What are you wait­ing for?

go! - - Ed’s Letter - PIERRE STEYN PSteyn@Me­dia24.com

The ad­vent of the pod­cast is the one thing that has fun­da­men­tally im­proved my state of mind by the time I walk into our of­fice in the city cen­tre in Cape Town. I have cho­sen to live 40 km away in ru­ral tran­quil­lity, but the flip side is a com­mute from hell that sends my blood pres­sure soar­ing, my heart rac­ing and short­ens my life­span if my tim­ing is off. I don’t like swear­ing, but “taxi” is a four-let­ter word! Lis­ten­ing to talk ra­dio doesn’t help. Pol­i­tics, crime, drought, re­ces­sion... Or the news that an­other darned minibus has lost a wheel and is now block­ing my – and thou­sands of other grumpy com­muters’ – route into the city. No won­der my brain feels like a mouldy Brus­sels sprout by the time I even­tu­ally stum­ble into the of­fice. Pod­casts changed all that. I don’t re­ally mind the com­mute these days. It gives me time on my own to lis­ten to in­ter­est­ing peo­ple talk about top­ics that I en­joy. This morn­ing, for ex­am­ple, I lis­tened to episode 10 and 11 of go! Sto­ries, where Jon Min­ster re­counts his honey­moon tra­vails in “Things get messy in Mieussy” and Toast Coet­zer reads an early col­umn of his called “Our own lit­tle Border War”. Snug in my car, with the voices of our writ­ers tak­ing me along on their jour­ney, the dark, the rain and the taxis didn’t bother me at all. I even laughed out loud a few times. In rush-hour traf­fic! You can use your favourite An­droid or Ap­ple app to lis­ten to these and other go! Sto­ries if you haven’t done so yet. In the af­ter­noons on my way back home, I usu­ally lis­ten to my favourite his­to­ri­ans, some of whom would put my fam­ily to sleep within five min­utes if I had to share the plea­sure with them. Dan Car­lin’s “Hard­core His­tory” has more than 20 hours just on the First World War. Bliss! In an episode of “Re­vi­sion­ist His­tory”, the bril­liant Mal­colm Glad­well talks about his 12 rules for a happy life. He ends up re­al­is­ing that he ac­tu­ally only has one rule, but the pod­cast got me think­ing about sim­i­lar rules of my own: Buy the best red wine you can af­ford. Only spend time with things and peo­ple that en­rich your life. And get in your car and drive – even if it’s all the way to East Africa!

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