Today saw a brief trip to the diminutive Karoo town of Bathurst. Partly because it was there, but also because it was rumoured to possess a faster 3G signal for internet access (it didn’t). Like any good, though (in this case) short lived excursion, it was not so much Bathurst which made for an interesting afternoon, but rather the occasional oddball sights which brought the car to a halt on a number of occasions.
Bathurst, a small blip on the authoritative AA guide to South African roads, was apparently established as an administrative centre for the 1820 settlers in the region, acting as a barrier between their antics on the coast and the various Xhosa tribes who, given the opportunity, would remind them of why they should constrain their pillaging to the shore. It is also home to the Pig & Whistle (allegedly the oldest pub in South Africa), a backpackers and various curio shops hugging the T-junction leading into the town. Which in fact, after driving a minute or two further, one realises was the town. It is nevertheless an entertaining stop, of which I took no pictures, I am afraid. What I did manage to capture some snaps of, not too much further onwards, was this.
There are things you can make up on road trips. Or trips generally. And then there are things which, unless you manage to bring back documentary evidence, people will swear you were on drugs or lying. The Bathurst pineapple is one such thing. Watching as a citrus sentinel over its small brethren, it cuts a lonely figure in the afternoon sun. Inside it are all manner of things pineapple – which is unsurprising given that you are inside, well, a pineapple. There is also an old lady. I think the pineapple must have eaten her at some point. It’s something you don’t see every day. Possibly ever.
Returning from the great pineapple to the warmth and safety of Grahamstown, and very tentatively under the theme of things you don’t see every day, I saw this – and felt drawn to capture it.
I had long suspected that the DA had foregone actual policy formulation in favour of a more bankable ANC-fear electoral pitch. But seriously?
For those who are not from South Africa, the much beloved Jacob Zuma is the guy just higher up on the pole. Looking wholly unconcerned by the alarmism of the Democratic Alliance. Come to think of it, this Bathurst street pole is probably a rich metaphor for tomorrow’s elections.