i have adventures (sometimes)

Tuesday, 22 November 2011

Black Tuesday

South Africans will already be aware that today was not a good day.

Like many people, I spent the morning glued to Twitter and Facebook for updates on the Protection of Information Bill vote, in a cross between anxiety and utter disbelief that, in a country so freshly out of apartheid tyranny, the government could be trying to push through a bill that presents such an obvious threat to our fledgling democracy.

But they did it anyway.

When I heard that it had been passed, it felt oddly - and irrationally - like a very personal betrayal. I felt angry, and let down, and deeply, deeply sad for a country which, despite everything, I still love. The word that keeps coming up in the conversations I've had with friends since then is "helpless". Totally helpless. It really knocks the wind out of you to have it confirmed that your government has no respect for you or your opinions.

But instead of hiding under my duvet and waiting for the world to be a better place, I decided to make the most of the last half hour before sunset, grab Luna, and go for a quick cycle, because in the battle between awesome adventures and rage and sadness, awesome adventures almost always win.

So I cycled out all my hopelessness, and stopped to take pictures of pretty things, and it reminded me of things which are probably pretty obvious, but which I'm going to say anyway. Are you ready?

There are still sunsets. There's still narrowly escaping frostbite. There are still houses with blue doors and houses with green shutters and tiny little houses all stuck together in a line. There are still awesome clouds.  There's still cycling in York and eating peanut butter off a knife and raging about sexism over lunch with friends and tweeting "fuck the government" while we still can. There are still interesting vegetables and really good salads. There are still cupcakes. THERE ARE STILL CUPCAKES. There are still jacarandas. There are still hadedas and vuvuzelas (even if we wish there weren't). There's still Jo'burg, and there's still the Drakensberg. Hey, there's even still Cape Town, if you're into that sort of thing. There are still Nando's ads. There are still starry skies in the Midlands. There are still people who care and people who won't shut up, and there are people who are going to fight this nonsense. And all of these things will still be here when the tenderpreneurs and the securocrats are nothing more than a bad memory.

And somehow, that makes it all a little bit more ok.


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