Monday, April 19, 2010


All travel has its ups and downs.

Hell, all of life has its ups and downs.

I could be sitting back in Jozi, staring over my old school, through the office window, which I spent so many Procrastination Moments picking away at the “film” that hid the true natural light, and think “Fok. Am I still here? Haven’t moved far, have I. Haven’t done much in the last forever have I!”

Only for an incredible “Up” to be happening a week later.

Same as here –in this “Not Champers Land”. The “why why why am I doing this?”

I’ll get into a convo with someone who is shocked that I used to be as high up the ladder as a project manager.
“And what do you do now?”
“Ha! I babysit & get accused of stealing the brats’ mother’s nail polish cos I shouldn’t have enough cash to paint my toenails pink. And I try to recreate the mad dreamings of a madder professor. And I don’t really have a single good friend in town to just talk to without feeling ‘Careful what you say to this person. You can’t be sure you’re not freaking them out with your true self right now. Slowly does it’”.

And then there’ll be an Up. Something subtle but good enough to make the experience seem “worth it”. (Worth what, being the existential part of the argument)

Recent Ups & Downs, in a whole new style:

Up: Doing a spontaneous morning of healthy fun exercise “stuff” that involved a free pilates class and a 20km bike ride to the city & back, in the gorgeous autumn sun

Down: The pain I feel today throughout every single last muscle and the drawn-out motivation it is taking me to get body parts to move. And the sunburn.

Up: Getting a job, getting money, finally being able to pay your way & buy necessary items

Down: What items suddenly seem “necessary” now that you have disposable cash. Only for you to buy it, pass that “return date”, and realise that the corduroy pants might be a little less ‘necessary’ than daily meals & travel tickets.

Up: Being offered a deal on a car that is too great to pass up

Down: Being offered this deal in a country that not only requires its cars to earn a “roadworthy certificate” before being sold to the next driver, but actually requiring to be “roadworthy”.

Down .1: The definition of “Roadworthy” being slightly different in Australia as it is in South Africa. South Africa’s definition “Moves in expected ways & can carry any dreamed-up item”. Australia’s definition requires “Windscreen to not have cracks. Boot to open as it originally did & cannot be held up by walking stick to keep it open. Rear wiper to be able to clean away dirt”. (Why on earth do you need a rear wiper to make the car able to move along a tarred surface!??!)

Up: Friends that visit

Down: Friends that leave when visiting time is up

Up: Learning new terms & funny expressions to describe everyday things

Down: Not knowing what the fkc a person is saying because of a Clash of Accents


And THAT is why I am not a waitress in this town!


po said...

Hehe, oh yes, in the UK you have to have that MOT for your car which is like roadworthiness, and tax and insurance... even for a crummy old skedonk. But that's why there are hardly any old skedonks around here. Are the cars in Aus generally healthier than in SA too?

Champagne Heathen said...

Hmm. Not too sure about whether most are healthier.. I reckon the sights in the Outback could possibly be on par with our cardboard-brake/scrapping-the-tarmac beauties...

But in Melbourne, yup, they are the picture of perfection! And people love to hear these fantastical stories I have of what roads could look like if the authorities lightened up a little... ha ha, trying to imagine how they'd take to a donkey-and-cart vehicle on suburban roads here!