Our daily commute

20 January 2019 | Columns

Julienne van Rooyen

One of the first things I realised once the holidays were over, is that our daily commute has started again. This is such a challenging and stressful happening, especially when there are children involved.

With an eight-year old and a toddler, I have to take on the challenge of driving them to the day care and school every day with a brave face. The drive is especially scary given our Namibian road crash statistics.

But back to the drive itself. When I actually have a minute to think about it, I realise that there is a total of an hour that I spend on the road every day, which amounts to five hours per week and twenty hours in a month – just spent driving around.

This does not take into consideration that there may be a traffic jam on a particular day, which typically occurs while we are already running late. Nor does this take into account that some high and mighty government official may decide to travel in rush hour traffic, resulting in police vehicles blocking off the route and traffic heaping up, or them trying to run you off the road if your car is in their way.

We need an electric vehicle, pronto. Then I would programme the destination into the keyboard or memory, or however these magical machines work, and off we would go. While the car does its duty, I could do my make-up, read the newspaper, or we could all take a power nap on the way to our destination.

Unfortunately, we don't have that luxury. But on the positive side, at least my children don't have to walk to school.

So off we go, and what an adventure it always ends up being – full of action, drama and horror.

A typical day will start with my son usually wanting me to play a children's story on a CD that I very much regret purchasing for him. At this point, I am getting so fed up of hearing the story for I presume, the hundredth time. It's about an Afrikaans rhinoceros called “Jan” who drives a taxi and picks up a bunch of animals along the way. We've heard it so often that I can retell the story in the finest detail, along with all the sound effects.

Finally we arrive at our first stop, which is my son's school. I silently curse myself for the decision I made this morning to wear my beautiful high heel shoes, as I almost break my ankle while tripping over a stone on the pathway to his class. Luckily, I don't have the time to think about the embarrassment of my fall, since I have another passenger that still needs to be dropped off.

Despite the fact that I am female, I have absolutely no talent when it comes to getting my daughter's hair into a style. Still, I manage to do the best I can with her hair every morning, with a very limited skill set. She however, seems to love taking out all the pretty hair clips that I put in her hair as well as her hair bands, and she does this all while we are on our commute. She also loves taking off her shoes, throwing them on the floor, complaining about how dirty her feet are in typical ladylike fashion.

This means that by the time we reach our destination, it appears as if my previously neat little angel has just appeared out of a jungle.

Finally, it's off to work for me, sprained ankle and all, after an adventurous morning commute, knowing that tomorrow the fun will start all over again.

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