GYSGN!

Leisure Wheels (South Africa) - - NEWS - danie@leisurewheels.com

GYSOT is a slang ab­bre­vi­a­tion for ‘ Get you some of that’, pop­u­larised by the enig­matic Richard Rawl­ings from the United States- based Gas Mon­key Garage and the Dis­cov­ery Chan­nel se­ries, Fast N’ Loud. But times are tough here in the RSA, and there’s a whole lot of neg­a­tiv­ity go­ing on. This is why I reckon we should adapt Rawl­ings’ ab­bre­vi­a­tion for a uniquely South African ap­proach: GYSGN, or ‘Get you some good news’. So I’ll kick this is­sue off with some good news sto­ries, to set the mood. Trevor Noah. The host of the US-based Tonight Show and renowned stand- up co­me­dian was born in Soweto and lived much of his child­hood in poverty. His mother was in­stru­men­tal in his form­ing: even though there were times when there was not enough money for food, she bought him books so he could learn.

She in­spired Trevor to not only dream big, but to dream be­yond big. In­stead of just dream­ing of one day driv­ing a BMW 318i, rather dream of own­ing the BMW fac­tory. To­day Trevor is a true in­spi­ra­tion for young peo­ple with big dreams.

The weather. Yes, we do have a drought. And there seems to be more tor­na­does oc­cur­ring these days ( prob­a­bly thanks to global warm­ing). But over­all, we’re not so shabby. Take Siberia in Rus­sia, for in­stance. On the Siberian north coast, sum­mer only lasts for one month, and an av­er­age an­nual tem­per­a­ture is said to hover around the -100C mark. The cold­est weather recorded in Siberia was - 700C, in 1933. Imag­ine try­ing to tan a steak on a braai at that tem­per­a­ture. There was also the re­cent case of a friend of a friend who had moved to the greener grass on the other side of the big pond. Liv­ing in New Zealand, the friend had called one day, very home­sick. It was the rain, he mum­bled over the phone. In the be­gin­ning, when the rain started, it was pleas­ant and re­fresh­ing. A week later, it still rained, just more in­tensely. Three weeks af­ter that, it was still rain­ing. He just wanted some sun, he com­plained. Yep, ev­ery sport has its in­juries. Sport. Our Bl­itzbokke Sevens rugby team, as well as the Proteas cricket lads, are proof that, de­spite pol­i­tics and other what­nots, we can still com­pete with the best in the world – and beat them. The Big Five. We have some of that. With so many na­tional parks and pri­vate re­serves, the Big Five can be seen in most parts of the coun­try. Many peo­ple in the rest of the world will only ever see an ele­phant or lion on tele­vi­sion or in a book. Here we can ex­pe­ri­ence the real deal, in the flesh. Our traf­fiic and po­lice of­fi­cers. If you’ve ex­pe­ri­enced the pa­thetic lot who call them­selves po­lice or traf­fic of­fi­cers in Zim­babwe, and you’ve run a main Zim tourist road gaunt­let, our cop­pers sure are a sight for sore eyes, even if they are hid­ing be­hind a bush. Hlaudi Mot­soe­neng. No, wait... that’s not good news. That’s very bad news. Scrap that part. Minibus taxi drivers. Yes, I know – they are largely a bunch of rogues who don’t care about any­thing or any­one. Or per­haps not? In De­cem­ber, a young stu­dent was on his mo­tor­cy­cle on his way to write an exam in Pre­to­ria. A car sud­denly pulled out in front of the mo­tor­cy­cle, caus­ing the lad to crash into the VW Golf.

A minibus taxi im­me­di­ately stopped, and a para­medic, who was a pas­sen­ger in the taxi, jumped out and at­tended to the young­ster, who had bro­ken a fe­mur. Mean­while other minibus taxi drivers blocked the road so that the stu­dent and his min­ders were safe. Still more taxis raced af­ter the Golf, which had sped off, cor­ner­ing the driver shortly after­wards.

We are uniquely re­silient. As long as we can braai some­thing, we can han­dle Eskom power cuts and other chal­lenges.

In­no­va­tion. Lo­cal in­dus­tries cre­ated the Rooivalk at­tack he­li­copter and a myr­iad of other cut­ting-edge weapon sys­tems. Sa­sol turned gas into oil. Dr Chris Barnard per­formed the world’s first heart trans­plant. The Kreepy Krauly swim­ming pool cleaner was in­vented in SA...

We have fame. Okay, so they mostly found their in­ter­na­tional fame (and wealth) else­where, but we have Char­l­ize Theron, Sharlto Co­p­ley, Mark Shut­tle­worth, Elon Musk, Dave Matthews and Kevin Pi­etersen.

In my search for good news, I even found one web­site list­ing our Num­ber One man as a “world leader”… Now, if that’s not a prime ex­am­ple of pos­i­tive, wish­ful think­ing, I don’t know what is.

What I’m try­ing to say is that yes, we have prob­lems in our sunny South Africa. But com­pared to many other places on Earth, we don’t have it too bad at all, and there are still a lot of pos­i­tives to fo­cus on.

So... GYSGN!

In this is­sue, we pit­ted three 4×2 SUVs against each other. And yes, we did rank them, which will no doubt get all those key­board war­riors up in arms, telling us ex­actly what we should have said and done. How­ever, the re­ally good news is that all three SUVs of­fer great value for money, if you con­sider what im­ported SUVs and 4×4s cost these days. So in the end, the con­sumer is the win­ner as Toy­ota, Ford and Gen­eral Motors com­pete for mar­ket share, of­fer­ing great deals. Now there’s an­other pos­i­tive thought for 2017!

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