For the love of GPS ... and that mountain

2013-08-21 14:17

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The best thing about GPS is her forgiving nature.

I’ve been navigating the roads of Joburg for the past three days. For us out-of-towners this is no mean feat.

Suffice to say I’ve been losing my way, my cool and my mind, dodging Jozi traffic in my mint blue Toyota rental, arriving at destinations with a great sense of achievement and feigned nonchalance, a string of expletives hovering just out of earshot.

Imagine a time before GPS? I shudder at the thought.

What I love about GPS is how she takes my mistakes in her stride. When I lose my way, she doesn’t ask stupid questions or reprimand me.

She assesses the situation (sometimes dismal – for example Auckland Park via Newtown at night) in grave silence, and calmly suggests a Plan B.

Basically, with GPS, no wrong turn is too great for a second chance.

Second chances were big news this week.

Cezanne Visser or “Advokaat Barbie” was released on parole in Pretoria on Monday, after serving half her sentence for sexually molesting children with ex-boyfriend Dirk Prinsloo. Correctional services boss James Smalberger pleaded with the public to give Cezanne a second chance.

In Cape Town, details emerged of Dina Rodrigues’ bid to appeal her life sentence for murdering Baby Jordan in 2005.

In a 24-page affidavit, she blames “emotional immaturity and jealousy” for the murder of then boyfriend Neil Wilson’s baby with his former lover.

Dina failed to convince the court and her sentence remains in tact. No second chance there just yet.

On Monday, in the indictment that was handed down to Oscar Pistorius in the Pretoria Magistrates’ Court, the state argued that even if Oscar had mistaken Reeva Steenkamp for an intruder, it would still be murder.

Oscar, his brother Carl and sister Aimee engaged in a 40-minute prayer marathon before the appearance. He will be on trial from March 3 to March 20 next year.

It’s a tricky thing, second chances.

This brings to mind a Hunter S Thompson quote tweeted by colleague Charl du Plessis this week: “Pray to God, but row away from the rocks.”

Someone on Twitter responded that Prophet Muhammed had said: “Trust in Allah, but tie up your camel.”

At some point, you have to take responsibility for your actions.

In some cases, not even GPS could devise a Plan B.

Meanwhile, I’m off home to Cape Town where we have a mountain to show us the way.

I love that mountain.

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