter on the table: I’m looking at possible travelling arrangements from your house to your work place especially your office bound folks. You wake up @ 4am just to be in the office by 7. That’s 3 hours in between. Ridiculous if you ask me. Wouldn’t mind to use an 2 and a half of those 3 hours at the gym or even writing this article (ok maybe bad example, type this mostly on my phone in the middle of the night while take a break from sleeping) than to be preparing for work mahni.

Let’s just say one uses their own car from Soweto to Sandton or from Mamelodi to Midrand. Trying but dismally failing how long for female who’d have to bath, apply body lotion to every corner of their beautiful bodies, just touch-up their nails, stressing about what to wear(heaven’s know how long will that take) they another min-stress to choose which shoes to match that day’s outfit, hairdo then lastly make up take to get to work.

Fashion Show

Damn women, you going for a fashion show or what? Or you my queens have mastered this craft and can finalize the above in less than 30 min? I doubt but I’d reserve my comments on what I have seen & experience in the past regarding the above. (I sometimes wish I can use those monkey faces. Would’ve use the one where that monkey closes his eyes. & please, money in this case means exactly that, get your head off the gutter mahni. Demed!)

I got to say, love the way women do things. When you think the worse for the day (looking good) is done and dusted, she’s still facing another challenge of driving. (Not being sexist at all) While a man can possible do all those with half the time then drive with easy playing their manly or girly favourite jam in their car, a woman is thinking each and every corner, stop sign, robots, taxi drivers, etc. challenge she will be facing to get to Sandton. eish..

Yah neh! That’s how a mind of a woman works generally speaking. If you don’t believe that, watch those insurance ads on TV or even better, they (women) even have their own insurance company catering those exact feminine tendencies and they did the research…

Soweto highway (depending how far deep Soweto one stays) can be hectic around 6am, should one not be on the road before 5:30, possible one won’t be at work in Midrand or Sandton by 7. So basically from 4am to 5:15(unless those who get ready in less than 30 minutes to get ready will wake up at 5am) one possible get ready then should be hitting the concrete highway.

The difference between the one who drives him or herself is that they are to a certain extend have power to control their travel times. i.e.: know which intersection(s) to avoid, which back routes to use as alternative, etc.  While on the other hand there are my trains & bus commuters that are pressed for time. Now these are guys you’ll find running at 5am down the street, some possible every day. No need for gym for this man or woman as they get their fair share of a work out every day when they are late which is mostly often.

While the other of Soweto in the Northern suburbs you see them running up & down the streets chasing some illusion: they call it jogging! Ohhooo my brothers & sisters run after a train or bus, rise a bicycles as a form of transport from home to work, etc. such differences but again… No! No! Promised not politics nor Kermit on my postings. Focus!

Imagining that we have people that perspire generally let alone when running or jogging. So I ask myself: “how would one’s aroma be like by the time they get to work?” maybe you don’t wanna know. With that being said, imagine you are in a brown bus (I happen to just love the colour, you can imagine your own colour in this case) from Soweto to Sandton packed to its brim with people standing and holding onto the rail on top (in case you didn’t know, those standing are call “javelin throwers”). Now take that person who was sunning to catch the bus, possible sweating and deodorant no longer effective; imagine that on an hour and half trip to work. That’s just a drop in an ocean. There’s more: people singing gospel songs on the bus, people playing music loud on their cellophanes without earphones (entlik where’s this “style” comes from?), peoples coz woke up too early they’ll sleep in the bus & snore and so forth(this so forth is something you might not understand yati).

As for Metro rail trains... I don’t think I can even attempt to explain the experience of those commuters but that should one of many more experiences to come. Flip the coin to that there’s Gautrain which mostly would agree that a Metro rail user would feel like heaven in a Gautrain which unfortunately has limitations for my people on the South & East of jo’burgers. Now that’s a different ball game of transportation in Jozi I tell you.

There’s car parking, self-service to buy & recharged your pass card, its fast, efficient (that can be subjective though), busses to transport you users to awkward surroundings around those stations, no eating. All the above already tells me that uzobhadala papa! (You gonna pay). So with the rise of patrol, cost of living in generally, Gautrain in someone’s views is mos def not for everyone.

According to a survey and by pure observations; TAXI’s transports more people from point A to B far more than any form of transportation we as a 20 year old democratic South Africa has at the moment. This are the guys that can be the best thing ever to a commuter and also be the worse night all at the same time. From being friendly to being rude in a matter seconds.

This are the guys when against all odds you were so late but they’ll get you to work on time (through other road user’s expense of cause) i.e.: cutting through anything and one in front of them to change lanes, biting robots with more than 5 seconds delay (that calculated from the red light to stop them) to driving on the yellow lanes on the highways and pavements on the byways, kanti ndibalantoni nah.

Of cause these are also the same guys that holds about 15 lives per taxi in their staring wheel with all those good & bad habits on the road which at times commuters are pleased that they make it on time which means full lunch breaks, full stretch breaks, full smoke breaks, etc.

Not this is the nitty gritty of our typical commuters from the lowest used form of transport (which I’m yet to expand on it) to the most comfortable all the way to the most used and everything in between.

As always, I shall rest for now.

Darkie Vuka

Madala


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