Hell in Paradise -13 May 2015

South Africa’s northern neighbor is Zimbabwe, what was once the breadbasket of Africa, now driven to economic hell by an ancient despot, desperately clinging to power.

Bali is an island paradise…

Today I accompanied the Uber Haus team to a site inspection at a golf estate North of Durban, the name of which ironically is a mixture of the names of those two countries, made ironic by the simple fact that the estate itself is an expensive hell nestled in the paradise of Balito, hell, pretending to be paradise.

Days before, we, as contractors were required to submit extensive paperwork, copies of our ID documents, drivers licenses, a background check was performed on us, and today, in preparation for the installation of one of the two projects I am assisting with, I had to present myself…

An experience in itself, a specific parking area, filled with working vehicles, a low admin block, bullet-proof glass, tired, irritable clerks communicating through an electronic interface. Copies of our documents made again, forms to be filled in, digital photo’s taken, security tags with photo ID’s printed out, all at the contractors own (not inconsiderable expense), the price of being allowed to conduct business within this gated community!

The process took the beat part of an hour! One of our group made the observation that a recent entry through the international border to Swaziland took less time!

Then one person was allowed to drive the vehicle into the compound, while the rest of us had to pass on foot through security turnstiles, meeting the (by now thoroughly searched) vehicle on the other side.

What awaited inside this heavily guarded fortress?

A community the size of a small town, a small town composed of architectural monotony interspersed by what was left of the natural vegetation. Clearly a place where individuality has no place, the same building materials, the same roof-lines, the same colors, the same cars…

What drives a person to choose a life like this?

FEAR first and foremost obviously, the Orwellian security spells that out clearly!

Then there is the disconnect, the clear delineation between the “haves” inside, and the “have-not’s” outside. “We are better than you, and to make that perfectly clear we will conform to the prescribed image and wear it as a uniform distinguishing us from you”

During our long wait for permission to enter this “hellidise” I stepped back from the line to quell my nicotine craving and observed that even the bollards’ keeping the vehicles off the pavement where cut off at a sharp angle, the same with the logs forming the surrounds of the patches of garden, “no sitting HERE while you wait, keep your dirty arses upright you plebbs!”

I would love to have inserted the photo’s here, but apparently a Microsoft phone is incapable of such feats

So I choose to craft timber for a living, that is my CHOICE, in what way does that make me, or what I do, less valuable than someone who shuffles paper around, or kicks a ball around, or who can be easily PhotoShoped to look good on the cover of a magazine?

The fruit of my labour is good enough to be welcomed into your unimaginative living cube, my DNA is soaked into the timber of your headboard via the blood and sweat spilled through the construction process, but you want to sharpen the edging of your admin block so that I and the men who designed and installed your requirements can’t even rest their tired and sore bodies?

Wake up! The string of data signifying your monetary value does not make you a better person, your fear and disconnect make you a coward, an insignificant entity whose whole existence is an artificial joke, you can’t even choose an artwork to match the aesthetic of your shallow soul without the assistance of a team of advisors.

This is what so many aspire to, money without substance, like a BDSM “bottom” finding release by paying to remove the responsibility of choice “All I have is money, so I will PAY someone to create a facsimile of taste”

I am thankful that I choose to create my own security, my own peace, my own taste. I am thankful that I LIVE, that I immerse myself in the ebb and flow of life. I am thankful that I am self-sufficient, and self-reliant. I am grateful that my home is honest, and that my visitors are not degraded and treated like something that lives under a rock.

Prosperity is our birthright, anyone can achieve it, but money is only a small percentile of true wealth, we each get to choose…

I choose to turn my back on fear

Go Forth and be Awesome
All My Love

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