Butthead’s Beat: Time waits for us

“TIME and tide wait for no man,” somebody said centuries ago… but that might not apply in Africa.

Nobody knows the exact origins of the famous phrase, but there is a record of a guy called St Marher first using it in 1225.

‘Tide’ aside, ‘time’ is not really an issue here, especially with many of our politicians, who see nothing wrong with keeping their audiences waiting.

Even Number One is seldom in a rush to do anything, like endorse the new FICA laws, for example.

A Sheppie golfing buddy tells a story going back to the early days of our young democracy when the new powers-that-be were keen for former military foes to become friends under one, united South African Defence Force.

A general from a former ‘terrorist’ movement (as the apartheid regime labelled it) was put in charge of organising an ‘imbizo’ (no longer a ‘bosberaad’) for former enemies to kiss and make up.

“Let’s start by being honest with each other,” he said. “We must be open about what we don’t like about one another.”

My mate (let’s call him Mr X) bravely kicked off with: “General, why is it that time means nothing to you guys?”

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“Meneer X,” the general replied, “in the bush war we didn’t have the luxury of watches like you guys. We said we would have a meeting under such and such a tree when the sun was at a certain height in the sky.”

Mr X: “Ja, general, I understand that. But I see you are wearing a watch now. This meeting was supposed to start two hours ago.”

Needless to say, Mr X took a package and retired from the force.

Time ticks much more slowly in this part of the world too. We are not called the ‘Slow Coast’ for nothing, but that’s not necessarily a bad thing for any tourist destination.

It frustrates the hell out of newcomers. “Wake up and smell the Hibiscus,” many say when they first settle here, but they eventually get into the rooooutinnnne. After, all, if you can’t beat ’em, join ’em.

We shouldn’t necessarily see that slowwwww reputation as a bad thing. In fact, Tourism should use it to the coast’s advantage.

Just imagine travelling down here on holiday, popping Gaviscon after picking up numerous speeding fines along the way;

You dodge the rocks on the road thrown from bridges at Umgababa, approach Scottburgh and there’s this HUGE billboard:

“You are now entering the Slow Coast. Just chill.”

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