Thursday, 27 December 2007

Fear Factor

Let's talk a little bit about fear. I like to think that I am not generally a man filled with fear, certainly not in a superficial and easy to observe way (bring on the future filled with psychology).

So when I have a moment where the fear hits me good and solid, it's a refreshing and enlightening experience.

I am talking, here, about a mode of transport often used here, on these troubled streets - bike taxies. Basically, you sit on the back of a bike, behind a guy who then drives like any taxi driver in Jozi. They're cheap, they're quick, and they are in good supply.

I've taken quite a few, and the first few times, it was really exciting. Then, one day, the rider gave me a helmet to wear (the thought never even crossed my mind prior to that). It was basically a miner's hat, and it didn't come close to fitting. So I held it on my head, as he weaved (wove?) in and out of traffic, often oncoming .

It was the first time that I really thought about what would happen if we went pear shaped. In truth, it's probably not that bad - we're not going very quickly, and I reckon at worst, a couple of breakages and a lot of soreness.

Still, getting on one since then has made me very aware of fear and mortality.

It makes me understand why people do extreme sports - It's a good feeling to get out now and then.