Yesterday I had the oh-so-surprisingly unenviable task of having to drive through an area called South Hills. I didn’t actually have to drive through it, but for the sake of some rah rah exploration, I did. On the way to another destination of excessive pomposity.
Cruising the streets of this such South Hills neighbourhood, I was completely mindfucked and, thus so, reduced to giggles often evidenced when I am in the company of C, my prime giggle mate.
I didn’t need a glass of vino capino either.
South Hills, despite the rolling depiction of its name, is not, in fact, hilly. The illusory hills are a marketing ploy so cunning; I’m disappointed I didn’t think of it myself.
It’s deceptively flat, barring the giant Pick ‘n Pay Hyper plonked all but in these people’s back gardens and a mine dump perched dolefully on the horizon. The houses are little council cubes, complete with wrought-iron porch and cars on bricks in the driveways. A few stray dogs, people with faces filled with angst and sobering masks of blankness.
It’s like I stepped into the set of Little House on the Prairie, except not.
The streets all have names belonging to Free State towns (Bloemhof Avenue, Viljoenskroon Street, Orkney Lane, ad Vrystaat infinitum).
But what blew me away was the Pick ‘n Pay Hyper, in all its aluminium eyesore airport building-looking splendour, submerged like a giant carbuncle in the centre of this simple, yet fairly tranquil (less the howling canines) suburb. I’ll bet the residents of 14 Harrismith Street just love that they can walk out into their back gardens, scratch their balls, sip on their mampoer and exclaim, “By God, Elsabe, the Pick ‘n Pay looks gorgeous today.”
Somewhat breathtaking. After doing several drivebys past the houses of Zastron Street, I came to the dubious conclusion that the residents of this street don’t really notice it anymore. Like those who live on the airport – Jet Park – I’m thinking they don’t hear the planes barely scraping the aerials on their roofs.
It’s just another day in Jet Park, another day in South Hills. The suburb obliterated by a giant supermarket, not unlike a meteor thrust from space in the form of a large grocery outlet.
I just want to know what this place looks like at night. You know, fluorescent lights shedding gamma rays over the ‘Hyper’ sign in a luminosity that’s quite blinding. Perhaps they sit outside and watch it while they braai.
Giving directions to mates must always be a riot:
“No, Japie, bladdy hell. Left into Harrismith, first right into Parys…yes there by the Hyper…no in front of the Hyper…but to the left of the sign…like opposite the Y in Hyper…No, the Van Baksteen’s live opposite the R…we there by the Y. Don’t forget to bring your monkey wrench, I need to drop the suspension on my car…”
Do you think Pick ‘n Pay just decided to somma build it? Made an announcement: Folks, this is the best day of your lives. All you have to do is open your front door, and voila! You’ll find yourself in frozens, or bakery, depending on which side your house faces. Convenience, chaps, think of the convenience.
Well that was entertaining.