On the process of dying

3 08 2012

I’m at the age when I’ve started to wonder how I’m going to go, you know, die. Two people who I knew well have died over the past few years, admittedly from smoking which I have never done. I rather like American scientist Carolyn Porco‘s comment in a Scientific American magazine some time back that went something along the lines of “It’s not death that I fear but I am not looking forward to the process”. I think that just about nails it for me. If it’s like the thief in the night and I don’t wake up one morning – well, it couldn’t really get much better than that. If it is like the long drawn out and excruciatingly painful process that my mother went through in her terminal cancer, then no thank you very much.

I am betting that I will “go” in a vehicle accident. The driving in this country is getting to the stage that I think this is a very real possibility. When there weren’t so many vehicles on the road I wasn’t so concerned but they have multiplied a lot over the past 3 years or so with the usage of real money and whereas once traffic jams were  unheard of now they are common in the centre of Harare. Melissa, who works frequently in Nigeria, tells me that even the driving in Lagos is better than Harare. That’s some statement.

I was going in to Avondale to meet my French teacher at 10h30 this morning and arrived at the turn into Cork Rd off 2nd Street just as the lights turned green with an arrow for me to turn right across the oncoming traffic. I’m not sure what inspired the white 20CD (I didn’t get the last 2 digits of the registration plate) Land Cruiser to accelerate towards me as I was about to turn but I had to take substantial braking action. I was not unprepared as I know this intersection is a problem and drivers coming out of town get frustrated with the long period of the red light and are prone to just ignoring it but I still let the driver know what I thought of him. The police of course were nowhere near; in fact they were on Churchill Rd traffic lights busily fining motorists for going through an amber light which is not a fineable offence (see Policing Amber post). So I missed that particular potential “process”. Now if only I’d read the last 2 digits of the number plate I could have at least given the Canadian Embassy a call. Coincidently there was a 20CD Land Cruiser at work when I got back this afternoon and it was also white but it was the smaller Prado model.



3 responses

3 08 2012

I’m glad you managed to avoid an accident.

11 08 2012

And I’m embarrassed that it was Canadian. The Big Car means it was likely to be an office driver, but that is no excuse.

13 08 2012

It was an office driver!

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