About a week ago I was ambushed by heaving gridlocked traffic, my air con doesn’t work and there I sat stewing in fumes as my Soccer Mommy Mobile inched forward bit by bit. It was my fault really because I knew about Black Friday. I had heard of crazed bargain hunters queueing for hours having nabbed a deal and clobbering bystanders who stood in their way. As I sat there in Black Friday traffic, windows open, I got a whiff of that familiar feeling that anyone who lives in a holiday town gets every year. Not just exhaust fumes but something else. You either love it or hate it. Love it? I hear you ask? Who could love jammed traffic, jammed queues, jammed signal, jammed everything and I’m not suggesting either of these are lovable in any way.

Here’s the thing: ( or maybe it’s just me) It starts with the arrival of Black Friday and  Matric rage- and then around Christmas and New Year’s it’s at all time peak. What is It ?

It’s that  buzz in the air- a tingle, an excitement and an anticipation. It’s electric and contagious.  Similar to that feeling you have when you know there’s something about to happen.Or the same feeling when you are about to jump into really cold water, with dread and excitement for the burst of ice that’s about to envelop you.

Except you can’t pinpoint what  is. Nothing is about to happen, there is just an excited buzz that lives in the air this time of year. And then it dwindles after New Year.  Love or hate this time of year, that feeling exists. Growing up in this town – you recognise that feeling and can do one of two things. Hate it or just join in.

So as for the haters- my only suggestion would be to bunker down and operate only in the early hours in the morning – with military efficiency if you must. Others who are industrious have already Air BnB’d out their homes and are laughing all the way. I choose another way, I’m not saying the inconvenience of traffic is enjoyable in any way or circling the parking lots like a vulture hoping for an open space is remotely entertaining -it’s not. But it IS only once a year, and the rest of the year is pure bliss with ample parking and predictable . Not to mention the empty beaches and magical sundowners which also happen out of season.

Join in- is my attitude and welcome out of towners. They bring that buzz, that excitement. That feeling. Summer on the North Coast just wouldn’t be Summer without THAT buzz. Let the festivities begin and by joining in, just let it be ( and by let it be I’m encouraging the out of Towners too), just know that you will probably queue for 30mins for that one item debating your sanity and cursing your lack of planning but it is what it is.