March 24, 2011


Over the last couple of years I managed to turn myself into a sufficient driver. All thanks to my uncle who taught me with the words “I will hit you over the head if you drive off the road”. And thanks to my Mum’s patience I have learned what Giovanni better known as tomtom really means when he says "turn left, next possible right, and stay left at the traffic light". Giovanni and I had love/hate relationship while driving a rental car in Cologne for work. I would come home after a long day and the first thing my Mum would ask after putting a big glass of wine in my hand: “So how did it go with Giovanni today? Did he finally make sense?” And I would sigh and say: “Ach, I don’t know, I think I must end it. I just don’t know what he wants. Men."
I have come far since then, but I still prefer the passenger seat. I am a certified great car co-pilot and always have been. My Dad taught me as a child how to read a map and that one must always feed the driver well while driving. He himself prefers hard candy, unwrapped and put directly in the palm of his hand. But different drivers have different preferences and I can quickly adjust to the required situation and likes of the pilot. I will be the best co-pilot one can ever imagine as long as I can put my feet up on the dashboard and not having the driver complain about the little toe prints I am most likely to leave on the windscreen.
Road trips are my best. A road trip is a get-away, a drive-away, a dream-away. They don't have to be long - driving to the West Coast National Park to me is a road trip already. It gets me as excited as a two week holiday on the Seychelles.
However I do need partner in crime. A road trip requires Thelma AND Louise and I require a driver. Once I put my feet up, I will feed the driver with biltong or mango, don't interfere with speed and driving style and will only ever shout when the driver doesn't know left from right ("No, your other right!").

Every of my road trips regardless of the when's and where's and where to's had a song. Two stood against time and are still on my 'recently played' list... Happy Dreamer

I listened to it when I visited my friend Kervin in Miami. Funny enough we didn't even go on a road trip, but were just driving to town for dinner. We were driving along the MacArthur Causeway, I believe also called Bridge Road, towards Miami Beach. That Causeway is long, very long. Therefore driving to dinner on it one has perfectly legitimate reason to call it a road trip. Kervin played Happy Dreamer for me. Then I said 'again'. Then he said 'again'. Then I said 'again'. Maybe he did make an attempt to stop me at some point, but it didn't work. I kept on rewinding over and over. We played it for about 30 minutes and again on the way back (even though I don't remember that as I was in agony due to the aftermath of a sun stroke combined with a stomach full of scallop risotto).
Ever since it's our song. One will start to hum it, the other will join immediately. It also works in writing and it makes both of us smile. We like being happy dreamers.

The other one is.... Das Giraffenlied (as per my naming)

My friend Khaled brought it with when he came for a visit. He thought I may like it for the line that says 'and I'll take you in my arm, close my eyes and dream of Africa' all of it happening in the darkness of the giraffe enclosure in a wintery German zoo. A bit cheesy, but he was right - I loved it and still do. It became my falling asleep lullaby and our driving anywhere song. I did not get as lucky as with Kervin, I think I had a once per hour allowance on your trip to Botlierskop. It was probably due to my "routine" that I was even allowed that much. I had a whole little hand routine down to go with the words of the chorus, which he would register with the tiniest smile in the left corner of his mouth.
It was also then when I fell in love with giraffes. After two hours of our three our game drive at the farm I got a bit nervous as we had not seen any. Luckily I seemed to have brought a gentleman along as Khaled promised me to find them elsewhere if we wouldn't see any. Never mind that he wouldn't even know where to even start looking for giraffes in the Western Cape. I did appreciate the gesture, but didn't need to worry though - we stopped a minute later and had drinks with four of them.

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