Friday, December 27, 2013

A Place to Run Towards

Today the hubs and I decided to go for a nice lunch out in the Cape Winelands. If you even sort of follow this blog you know that wine is a little bit of a thing for us… so this is a pretty routine trip.

It’s about a half hour into Stellenbosch, a very nice wine area that is close by but also has loads of interesting stuff. We bundled ourselves into the car, slathered ourselves with sunblock (African sun is outta hand – you even burn while driving), put on some tunes and hit the road. While on the very crowded roads, we noticed something – every other car had a license place from Gauteng, the province of Johannesburg.

Photo: Wikimedia Commons
Normally this would not be a big deal – Cape Town has cars from all over the place driving around. Cars from neighboring Lesotho, Swaziland, Namibia. Cars from the UK. Even cars with a left-hand drive (remember they navigate from and drive on the wrong…ahem opposite… side of the road here).  The vast number of Joburgers - and their awful driving habits - made me realize that there are two types of places in the world: the ones people come to for Christmas vacation and the ones they drive away from to Christmas vacation.

My first thought today was something akin to that moment in South Florida when the shofar and the wind blows in points north and the place becomes invaded.  But this is more severe. This is more like Christmas, which is more like a blitzkrieg – brief and intense. Cars stuffed with screaming children and the things meant to keep them from screaming, stressed out parents who don’t know where they’re going  while trying to juggle screaming kids and the various and sundry aunts, uncles and parents. It’s enough to drive them… into my lane.

This is the complete opposite of somewhere like Washington, DC which is devoid of all human beings during the holidays. One of my favorite things about being in DC for a chunk of the holidays was the traffic-free streets, the half-empty bars and restaurants, and the peace and quiet. It’s probably how things are in Johannesburg this week since all of those people are here.

So we’re mostly hunkered down at home. Haven’t been on a proper grocery shop in days, but tomorrow we’re gonna run out of milk. Wonder if the grocery store will have something in common with DC during a snowstorm? I suspect yes, so I am thankful we’re all stocked up on toilet paper.

Nonetheless, the wine and the views at lunch certainly made up for the Joburg blitzkrieg, which is why they’re here in the first place, right?

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