Monday, June 26, 2006

Full throttle excitement


Olive Schreiner (1855-1920) wrote a letter from "Hell" to John X Merriman (later governer of the Cape).
"You will see from the superscription that I am still in Johannesburg. We are a city given over to lust. Lust of money in the first place, lust of pleasure, lust of excitement."

Sir Herbert Baker (1862-1946) (renowned architect of buildings such as the Union Buildings) on arriving by train.
"At Johannesburg, human energy, electrified as it were by the rarefied dry air, can be very vital. The climate impelled all to live and work at full throttle."

6 comments:

Third World Ant said...

Peas would say "Damn! It's good to be a gangsta!"

I'm inclined to agree with both Olive's and Herbie's comments. 1 - my blog name suggests this! Teeming with life, after all... 2- My Dad often has guests over from Malawi/Zambia (he was born in the former), and it never fails to amaze me to see the look of awe on their faces as they stand before a shelf of food in the Pick n Pay with a choice of brands and packaging. We get this same feeling when we go to places like London and New York, but the rest of Africa definitely holds us in this regard, I'd say.

VallyP said...

With each return visit since leaving SA in 2000, I find these observations made by Ms Schreiner and old Herb seem to be increasingly valid.

ATW said...

Have a weird & vivid vision of the Peas gangsta in high heels, full throttle in VW bug hurtling down the M1, followed closely by bling adorned Ant clinging at 200km/h to the back of screeching bike.

ATW said...

Val, I think the reality is that things are no worse/better now than ever. In whatever sphere; business , city living, traffic, war,politics. Our priorities, observations and concerns seem to mirror that of our forefathers. The story "The Man who Went Away", which I have alluded to earlier could also have been written yesterday, but wasn't.

Third World Ant said...

ahem... don't you mean "trailed by peas"???

ATW said...

maybe if the 'Ant was at the helm of bike it'd be in front? But both would still be behind the new Toyota big minibus taxi thing.

I'm petrified at the thought of all taxis being replaced in the taxi recap process by these monsters that you can't see over or past. It's like the schoolyard bully is about to grow up.