Today is the start of a LOOOOOOOOng weekend. Tomorrow is Good Friday, a public holiday, Monday is a public holiday, Tuesday has been declared a school holiday because Wednesday is a public holiday. We were supposed to work Thursday and Friday but the education department has allowed schools to close as long as we work in the 14 hours of teaching lost. Sunday is 1st of May, workers day, but because it falls on Sunday, Monday is a public holiday. So I'll only go back to work on the 3rd. of May.
The N3 highway will be humming with cars from about 5pm. Everyone living upcountry, Johannesburg, Pretoria and other towns inland will be heading for the coast. Everyone living on the coast will be heading to resorts inland to escape the holiday crush at the coastal resorts. Cars will be passing at a rate of thousands per hour until the early hours of Friday morning.
Traffic police and emergency services will be working overtime trying to cope with accidents on the countries roads. Our roads are straight and wide, the distances long, and people impatient to get to their destination. Result death and destruction. In spite of request to drive carefully by the authorities and not to exceed the speed limit, some drivers think they are taking part in Formula One race. Huge fines and the possible loss of your drivers licence still does not deter these drivers. Then there are those who think a couple of beers under the belt actually improves their driving, in spite of the fact that you go directly to jail if you are caught driving under the influence. In the end it's the innocent that suffer. What should have been a relaxing holiday turns into tragedy.
One wonders how many actually think about the real message of Good Friday and Easter as a whole. Easter has become ,just like Christmas, another commercial opportunity. Nothing to do with God's sacrifice to save the World. Fortunately South Africa is not totally Godless and many people will attend a Good Friday service. Among the African people Easter services often starts at sunrise on Friday morning and continue through until Sunday, sometimes non-stop.
One of these African churches is the Sioni's (Sionist Church) This is a syncretistic church, blending African traditional beliefs with Christianity. They gather every Easter in their millions at Polokwane in the Limpopo province. They might have lost the plot somewhat regarding Christ's message, but one can not but admire their zeal. They start arriving from the week before, from all over South Africa. The following Monday when they leave in convoys of buses, you have the mother of all traffic jams on roads leading in all directions.,
I don't like the word or name Easter, which is actually a pagan term, I prefer passover.
On Saturday, after the traffic madness, I'm taking a trip to Durban to visit an old friend, returning on Monday morning before every one gets on the road. Then I hope to do some trout fishing when I get home, just hope our weather improves.