Monday, April 21, 2008

poenda

This weekend, I went to the place that named a thousand vajayjays.

The Poenda. Or Secunda for out of towners. Which you can smell, mind you, as you peak over the hill to be met by the welcoming arms of the Sasol plant, replete with about five cooling towers, lots of firey flares, smoke and a sky that smells like a toilet. Also, a plant whose reactors one sees on the back of a R50 bill: Ant's boyfriend gave us a tour of the place, which, in the thick of it, smelt so bad, my head started spinning and I could taste sulphur. It's a mixture of coal, sulphur and so forth which, when the wind blows in the wrong direction – you really wish you had a gas mask. I just wonder how these people could get used to working in a place like this – as in on a plant or reactor that eschews the smell of a thousand rotten eggs. They all seem to be alright though, somehow.

Anyway it's a masterpiece. A wet dream for engineers by anyone's standards. The safety regulations are something else – we needed IDs, special clearance, phones and cameras were confiscated, and I had to wear my seatbelt in the back seat.

The Ant has a dog and ev'thing. Called Roma, naturally. We went to this nightclub which I needn't really describe, for it fits any cliché that may spring to your immediate mind. The lasers. The Afrikaans techno music. The langarmming. And all after a meal of potjiekos at the Bosveld Lapa beforehand. I know two other people that live in this town amazingly, and they joined us for one large bosbefok in this unbelievable place.

Firstly the guys aren't scared. They charf like they own a set of bulldozer keys. And their spading tactics go along the lines of bumping you, giving you the wink and the galloping guns, then unshaken staring, which is a little offputting.

We were squeaking takkie like it was nobody's business, cutting a rug with moves that wouldn't be acceptable in Johannesburg – and yet these dudes made a beeline. Mostly to stare, mostly to can like to come right with these Engelse mense, and this one specimen whispers in my ear: “You...dance...awesome.” One mulleted-dude gave me a smile and I swear to God his bokkie then screams “Hey!” to him, and the other women tried to nudge us off the dancefloor. Ant was daring me to score one of these people, but sorry, there are limits. It probably would've ended in a catfight with some poppie or me administering a tactile before I closed the deal. No ways china.

It's the kind of place you go to ogle. I mean these dudes come up to you, ask if you're married in Afrikaans, and then like my one friend who is, abruptly leave because they're scared they're going to get Vernon Koekemoered by the large rotund man watching with a beady eye in the corner.

Eventually some oke sweeps me up and tries to langarm with me. Yeah, it didn't work out too well. For one he smelt like he'd bathed in a bucket of Old Spice, and for two I didn't fancy being that close to him, because it meant his crotch was in my loin area. But nevertheless he “Een, twee, drie'd” me and tried to patiently teach me the basic moves, eventually just giving me a thumbs up and ducking because I was trying to ballroom and he was doing his up-close-and-arms-like-a-boat-sail thing.
And my potjie was giving me a stitch.

Wow. There's this sprawling casino golf course called Graceland (fashioned most likely on Elvis' very own play palace in Tennessee), which kind of dichotomises the landscape with the Sasol plant, in a very Twilight Zonesque manner.

It was wonderful seeing my friend again. And now with white picket-pallisade-fenced home and Italian dog in tow.

Also, very importantly, this weekend was filled with celebration. But that's worth an entire post all on its own. My head is in the clouds.
My life as I knew it, has just changed.

34 comments:

c@th said...

squeaking takkie! oh lordy peas, you made my morning

X

Peas on Toast said...

Morning Cath! tee hee :)

kyknoord said...

This is vaguely reminiscent of one of those National Geographic specials. I wonder if we could convince David Attenborough to do the narration?

c@th said...

morning peas. i'm an asshole today, so you made me smile. thank you. X

Peas on Toast said...

Kyk: "...and here, I am seen to be standing...on the edge...on the very edge...of molten hot petrol by product...not entirely different from lava...and which the species to be found in this area...feeds off."

Cath - It's only a pleasure! :)

Revolving Credit said...

Your life changed??

You met Vern??

Kel said...

Peas it sounds like heaven!
Im mildly green,we dont get rock spiders here in Switzerland.
The closest we get to that sort of high class male specimen is skinny jeans and jackets with fur lined hoods (yup,Im talking about the men).
Please tell me you met Vernon?

Peas on Toast said...

Rev - no, but that would've been the cherry on top :)

We were talking about dating the guy, and wonder how the folks would react if you bought him home to momma. "Mum this is Vernon, my new dude."

My mother would probably get all star-struck and somehow, I see my father getting on with him like a house on fire. Hilarious.

