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During my travels newspaper columns were published weekly in the Dutch daily newspaper
Dutch newspaper Spits

This project has been supported by these great and warmhearted companies:
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Reports

Friday, 12 October 2001
--> Brackenfell, Cape Town (SA)

I woke up in the house of Denise and Kobus Eysele and nobody was there. Both had already left the house to go to work, but they allowed me to stay in and work on some undue reports, most of them from days ago.

I had a shower and when I wanted to make me some coffee as how Denise instructed that to me, I discovered there was absolutely no electrical energy in the house. Did I do anything wrong in the shower or something?

I called Denise at her work to ask how this could have happened and what I could do. She then told me that the complete city of Cape Town was stuck from power. At her office everybody sat almost in the dark and without computers there was nothing to do.

I decided to enjoy these moments and laid down on a towel in their garden. There wasn’t much to do for me, but the most relaxing thing still is, to settle in the sun with a good book.

Later today, after four hours (!) without any power, it was confirmed that an entire part of the country South Africa, some area of 600 by 900 kilometres had a power failure because of an error at a switch station between Johannesburg and Cape Town.

When Denise came home today with Ryan picked up from the playschool and I had been able to do some writing on her computer, she told me about the chaos in town.

Of course computers didn’t work, unless you had generators, but the traffic robots (since people were replaced by traffic lights they are called robots) caused a lot of accidents. Some people in a hurry will see a broken traffic light as green and just go.

And of course everybody gossiped about possible sabotage by fundamentalist Muslims. Oh come on!

If everybody would become that fearful of anything, we could better bomb all of our neighbours because you’d never know who might harm you at any time…

When Kobus came back from work, he set up a braai-fire up in the garden and I enjoyed the sausage with salad and miliepap – a stiff porridge made of corn powder topped with a tomato-onion sauce.

The miliepap tasted a little bit like mashed potatoes, but was much heavier. Probably eating a lot of it would create this large brick in your stomach. But it was good and new for me.

The night ended as we sat outside in the chilly garden, watching the few stars we could see in the city sky.

I could finish a few reports today too, but with the Internet connections in South Africa it is always a wonder if it all makes it to the website. There might be a speedy modem connection, but no transmission of any data possible.

The Internet is just impossible to surf on around here at 8pm, because then every person will go online for a while. For me it’s somehow distressing as I totally depend on a connection with the Internet, just to find out my next destinations... But let this be the last time I will do this daft complaining…

Good night Brackenfell, tomorrow I will have to move again.

Ramon.



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