As I make the move to Jo’burg today, some shorter thoughts I wanted to share:
- I have decided that I truly know a city when I have found a coffee shop that I love and an order that everyone at the counter expects. In Cape Town, it was a filter coffee, no room for milk at Milk, Bread, and Honey. In Maritzburg, it is the most-delicious-chocolate-croissant-ever and a bottomless filter coffee at the Bread Ahead. Jo’burg is to-be-discovered!
- A month seems like a really long time when you are just starting. A month seems like no time at all when you are looking back on it…
- When you can’t find a souvenir shop for postcards, the tourism office is a good place to try. (It only took me four weeks to think of that!) Nevertheless, if you were expecting mail from me, it’s about to be on the way…
- My experience with my friends at Emaphethelweni has raised some new questions that will stick with me…possibly forever: When is Palesa going to tell Lefa she might be pregnant? And what is the deal with Lefa’s mother? When is everyone in the office going to realize that Donna is using Wayne to spy on them? When will Paul figure out that Kenneth set him up for murder? And is Paul going to lose Dineo in the process? When are Ajax and Ozzie’s sister going to become an official item? And, most importantly, what is going to happen with poor Sara’s marriage?
- Yes, watching soap operas every night for a month can actually become (sadly) addictive
- I’ve been reading Country of My Skull by Antjie Krog, which charts a narrative of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission. (Krog was a radio reporter who covered the entirety of the TRC.) It’s an extremely moving and difficult read, but it has certainly given me a better understanding of South Africa. I’ve been particularly struck by the comments made by Desmond Tutu that Krog reports. This one brought a smile to my face yesterday:
“After the first political submission in August 1996, I interviewed Archbishop Tutu. ‘Weren’t you irritated that you had to listen to four versions of South Africa’s past?”
He spreads his four skinny fingers under my nose. “Four versions…four…exist of the life of Christ. Which one would you have liked to chuck out?” (Krog 172)