Goodbye Joburg. See you in 2013.

18 Dec
Joburg Storm, lipstick on board

Joburg Storm, lipstick on board

Today, I am doing something I’ve been looking forward to for ages. No, “looking forward to” is the wrong term; it implies the excitement of a kid waiting for Barbies in gift wrap under the tree when in fact my current emotional state is more akin to that of the shipwrecked sailor clinging wide-eyed to a passing beer crate.

I usually love Joburg in December. It’s lovely and green, the weather is redolent of afternoon storms and the chlorine tang of swimming pools. Importantly, everybody buggers off and leaves the streets to the ones who, in the word we used at Bryanst0n Primary, were going to “Romania”. At work, you while away the hours catching up on filing, surfing the net or finding creative ways to fill in your time sheets.

December is the best time of year in Joburg mainly because most Joburgers aren’t around. Only every year, in a distressing trend, it seems that more and more of them refuse to leave. This year I haven’t noticed that pleasantly dramatic full-off in traffic (though, since freelancing, rush hour is something I seldom encounter if I can help it).

For the first time since I can remember, I’ve desperately wanted to get out of town. I escaped to the bush a month ago because I wanted to do a last road trip in the Evoque, but I was running a social media campaign at the time and had to commute to the Hoedspruit Wimpy every day to find a decent 3G signal. So while I internalized Benjamin Franklin’s goody two-shoes mantra about early to bed and early to rise, I failed to unplug and recharge (yes, it’s a confusingly mixed metaphor) and now find myself completely and utterly exhausted. When I saw an email this evening titled “3 ways to kickstart your new year”,  I wanted to weep.

I don’t want to kickstart my new year. I don’t want to think about the new year at all. Instead, I want to sleep a lot, write my book and read no emails or tweets until after January 1.

Goodbye Joburg. I’ll see you in 2013.

A note on the illustration: the photo on which this painting is based was taken just past the New Road bridge on the M1 while traveling back from the bush in January this year. I hope I feel as energized and inspired by the city next year as I did then. You can see the real thing on exhibition at The Eatery. 

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