24 December 2018 | Opinion

Not such happy holidays

Otis Finck

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I’ve noticed that it’s a lot quieter than usual at the coast this holiday season.

For this time of the year, there are definitely fewer holidaymakers and the roads are not as congested as usual.

Even the Christmas decorations appear a bit subdued compared to the flashy displays that adorned lampposts and windows in the past.

Come to think of it though, massive and eye-catching Christmas trees are on display although Father Christmas can only be spotted at a number of strategic locations.

It appears that there are also fewer cars with South African number plates at the roadblock between Walvis Bay and Swakopmund.

The once omnipresent and annoying quad bikes, which have been synonymous with the summer holidays for many years, are conspicuous in their absence in the vicinity of Long Beach.

There are also fewer tents and caravans to be seen, and a lot of space is available at the Dolphin Park camping site.

This made me wonder where everybody is and my mind dwelled on what could have happened to the December rush we have grown accustomed to.

What has happened to the droves of visitors arriving at the coast to unwind, rest and relax on our beaches after a hard year’s work? Have they decided to celebrate Christmas at home this year to save money?

The Swakopmund Mole is quite deserted in comparison to how it used to look in December.

There are even parking spots available in the town centre, which is something unheard of at this time of the year.

I’m putting the blame squarely on the recession, the rising cost of living and ever-increasing prices of commodities such as petrol.

Businesses are feeling the pinch and the consumer’s wallet is empty. It’s a time for giving, they say, but how can one give if there is nothing to give?

How many of us actually saved or prepared for times like these? The least we can do is to share and show that we care.

On the upside, it could mean less rubbish left on the beaches and hopefully a significant reduction in deaths on our roads.

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