LIVING in the city can be made simpler if you know what you
need to get through the day – while keeping informed.
Even when I first started visualising the prospect of a
simpler life, I did not harbour any intentions of an isolated existence in a
remote, mountainous location that can only be reached by sophisticated radar.
And even though my beard is now growing faster than many
brave men who embarked on a Movember expedition, because of my savings from
boycotting exorbitantly priced razor blades, I remain firmly rooted in the
urban surrounds of my city.
Wedged between noisy neighbours who valiantly march their
kids off to school every morning, and a fort-like apartment block that oozes
late night candy to the passing street life, I live right in the middle of the
The search for ways to cut irritations from my life required
a few alterations: driving less in my car means saving petrol, and also less
exposure to arrogant drivers, who toss burning cigarettes or talk on mobile
phones. And all the other mishaps of a modern society stuck in caveman-like
I enjoy my extended stay among fellow modern urban dwellers,
now even more since I am tapping into like-minded souls, gadgets and comforts
that colour outside the lines of my once rather grey and linear storyline.
I pondered a tweet this week: Today #LoneCyclist goes digi
gaga: chose @mycitibus on @FindMyWayZA, tapped @absa app to pay. Bring on
Allow me to translate.
I used a new digital application (if this sounds alien to
you, I suggest you consult the nearest teenager to explain as I am operating
within confines of a word count here), which I access from my cellular
telephone. With it, I review and choose the best bus or train time for my
planned route before my commute.
With a steady pace, in a carefully selected outfit that
transcends urban chic with rugged new beard, I cycle to a bus stop nearby.
I pay for my ride on it, tapping (as in a light touch, if
this is really new to you) the same phone to alight the bus.
Taking pictures (again with the same phone) of myself, my
bicycle, the journey and as per usual, the Mountain to tweet about my adventure
seems somewhat entertaining to passengers and staff alike. I imagine light
chanting and a muzzled ululation to cheer me along.
But my duty is to the future of my city –the moment of
moderate humiliation is a small price to pay.
And vroom. Wheels roll forward. The rest is easy to
understand, I trust.
Expect perhaps the ‘gaga’ bit. This was a cheeky subtle
effort on my part as I hoped her followers might trip onto my tweet while they
study the arrival of the Lady to our shores. I am somewhat sad to admit now
that this leg of my strategy failed.
While I endeavour to reset my propeller head into a stable
position, I hope you too can appreciate the rapid and integrated step into a
world that now surrounds me.
Gone may be the days of fighting for first place from the
traffic light with the white BMW, yet switching between applications while
wiping sweat from the eyebrow requires an equal measure of precision, however
simple it may be.
*Adriaan was not paid by the said bank to mention them, but
they did offer him access to the prototype mobile application prior to its
commercial launch – follow his journey on Twitter @aiBester