Nowhere to go
Can't afford to go away during the December holidays? Think of things to do at home.
With petrol prices prohibitive, a bond bleeding you dry and food prices still soaring, December holidays are looking a bit bleak. For many, the only option is to stay at home. So kind of like how the stores already have Christmas decorations up even though the event is two months away, we have already compiled a list of things to do when you can't afford to go anywhere.
For those who live in Springs, Pofadder, Senekal and the like, I'm afraid you're just going to have to be bored. There is nothing to do and anyway, people shouldn't live in hick towns.
But, for those of you in city centres, there's hope.
1 - Your first, best option, of course, is to make more money quickly so you can go away. The best earners in the country are chief executives and strippers. For one job you can be overweight and hairy; for the other job you'd better be slim and smooth and know how to dance.
2 - If neither of the jobs above appeals to you, you'll be stuck in the city. But, buy enough cheap beer in quarts and you could spend the whole holiday not sure where you are.
3 - However, for those who value their livers, there's always the pantomime. It's loud, it's funny and you could end up on stage singing with the cast and all the five-year-olds who have rushed up on stage with you.
4 - Then there are the casinos. They will be doing a roaring trade with sad, poor people just like you. Apart from potentially getting to meet lots of like-minded souls, you also stand a chance of winning some loot. But, it's a very slim chance you'll walk away a winner. It's far more likely you'll lose all your money and be worse off than when you started.
With petrol prices prohibitive, a bond bleeding you dry and food prices still soaring, December holidays are looking a bit bleak.Ren'ee Bonorchis, Business Day, editor at large
5 - For a more wholesome experience, you could always spend a day out at one of the dams nearby or at the seaside. Visitors to Hartebeespoort or the Vaal can peer out at the water watching the rich people on their jet skis. There's nothing like a bit of envy to make you want to earn more money next year. For those who live by the sea, it's going to be less depressing. Just remember to take your own umbrellas and food, because you won't be able to afford anything from the vendors.
6 - As for Christmas Day, I'd suggest a bring-and-braai. You should be able to stretch to some charcoal, firelighters and stale rolls. Just get the guests to supply the Lays chips, meat, booze, salads, potatoes and pudding and you're all set.
7 - As for New Year's Day, I'd suggest a bring-and-braai. You should be able to stretch to some charcoal, firelighters and stale rolls. Just get the guests to supply the Lays chips, meat, booze, salads, potatoes and pudding and you're all set.
8 - However, other people's New Year's celebrations are notoriously easy to gatecrash. Take your own beer, but remember to keep it hidden in your car so no one steals the precious stuff.
9 - Then there's always just staying at home. Alone. Watching SABC. I've heard they have a good programme or two once every couple of weeks.
10 - For truly sad people, who can't stomach the SABC, you could work over the holiday season and pretend you're the office martyr. Who knows, you might even pick up some overtime. Unfortunately, that won't do you any good, since you're trying to avoid having time off, but at least you can spend your days surfing salacious Internet sites with company bandwidth. With this plethora of options now before you, you should be able to start planning for December. Just remember, when you're feeling blue, terribly trustworthy "experts" have said South Africa's economy will pick up again by September next year, which means that Christmas 2009 should be a lot more pleasant.
* Ren'ee Bonorchis is Business Day's editor at large.