Kel - Where in Switzerland are you my dear? How you must miss those rock spiders - although you probably see a little lederhosen now and then right?

Vimbai said...

oooooh, some good life changing news?

Did you get hitched this past weekend to mullet-guy by any chance, lol?

Revolving Credit said...

Let me guess, the Ant and the Gilb got engaged??

PS. So how was the karaoke?

Peas on Toast said...

Vimbai - nope, definitely not :)

But it's life changing and amazing :)

Rev - nope, not yet, although it's only a matter of time, let's face it! :)

Karaoke was cool! I taught Jam's Dobermann German and now his name is Schnauzie, and I belted out a Phil Collins number :)

Revolving Credit said...

So did you teach Schnauzie to rap?

Peas on Toast said...

Rev - no, but the Dobi recognised it's name and the words uber hund, deutscheland, tashenpuffer, kleinen, schneller, glauben und halt pretty well after a while.

Kel said...

Peas.In a tiny little town called Fribourg .
One misses the oddest things after a few months.I find myself yearning for those sokkie jol 5 and bokjol 8 ad's every once in a while.
Im going to have to wait till summer to catch some naked/stockinged legs here Im afraid...not long now!:)

Peas on Toast said...

Oh wow Kel! Is the town on the German or French side? I've only been to Geneva, so not so savvy on the little place names. And honestly babe, you're not missing out on much here, I promise. It's about 5 degrees in Joburg today. Winter is upon us.

Kel said...

Its on the French side-about an hour from Geneva and 20 minutes from Bern.

Ah only 5 degrees!! I find that very comforting to hear....its a scorcher here today at a whole 11!!

Peas on Toast said...

That is stunning Kel - what a beautiful part of the world, a backdrop of the Alps included. I'm jealous! :)

Sheena Gates said...

I idolize you sometimes. Today is one of those days.


*dead on my desk with laughter*

Greg said...

I spent two student vacations working on the plant and all anyone ever told me (besides 'vokof rooinek!') was 'get married before you move to Secunda'. I've done neither yet, but its good advice.

Ches said...

Is there a Spur in Poenda?

Peas on Toast said...

Sheena - I'd love to be your idol. Am I allowed to sing? ;)

Greg - hell yes. I'd say a big fat wedding band on your finger and wife's finger is a very sensible idea. Just based on what I saw at this night club. Two years eh, on the plant? That's good going! It's an incredible thing, that's for certain.

leez said...

I think you've done more for the Poenda than its tourism board could have ever imagined.

(Do they even have a tourism board?)

You make it sound perfect.

Peas on Toast said...

Ches - there is a Spur! And a roadhouse and a Wimpy :) All the good things one would expect in a tiny town - well 80 000 strong town. :)

Leez - ...just a pity the sky smells like a urinal! :)

Greg said...

Yeah, it was an interesting time, i even got inside the synthol reactor once (black snollies for weeks)! My best memory was getting banned from ever driving on the plant again (and then driving on the plnt again), but thats a story for a day when the sky is blacked over with a petrochemical storm cloud, and all we can hear is the pitter patter of acid rain on tin roofs...

Peas on Toast said...

Greg - wow, black snollies hey? Beeyootiful. And yes The Ant's boyfriend also got banned from driving there, but it was more of a first warning(something to do with the speed limit), and has these black marks all over his car from stuff spraying off it/acid rain. I'm amazed anything grows there to be honest.

It's fascinating.

Jam said...

Schnauzie misses you. I tried to get Schnauzie to dance with me later, but I think his understanding of English left his limited mind and now he's not listening to me. German lessons...

Peas on Toast said...

Jam - I cannot tell you how enamoured with your uber-hund I am.
He's so beautiful! He's just like my Schnappsie will be one day.

Tell him to schneller und halt, mit glauben. Glauben is very important.

:)

angryafrican.net said...

You think they have problems in Poenda. I just broke the cardinal South African rule. The rule of all rules. It goes to the very foundation of our society. The very thing that holds us together as a nation. And I broke the chain that keeps us connected. I sold out my countrymen. I am a traitor. And it isn’t easy to admit. I will never be forgiven. Not for this. All because I bought a gas griller. The braai will never be the same. The shame. Oh the shame. More on my blog at http://angryafrican.net/2008/04/20/i-am-a-traitor/

Kel said...
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Kel said...
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Kel said...

Im such a bitch.

Kel said...
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Kel said...

SO I cant spell.
KILL me now ok?!

Kel said...

Having a chat with myself.
Fantastic!