An inner monologue at the traffic department

    GOOLAM SAYNEDS, known for his good looks and wise cracks, needed to renew his drivers license. You know, that holy grail of freedom and independence. So wise guy Goolam waited till the very last moment to go renew his license. And because visiting the traffic inspectorate is so much fun, he was dying to narrate the experience.

    Today is the 29th of June… which means my license expires tomorrow – my last day to drive legally on the road. If I don’t do it today, I’d be illegal and Operation Fiela would be on my ass. So I went.

    But I’m hear, I’m early, they only opened the doors fifteen minute and and one, two, three …. twenty two, twenty three, then it’s my turn. Dammit.

    Who knew I’d have to be here at the crack of dawn to even stand a chance at being seen quickly.

    And Jesus, it’s cold – thankfully I wore this coat!Why is this line for the eye test even taking so long? What are they using to do it? A lobotomy?

    Oh look, the line moved six spaces.Wait … how the hell did that happen?!

    This man next to me is reading The Daily Sun; I wonder if he’s laughing in his head or really interested in the transvestite sangoma.

    Ahead of me in the queue is the Umlungu and his niece, who decided to wear heels at 8 o’clock in the morning to the traffic department. Very, very practical.

    There are more people than there is passage; I think the eye-test room is like a feeding lot – you go in batches and, of course, you’ve got to look at something.

    Hopefully, it will be more interesting than staring at the queue. Aaaaah shit: this lady came back for her place – I’m back one more spot. At what point did this turn into snakes and ladders?

    Oh! You’re cute! Head down sucker, you’re fasting! Stop looking. And besides, you’ve never hooked up with a brunette before, what makes you think you’ll hook up with the only brunette here, eh?

    Sigh, that brunette girl’s mom is probably one of those bourgeois liberals who’s going to phone into Radio 702 to report how shit our country is.

    To these people, it’s like the amount of time you wait in a government department queue is directly proportional to the state of our nation.“Do you got a pen for me, I did never know I must also bring my own pen,” said the girl from Brakpan.

    Someone offers her a pen and jokingly requests a charge of 50 bucks. Some of us laugh and I thought about how cute we all were: laughing together, unified by the traffic department, waiting for someone to do a shitty eye test.Lovely! Another batch moves in. I get to have a seat now. This chair is vrek koud! But how? There’ve been a few asses on here already. The line isn’t getting any longer. But that doesn’t affect my life. If I fart I wonder if I’ll look guilty. Sigh … I need to get out of here.

    I spot a notice on the wall: “Please note, that applicants should provide their OWN MOTOR VEHICLES on the test date. The station does not provide any vehicles. Failing to provide your own vehicle on the test date is a FAIL …”

    This notice is a total fail.

    It’s no wonder people think our country is a joke. It’s not because of that sign. Don’t get it twisted … It’s because of Gedleyihlekisa. But can I really blame this long wait on Jay Zee? Ah hell – might as well.

    It’s 10.48am, still waiting.


    Now I wonder if my documentation is in order. I HOPE my documentation is in order! If it’s not they’ll probably feed lot me into another queue.

    I hope I’m not schnookered into getting an e-tag. Since they’ve redone the N12, it’s an absolute dream to drive on. But that doesn’t mean I’m paying etolls! As it stands, renewing my licence is setting me back R300.This could be a great place to hold people up.

    Phones, cash, jewellery, the works! They’re not going anywhere.Close each door… Whooo hoooo – I’m going in!Another queue. In the room, another queue. Not a feed-lot system. One at a time, which makes sense now.

    I definitely can’t fart in here though.The lady was friendly; my eyes are pretty. And fine. Papers are ready, I just gotta pay – oh hey, look, another queue to pay.I’m told there’s a three-month wait for my license, for the card itself.For now, I’m given a driving dompas.

    The cashier says they’re still waiting for license cards from May. Now I get why the brunette’s mother will probably phone 702. It’s 11.03am, and freedom from a building has never smelled sweeter!

    Goolam Syneds bio picGoolam Sayneds is a student at Wits. His interests include comedy as an art of social commentary, politics and the media. Follow him on Twitter.

    – Featured image: By Nathi Ngubane.