The pleasure of driving…slowly

I drove to the mall earlier today at a sedate 70 – 80km/h, and quite enjoyed the ride. My slow pace was self-imposed, not caused by heavy traffic as usual. Funny how driving slowly allows you to take in the scenery (what there was of it) and become aware of so much more that is happening around you. You get to observe, the fascinating, even dull, and sometimes peculiar behaviour of other motorists and pedestrians rushing around quite oblivious to your almost voyeuristic behaviour. You also notice objects, buildings, that hole in the fence, strange coloured house, that pothole you’ve driven through on several occasions, and even drab advertising billboards, that you’ve missed before.

Driving slowly may even become something of a fad in the coming months, as fuel prices soar to ever greater heights. Since January we have had a monthly increase in the fuel price of about 25 percent. In 1999 the price of fuel in South Africa was around R2.23 per litre. Since then the price has increased on average 15 percent, year on year. If current economic (and political) trends continue, we are being told that soon we will be paying around R10 a litre. This is causing alarm throughout the country as fuel price rises has a concomitant effect on other commodities, especially food. This is not great news for consumers, and dare I say, to those who are used to driving fast.

In reality beer is cheaper than petrol or diesel at the moment. So, slow down enjoy some beer (while you still can). Rather drink, don’t drive…