I always say this when things may not go as planned, because you never know what’s going to happen and it just might be amazing so: it’s an adventure!
“Life is either a daring adventure, or nothing.” – Helen Keller
Two of my greatest loves are music and travel and that’s why I love this song by Goldfish called ‘Choose Your Own Adventure’. There are many talented, quality South African musicians out there. Some of my favourites at the moment are Good Luck (Stars In My Eyes), Jeremy Loops (Down South ft Motheo Moleko), Al Bairre (We Move On) and Shortstraw (Couch Potato) to name just a few.
Having been to most of SA’s live music venues and music festivals (OppiKoppi, Splashy Fen, etc), I’ve done the no showering for 5 days straight and camping in the dark with no electricity, being drunk and lost, wandering off alone and making new friends, experiencing the amazing vibe and the power that music has; to bring people together. The first shower you take after a festival like that, is always the most AMAZING shower ever.
I saw The Kooks in concert last year, which was awesome – until I got caught in a ‘stampede’ into a bus because there weren’t enough buses to accommodate the amount of people. Squashed tightly with arms outstretched, I couldn’t move. I also couldn’t breathe because some guy had his arm across my windpipe. I had to push him off but my right arm was too squashed; my left hand was holding onto my friend Amy’s (so that we would stick together) but I had to let go. I pulled my arm out of the crowd with so much force that the damage I did to my shoulder was equivalent to falling down a flight of stairs and grabbing onto a railing. I had to go for physio for months after that.
But it’s an adventure – and getting lost is always the start of another. Most people who know me will know that I get lost, a lot. I can even get lost on a straight road, it’s like a superpower (but not) haha. I got lost driving with my friend Lynette in Groblersdal to attend my friend Elanie’s wedding. I got lost with my friend Caitlin when we were running around somewhere in France. I got lost on my way to my cousin Debbie’s kitchen tea – and I was supposed to be setting up. I still get lost on my way to my oldest friend Gina’s house. Somebody buy this girl a map book!
So the day after the music concert/shoulder injury incident, I drove to Pretoria on my own for a weekend away with friends. I was lost for 3 hours. Apparently putting ‘road’ instead of ‘avenue’ in your GPS, makes a big difference – the difference between arriving at your desired destination or arriving in Mamelodi. Darkness was approaching, shoulder was in pain from driving, car was low on petrol, cellphone battery dying. So I did what anyone in my situation would do, I pulled the car to the side of the road, put my hazards on and balled my eyes out. With the little bit of phone battery left; I phoned (Tannie Ouma) Jacqui, already at the place and said: ‘I’m so lost, I think I’m just gonna push ‘home’ in my GPS, and just go there.’ – then the metro cops pulled up beside me and I abruptly ended the conversation with: ‘the cops are here, ok bye’.
They were 2 lady cops. So I was anticipating a fine – but instead – the one saw my puffy ugly cry face and asked if I was ok. I said ‘I’m SO lost!’ and explained my predicament. They told me I was sooo far away from where I was going and kindly escorted me there – with a short stop at McD’s in between (as one does, you know). From then on it was a great weekend with friends 🙂
But about 3 weeks after my shoulder injury, I went to an all day music festival. Got there early morning and only had 3 cups (no glasses allowed) of wine (mostly filled with ice) within the 9 hour time frame that we were there. I got the third cup, had 2 sips and felt ill – that’s why I’m sure my drink was spiked. I was ill, then I hit my head on the outside of a porter pottie. Classy, no? I remember laughing, falling on the grass and some chick running through the crowd saying ‘I’m a doctor’ – this isn’t a movie, this happened, for real. My friends thought I was concussed and took me to hospital; I’d sprained my ankle quite badly. I hopped up 3 flights of stairs to work everyday, with a busted left shoulder and a sprained right ankle and went for more physio. When I was off the crutches I had one amazingly strong right arm and one ‘duk’ left leg haha.
My dad kindly drove me to work and back during that time. I’m the first to admit that I maaay not be the best driver. I had 3 different driving instructors and failed my drivers licence 3 times (at Langlaagte, I’ll have you know) but passed the fourth time (at Randburg).
When my parents offered to buy me a car, I was very grateful and my only request was that it be black; because black is cool, slick and classy. This was the worst idea ever. It absorbs heat like a Mozambican beach in summer, the plus side is I’m sure you could cook a good brekkie on the hood of my car. I swear sitting inside it cooks my skin to a nicely tanned colour. But there’s no happy medium with this menopausal car; as it’s really brrr inside in winter.
When I had my car accident, luckily my awesome friend Brad was on hand to take pics and exchange info because I was in such shock and I had just got my driver’s license. The robot was green and I wasn’t going very fast but the car in front of the car in front of me, stopped to turn right at the last minute. They were blissfully unaware of what ensued. The other car was barely scratched, their tow hitch went into my radiator and I nearly wrote off my brand new car. It was just a bumper bashing and that’s what I told my mom when I phoned her to fetch us. On her way, she phoned me back and said she was stuck in a bit of traffic because it looked like there was another accident where there was a firetruck and an ambulance, cops everywhere and a bunch of tow trucks. My response, ‘Oh, there’s no other accident, that’s me’.
I’ve had my car for maybe 5 years, it’s a Geely CK model; which looks like a Merc from the front and a Toyota Corolla from the back. Her name is Gigi and she gets more attention than I do because people are so curious. It’s a really nice car to drive but I’ve had to replace my gear box TWICE since October 2012. I considered this may have been a result of my driving, but I’ve been told that it may actually be a Geely CK fault.
The first time was October 2012, and I only remember this because I’d just broken up with my boyfriend at the time and phoned him for help, but he wasn’t in the province.
I lost control of the car on the N1 north, on my way to my cousin Nicki’s house in Rivonia. I didn’t know what was wrong with the car and I freaked out. My cellphone battery was near death, what if I was there until darkness fell and soon the place was filled with zombies and nobody would ever have known what had become of me (I vote for a zombie apocalypse). I phoned my cousin to say that I was running late because of said problem. My parents were in Dullstroom, my sister was in Kempton Park. Too. Far. Away. So my cousin Nicki and her husband Chris basically drove all the way to my house and back up the N1 to rescue me (or keep me company while waiting for the tow truck) but how amazing are they?!
I remember the second time as though it was just this past Sunday, because it was. It was Mother’s Day, 11th May 2014, on my way back from visiting my sister in the Far East (Edenvale) on the N1. My car started jerkily slowing down and then I realised I needed petrol, because I’ve driven on petrol fumes before and that’s what it feels like. I managed to pull off on the William Nicol offramp just before my car gave in.
Why do we still own these gas guzzlers? Why haven’t we progressed to all driving cars that run on air? Or just wearing jet packs or using hover crafts? Or ‘The Jetsons’ cars or teleportation or whatever it is they do in the Harry Potter books? You know what I mean, right?
What I’ve learnt from my small personal adventures is that the real adventure is life itself. Don’t take things or people for granted. Be grateful for what you have and the amazing people you have in your life. Be honest with others and with yourself, don’t be afraid to try new things or meet new people – but most importantly: it’s maybe, possibly, probably; a bad idea to ask me for directions.
(Edited and republished. Originally posted on 15/05/2014 on my old blog: Peaches and Pie)