The Heritage Day long wekend started on Friday at work, I suppose, with colleagues pitching up in the traditional attire of their broad ancestral backgrounds.
If I hadn’t been so busy trying to pry a new desktop and some software out of the IT Department, I might have joined in by wearing a kilt and sash…no, who am I kidding? The acceptable female traditional garb for clans Anderson and McKay is something so long and trailing that I’d be bound to trip over it in the office.
Having closed the working week with the discovery of the software after almost 2 months, plus the delivery of the desktop machine to my office – where it could do no good and from where it would have to be carted down again to IT to be configured for our network but what the hel, at least it got here – I rode a very crowded Gaubus home for the start of a 3-day weekend.
Ah, bliss! To be able to sleep for as long as I like! And take naps throughout the day! And not worry about navigating the world of scurrying humans chasing their material wants!
It was also the end of the month, end of the groceries, end of the meat in the freezer. So Warren and I had to head for the local huge-and-noisy supermarket on Saturday to pick up more supplies.
This actually went a bit better than planned, as, after walking into and then promptly walking out of Northgate Pick n Pay, (undergoing renovations…just try to shop there, you’ll come out stressed as hell with half your shopping list) we chose instead to shop at Checkers, where we got a surprisingly good deal on the monthly groceries.
So Sunday was Braai Day and Warren obliged, grilling pork chops, steak and boerewors on the Weber while I supplied 4 kinds of salad. This is undoubtedly luxury eating for 2 humans and 2 dogs – but what is a weekend for, else?
Monday was the public holiday on which it dawned upon me that I had not topped up my Gaubus ticket, and wouldn’t be able to catch the 5 am bus into Sandton on Tuesday morning unless I found somewhere to put more money on it.
We drove down to the Pineslopes Spar – well stocked, clean (unlike the Pick n Pay) and best of all, open at 7am. unfortunately, the Gautrain ticket dispenser they have does just that – dispenses new Gautrain tickets, seemingly unable to top up your existing card. So we hopped across the road to Monte Casino, where for the first time I ventured further into the despised halls than the first coffee shop.
Hey Monte – what’s with the obvious psycho-scents? The gamblers’ shopping haven was deserted apart from security guards who scanned us for smuggled bombs and AK-47s before allowing us to wander the highly-polished cobblestone “streets” of the luxurious emporium.
All consumer outlets were firmly closed, of course; what punter with foolish money to burn on useless geegaws would be up and about at 7:30 on a holiday morning? Unless, like myself, you were looking for a place to sell you a bus card top-up.
I’m not at all impresed with Monte Casino on the inside, naturally. But what really sticks in my mind – and in my craw, leaving me with a vaguely nauseous after taste – is the all-pervading smell of cinnamon oil which Monte probably thinks will influence their fatuous customers to throw more money away on cheap expensive fluff.