Tuesday, March 4, 2014

A Taxi is No Place For A Bibliophile

Being a writer isn't easy. At least that's what I've read. But some say it comes naturally and they cannot believe they get paid to do something that they love so much. Yet still they take the money anyway. I'll let you know my own thoughts when I become a full fledged writer myself.
One thing I do know, however, is that any good writer has to be a bibliophile. Oh, that's just a fancy (and politically correct) term for a book worm. I am it, so I can safely say I'm well on my way to being the guy who sits on his veranda sipping on cold coffee, in my multi-colored gown, flip-flops, messy hair (my locks are nearing that) and jotting on my tablet (21st century stuff) how people's lives are playing out as I watch them pass by, reciting punchlines to myself for my next bestseller.
For now, however, I have to deal with a matter that affects me almost everyday. As a tutor, I commute quite a lot between Esikhawini and Richards Bay/ Empangeni (my autocorrect says Empanadas) and my expertise familiarity with the rolling landscape has eliminated the need to look out the window. Like any self-respecting bibliophile I bring a book along and hope to cover a chapter or two of Walter Isaacson's Einstein: His Life and Universe.
Alas, my fellow commuters do not share my passion for a good autobiography and this is evident in the weary stares I sometimes get (in this day and age nogal). Just the other day I was commuting to tutor a student in Empangeni in the late afternoon. So I found an almost empty Quantum ( a great coincidence if you happen to be reading Einstein) and took a seat as close as possible to the left-hand side of the vehicle having calculated that the sun would be on the other side of the vehicle for the most part of the trip.
As luck would have it, as I was discovering Einstein's extramarital relations with his cousin, the full taxi was finally Empangeni bound. As we sped down the picturesque N2 the hydrogen bomb that is our Sun shed some of it's rays through the sunroof (I noticed its existence then). Needless to say, the brightness of my book compelled me to read it in an awkward angle. At last I succeeded in placing the page in the shadow of the book, alas, the page itself was then out of view.
Still blinded by the book, and with a curious blue hue in my vision, I reluctantly returned my book in my backpack and looked up at the sunroof looming over our heads. And I asked myself the very constructive question;
"Who the f@3¥ puts a sunroof on a bloody taxi?". My question fell unanswered by long train of pondering and was put in the shelf of cold cases such as that of why seatbelts are locked away in taxis and why foreign owned shops are looted.
On the very same day as I entered the taxi that would take me home, I got some weird stares when I scanned the taxi's roof before asking: "J1?". Again I sat in a carefully chosen seat but this would not be my day as the geyser who chose to sit next to me had the whiff of a small brewery, and the people in the seat behind me didn't hesitate to ask me to keep changing  the air conditioning from the window (we call it i-weather in loxion slang).
It is clear to me now that my bibliophiliac tendencies will forever be under house arrest which is problematic in this day and age of mobility and convenience. You can't even read in the library these days, they play East Coast Radio in Richards Bay.

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