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.