After 21 years in Joburg and a good 4 years of navigating it’s traffic all by myself, the single most valuable #trafficlesson I’ve learned, has been this: Pee before you leave. Naturally, I only found this little pearl of wisdom…yesterday.
You see, being a girl…and having recently watched Forbes 15 Supermodels Who Made Bank…I am doing what I can to shed a few kilo’s. This means replacing my Coco Pops with Special K…and consuming enough water daily to dilute the venom of 3 vipers…
So yesterday, after 3 litres of water and at least 73 (possibly less) trips to the ladies’, I set off from Joburg to Midrand. Ah yes, The N1…or, as I like to call it: The Devil’s Driveway. Not because I it leads it leads to The Devil’s House…which would be Pretoria…of course. (Well…Dropzone…)
The distance that lay ahead of me was a mere 25km’s. I could swim that far!! (I probably could not, at all… but I’m trying to illustrate how easy this distance should be to cover-especially in car!)
No sooner had I found myself jailed between 2 lanes of bumper-to-bumper traffic,than my bladder went into Panic Mode! I could just hear it screaming: “Yes, I’m OK FOR NOW!! But who knows how long we might be stuck here?! I’m not exactly empty you know! In fact, I’ve had it! Pull over! Right here! I just realized I’m about to burst!! Get! Me! Out!”
Unfortunately, my location was not ideal for this little bladder breakdown. I was stuck in stationary traffic (which, apparently, is NOT a highway packed with trucks full of pencils, hi-lighters and post-its) about 14 km’s from the next offramp. The thing is, in Joburg traffic, 14 km’s could take anywhere between 7 min to The Rapture!
What is a girl to do?? BBM your friends, of course. “Will most likely get stuck on N1 without petrol. If you have to come get me, please be aware that I would have peed in my car.”
Thankfully, after around 40 min (23 years in Bladder Time) my eyeballs caught sight of the Golden Yellow of a Shell service station on the horizon!
At this point, I attempted the impossible. Risking life and limb, I dodged and weaved my way through the angry, fierce mobs between the fast lane (ha! ironically named obviously) and the slow lane (literally named).
People tried to communicate with me via hooter (“You go girl! Drive that Blue Getz!)”, flashing of lights (“Go ahead! Get in there!”) and one deaf lady even tried to speak to me in sign language, but this I could not understand… I take it she was signaling “You are a #1 driver!” But I had my eyes on the prize: I did not have time for idle traffic chit-chat.
I could see it! I was headed towards it! I was… driving past it…??!! Yes. That is correct. No, there was no sign that said “DO NOT drive this way if you are in need of: Petrol, a garage pie, a urinal/toilet!” Somehow, that offramp goes exactly BEHIND the Shell, and right back onto the N1. (This does not even make ANY sense??? Why would that road even be there??? I’ll tell you why-because the joke, is on us!
So, swearing like a sailor who really needs to pee, I was back on the highway. But I was not going to be beaten. I would not give up! I put my foot down, and picked up the pace to a speedy 60km’s/h! Focusing on not thinking about fluid in any form.
FINALLY!! I was at Midstream Estate. Now, if you have ever tried to visit someone who lives in this estate, you will understand that my defenses were up, as I pulled up to the boom.
Here, you are expected to hand over all you personal details. They ask for your name, drivers license, telephone number, vehicle registration number…THEN… they take your fingerprint on a little fingerprint scanner… THEN (by this point I was expecting to be asked to hand over a sperm sample and to ad the Estate as my friend on Facebook) (also had the feeling they were secretly scanning my eyeball with some form of laser technology) they phone the people you are going to visit, to verify whether you are in fact going to visit them at all!! AS IF I would go through 15 minutes of detail swapping for any other reason!! To what?! Steal architecture ideas??!!
The address I had been given (by a friend who shall remain nameless *lize kay* was for stand 527. So, with my legs crossed, my abdominal floor muscles in spasm, and my voice high-pitched, I gave every detail to Boom Guard. He called stand 527. But stand 527 did not answer. My nerves (bladder)!!
I then called friend who had given me address for 527. I was practically (literally) screaming: “The guard won’t let me in!! I’m, going to pee in my car!! Get someone to answer the phone!!!” Friend: “Are you sure you’re at the right gate?” Me: “YES!!!!” Friend: “But the phone isn’t ringing.” Me: *I put down the phone*
I am not proud of this, but I then proceeded to throw some very dirty, very angry words in Boom Guards face.
This did not cause stand 527 to answer the phone. (???)
To Boom Guard I then screamed: “I AM LEAVING MY CAR RIGHT HERE! IN FRONT OF THIS BOOM! IS THERE A TOILET IN THIS LITTLE BOOM HOUSE THING??!!”
Boom Guard (looking startled and bewildered) “Yes?”
Me *I violently threw the door open and exploded out of the car* (By then I had a urine-baby, and my eyes were brimming with tears of frustration/desperation/urine) “I AM USING IT!!”
Boom Guard: *too afraid to say anything*
Very carefully, but still powerfully I pounded up the stairs of said Boom House Thing. At the top of the stairs, I am greeted by Boom Guard for the next shift, mid-wardrobe change, in his underpants. (???) Yip, I was on the step, face-to-crotch with Boom Guard.
But, I could not let this throw me off course. With my eyes now firmly pinched shut I verbally abused the poor half-naked man. “WHERE IS THE TOILET??!!”
I think he pointed, but my eyes were closed so I just had to use my own initiative. I bravely swung around, threw open the door I had randomly selected using my intuition (it was the only other door in the room) and there it was… In all it’s white shiny glory!!!
And the rest, as they say… is history (Or, as they don’t say… is too graphic for this site).
Note: Dear friend Lize Kay had given me the wrong address. She is a smart girl, but she often tries to prove otherwise.