I’m a VDJ veteran. I’ve attended and covered the popular horse race meet for more than six years and before that, had attended with friends. That gives me nearly a decade of attending the July and few are better placed to give advice on how to handle the upcoming weekend. I’ve seen and experienced it all and I have survived. So if this is your first VDJ (or second or third), this is to help you make sure that you are not a wreck come Monday morning.
DRINK AS MUCH WATER AS POSSIBLE
I can’t emphasise just how important this is. Drink water like it’s the only drink available and you will enjoy your weekend. Pacing yourself when it comes to drinking your favourite alcoholic beverage is so important. I had a situation in 2015 when a drunk reveller have bumped against me in the infamous tunnel and then stepped on my cellphone, cracking my screen. She offered a ‘sorry-not-sorry’ apology and a giggle. She was so inebriated and it was only 2pm. So please make sure that between every glass or bottle, of alcohol, you drink water. You’ll thank me when you don’t wake up with a hangover.
HAVE A MEDICAL EMERGENCY KIT
Please make sure you have a small first aid kit with you? I’m not saying lug the whole kit you use at home put things like two or three plasters, painkillers and an antacid. I’ve had years where after walking the length and breadth of the Greyville Racecourse, I needed painkillers to continue working. While there are some medical personnel at the racecourse, there are thousands of people milling about, so rather stay on the safe side and have your own meds.
HAVE GEL INSOLES FOR YOUR SHOES...
...Or heel grips. Either way, do it so that your feet don't hate you after partying up a storm at the VDJ. Not only do these give you comfort, they help support and add stability to a shoe. But the best thing about these is that they are really comfy and give you a sensation that you walking on air.
LEAVE YOUR CAR AT HOME…
… No matter how fancy it is. No one even cares about you and your car. They are actually pissed at you for adding to the congestion at the Greyville Racecourse. Rather get someone to drop you off, get a cab, Uber, Taxify or even a shuttle, to drop you off and pick you up after the festivities. The around the racecourse is really unnecessary, especially when there are so many options available. Or and if you are wealthy, then why not charter a helicopter? It’s become on of the more popular modes of transportation for the rich and famous, so if you can afford it, why not give it a try?
I sound alarmist in writing this survival guide, but it’s because I want you and your friends to have a great time at the VDJ. Please make sure you have fun. You will likely spend more money this weekend than you will the whole of December, so make sure it’s worth it.