The drive was atavistic.

Hunter-gatherer sensibilities trumped a millennium’s worth of progress as we engaged in a quiet war to secure, and deftly, the most well-vantaged space for our cars.

Parking lots bring out the moer in people.

And the ugly too.

We were all inching along; the tiresome stop-go-stop-go, mindless clutch control, memorising the grocery list by rote.

A woman in the oncoming lane had her indicators on to claim a spot where a family were busy packing up lots of groceries and what could have been a baby or its pram into the boot of their car.

The man behind her hooted.

She made spastic hand gestures towards her rear-view mirror.

The impatient man was either not versed in mad finger pokes or really didn’t consider her problems to be his.

He proceeded to somehow squeeze his bakkie into the gap between her car and the other parked ones.

This looked like it was going to blow all out. Best to move along now, I thought, nothing to see and all that.

Her window was wound down on the the drivers side and I heard her say it.

Quite clearly.

“Fucking kaffir.”

The shock stayed with me all the way to Pick N’ Pay and blog.

She could have called him an asshole or a fucker or a fucking asshole or some other more creatively-constructed epithet.

And he no doubt deserved some measure of profanity for forcing his vehicle past hers the way he did.

But she used that word. Why, that word?

Was she so angry at that man that she just reached inside and pulled out the most hateful thing she could think of?

Here’s what got me.

This was a young woman, somewhere in her 20’s. Probably around my age.

Hardly fed off of the boob of apartheid, right?

It isn’t that if she were older, it would be more easily computed. It’s just that I don’t want to accept that certain things are still being passed on.

Is my alarm just symptomatic of my naiveté?

What do you think?