Navigating the urban jungle

Nov 28 2012 07:52
Adriaan Bester

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 pulsating city. 

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 mentality.

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 @futurecapetown pic.twitter.com/IOXeiNfW

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.

 - Fin24

*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

adriaan bester



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