Ever since I was quite young I have wanted to get a scooter. There are many reasons for this; fuel consumption is a dream topping out at 3 liters per 100km, during Movember I can feel the wind in my moustache, traffic is way easier to negotiate while on a scooter and the “I want you” looks that women give you when zipping around on your ‘war horse’ are in the millions. It was a no-brainer for me. A scooter is the way to go. So when I moved to Cape Town I bought myself one. A nice orange one, with an apt model name – Pulse. The first day I got it, I put on my helmet and sailed the roads around Cape Town, around the mountain paths, life could not have been better.
But this dream was not to remain. There was one very pertinent point left out of the whole sales deal, as well as all the conversations I had with my friends prior to purchase. The Cape Town Wind. I purposely spell ‘Wind’ with a capital letter, not because I think it is worthy of personification, not because I am trying to be cool but rather because I am shit scared that if I do not give it the respect it deserves, it will kill me. KILL ME. Not with an accidental gust that pushes me off of a mountain, or a breeze that might make me lose concentration and ride into something…oh no. I mean it will plot, plan and execute a well devised assassin-like mission to obliterate me off of the face of this earth. An execution indeed.
My first encounter with the Wind was light, almost playful. It touched my face like a certain ex touched my face when she was “in the mood”. It was strong, but gentle. It caressed me and made me feel…safe. It was a beautiful thing. But I was soon to discover another side of it. A side that touched me like a certain ex touched me when she was “in a mood”. Forceful and with no limiter on it’s power. With such brute force that I wanted to stop and cry. Gone were the gentle caresses, and with it any feeling of safety. If the Wind had eyes, they would have been burning with rage. It quite literally almost blew my helmet off of my head. And my scooter and I off of Africa.
Last night this rage reached a new level. And yes I had to drive home in it. It broke a record on top of Table Mountain. 164km an hour. Sure, on the Pyranees I had dealt with winds in excess of 180km an hour, but there I had a 20kg pack on my back to join forces with gravity and four limbs on the ground moving at a very slow pace. Very different when you are on two wheels cruising at 80. I remember thinking that if I shat myself, and it was close, the Wind would probably just clean it all up by stealing my clothes. Leaving me a soiled naked corpse. Somewhere off the coast of Brasil. It blasted an entire window (window pane and all) off of the building I stay in.
Needless to say, and as humorous as this post may seem, this is not a joke. It is a warning. This Wind I speak of is a real as cancer. It is not a force to be messed with. I saw it delete birds by flinging them into the sides of buildings in a sadistic dance with power. I am afraid. And you should be too.