A tip for driving at night on our potholes…err, I mean roads

The project deadline is looming; just over 50 days to go. That means having to put in the extra hours. And that means leaving home very early in the morning and returning very late at night.

And now that winter is approaching, it’s very dark in the mornings and worse at night. Normally not a problem, if the roads are good and reasonably well-lit. Not so our roads, which look more like they have taken direct hits from mortar shells; and at night you can’t see them because the streetlights rarely function. On rainy days it’s worse; the potholes fill up with water, making it very hard to notice them easily.

But the bastards at the local municipalities have squandered our taxes on more pressing things like…lining their pockets and sending schoolboys on overseas soccer training camps, instead of fixing the potholes and maintaining functioning street lights. They take their cue from their political masters in the Provincial and National Governments, who set new benchmarks for atrocious administration, every week. Yes, hardly a week goes by without a new revelation of gross mismanagement of public funds and/or fraud, by public officials.

However, I digress – I get so carried away when discussing the shitheads in public office. Back to my tip for driving at night.

The trick is to ensure that there is a car in front of you at all times. His (or even her) tail-lights will provide you with sufficient light to see any potholes; but you need to keep a safe following distance, so that if he (or even her) does drive into one, you will have enough time to avoid it, while chuckling merrily at your formidable driving skills.

What if the other drivers have the same idea and don’t want to be in front? Well, that’s easy to overcome; you need to entice another driver to stay in front of you. When you get to a set of traffic lights and stop alongside another vehicle, rev your engine slightly and inch slowly forward while waiting for the lights to turn to green. The driver alongside you will sense that you are challenging him (or even her) to a race. When he (or even she) takes the bait and flies off the line, you ease off and settle nicely behind him (or even her). It rarely fails; South Africans can’t resist a challenge; unless they are wise to my wily scheme. Alternatively, move into the yellow barrier line area, pretending to be courteous, and allow another vehicle to pass you; whereupon you settle behind him (or even her) again. It’s much easier, but the former method is more fun, especially after that driver thinks he has beaten you in the challenge, and promptly hits a pothole.

Happy motoring; if you can still afford the gas and pay the taxes that keeps those assholes in power.

Our roads full of potholes, our government full of ass…..

I sense a song in there somewhere; maybe someone can come up with the rest of the lyrics…

Potholes have been much in the news recently, all over South Africa. We used to have arguably the most advanced and highly developed road network in the whole of Africa. But our tar is mysteriously vanishing, leaving gaping holes all over the place.

I just took delivery of a new car; and it’s become imperative to not only keep a keen watch for mini-bus taxi’s and tow-trucks gunning to wipe you off the road, but to also hone my pot-hole-avoidance skills. And I think I have discovered the trick to avoiding them (the potholes, that is) – obey the recommended following distance from the car in front of you (you know, the 1001, 1002 rule?). That way you will be able to see any potholes clearly behind the car in front; and enjoy a laugh watching it occasionally hit them.

However, having just discovered that trick, could someone tell me how to prevent the mini-bus taxi drivers from filling that gap between me and the car in front, which they think I have left for them to squeeze into? It’s a riot when they hit a pothole in the process, but not so funny when I happen to hit one they have obscured from my view, by brazenly appropriating the following distance I was meticulously maintaining. You just can’t win, can you?

While the disappearing tar is something of a mystery, why the holes left behind are not fixed, is no mystery at all. Where is the money to come from, with the government expropriating tax revenues for more important things like luxury cars and houses for themselves, tenders for their friends and family, roads for their country houses, re-naming of mostly potholed streets, lavish parties, useless conferences, even more useless advisors, hiring of common thugs for personal protection, more lavish parties, overseas trips, dictator-style motorcades, hiring of incompetent CEO’s to run state utilities, golden hand-shakes for self-same CEO’s as and when they’re fired, and the list goes on…

Our asshole politicians! What I wouldn’t give to see them all disappear forever down a massive pothole?