As the gravel is extra-slippery at a certain curve in the yellow-coloured dusty road, your vehicle is likely to swerve sharply sending its behind right to the edge of the steep cliff below (if you were not paying enough attention, or if you were just driving a tad too fast for these conditions). This is the unspoilt beauty of rural South Africa, but it can be unforgiving for the less cautious, the lazy river meandering slowly until it joins the sea far down is a rich chocolate colour, and on hot days it's cool water can be most inviting - it is said that unknown creatures lurk it's muddy depths though, and that a number of people have met a swift fate there.
But the air is fresh, the smell of the earth after a brief downpour and the smell of burning grass will leave a lasting impression on your senses, the cool breeze of the wind swaying the willow trees gently to and fro nearby beckons you to cast your troubles aside and relax for a while the way only nature can, the sun stands dead still in the midday sky, the cattle walk along almost as if in slow motion, a man nods off on a bamboo lounger, occasionally lifting his weary head to swat flies before sinking into another deep sleep, a baby cries, the smell of freshly baked bread floats around the mud hut, a woman walks up the path with a baby on her back, but not the one that cried earlier, another one, more cheerful even though it is wrapped tight with a thick blanket, in her right hand she carries a bucket filled with mealies, she stops briefly, regards the sleeping man, shakes her head, her mouth curling into a smile, then walks inside.
I make my way to the Spaza shop up the road, it is doing a roaring business with Cool-drink, Sweet-Aid and Ice Lollies, the conversation is mixed, and it stops and starts at regular intervals; most of it seems to be about the merits (and demerits) of having Gordon Igesund as the national Soccer Coach, on Benni’s tubby belly etc - there's consensus, national level and club level are two totally different ball games, the jury is hung on the level we will reach in the upcoming African Cup of Nations tournament to be played on home soil, I nod vigorously when someone decries the lack of players in the form of Zane Moosa and Doctor Khumalo. There's something genuine and true in rural life that's lacking in the City, even kasi living is no longer the same - an afternoon here is soul-cleansing and refreshing, but the way back calls - I keep wondering whether I could really live here for an extended period without boring myself to a standstill, or whether I'm not just being unappreciative of modern conveniences which we all take for granted, until we no longer have them. So many questions…..but what a relaxing trip it was, we see things more clearly when we are not Only focused on our own selfish selves, we find true contentment and real joy.
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