Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Have you encouraged the bastards today? (L)

While millions of South Africans are flocking towards the polling stations today, I am on a flight heading towards Ethiopia. In the first democratic elections I didn’t care to cast my vote, it was like farting against thunder. This is different today, especially in the Western Cape. I couldn’t draw my cross this morning as I only had one hour to vote before the taxi came to fetch me for the airport. I did put some effort in though, but when I arrived at the polling station this morning the queue was already so long that one hour would not have been enough. So I feel like a real deserter today. My wife said that I shouldn’t worry because one vote was not going to swing the election, but that is not entirely the case. Each vote counts, especially here where there is a chance to get some responsible people to govern the province.

I was browsing through a bookstore at the airport before my flight and saw a book by PJ O’Rourke with the title “Don’t vote, it just encourages the bastards”. I had to smile. If you follow the news on a daily basis in South Africa, you have to agree. Ministers flying to foreign countries to visit their girlfriends in prisons, staying in expensive hotels when they have mansions that they could live in just around the corner, corruption at a scale South Africa has never experienced before while the poor still stays poor and only a few selected are getting richer by the day, one cannot really call our current government anything else. Things that make the average tax payer sick in the stomach, and then you still find people voting for these guys. It somehow says something about the intelligence of many voters, but on the other hand, when you are hungry you probably vote for the one with the sweetest promises. Anyway, I guess it is each one to his own, politics has never been much of a success in South Africa’s history in any case. I still feel however that I should’ve made my cross today, but there was no time to cast a special vote for me, my trip to Chad came at the last moment.

So yes, I am on my way to Chad. Tonight I am actually staying over in Addis Ababa in Ethiopia. Tomorrow morning I will fly to N’Djamena in Chad, and from there on I will take a charter to Kome. I will write more about that the closer I get to the place. Some advice: If you don’t want tens of notification emails from my blog in your inbox then unsubscribe now, because I will be spending plenty of time on planes, airports and lonely rooms before I get to Kome, so I will have too much time on my hands and will obviously write to kill some time. It’s going to take me three days of traveling to get to Kome. Today I fly to Ethiopia via Johannesburg. I still have no place to sleep tonight; will have to sort that out when I arrive in Addis Ababa tonight. Wish me luck. Then tomorrow I fly to N’Djamena, the capital of Chad. There I will stay over one night and then it is a 2 hour flight to Kome, a camp somewhere in the southern parts of Chad, hopefully the more peaceful part of Chad. In the meantime all I can do is hope that South Africans will vote with their heads today and not with their hearts. Oh, and contrary to what some politicians believe, you DON’T go to heaven when you vote for a particular party. You go to heaven when you deliver on your promises and you don’t steal from the rich to fill your own pockets. Bastards.

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