i hate saying good bye. i really really hate it.
i try very hard not to remember it when there are joyous reunions but there it sits like a ghoul, in the dark corner of embraces, hissing menacingly that this is is all going to end....with a desperate hug, rivers and lakes of tears and inevitability.
anyway. home now. and it ain't easy.
after a lightening edged trip to south africa, where i saw my sisters, their children, my father, who turned 80, my loved friends - it was onto plane after plane. i sat, dumb, staring out the window, watching the crinkled blue continent below me, taking me further and further away from everyone i love. . .oh. and second born found six bullets in his bag in jomo kenyatta airport. that'll teach him to borrow his father's safari bag....it was a tense moment. at least he discovered them BEFORE we went through security. and at least they were empty cartridges. still. a sweaty moment where i think i lost 5 kgs in one second from the adrenalin rush. i am a resourceful mother and dealt with the bullets swiftly over a cappuccino and croissant....
yet, when i stepped out into the tepid winter twilight of kilimanjaro, heard the crickets in the dark fields as we drove slowly home, saw the Southern Cross hanging sweetly, sadly in the sky and smelt the dust, i knew i was home. still. i haven't quite settled back 'in'... i'm hanging onto holiday polaroids in my head.
travelling gives you perspective. and steals it right back. it makes you see things differently. then hurls you back into how things were and are. with pictures in your mind. it's, well, unsettling. so. i'm still half in and half out, if ya know what i mean?
tanzania is still in the dark...and getting worse. there is no power left apparently. in 40 days we might be plummeted into total black out. . . it's a truly disgraceful situation. i loved being south, where you switch a switch, and 'bling!' a light comes on. hot water gushes out like victoria falls in flood, up to your chin if you like. AND you can drink the water straight out the tap. it's glorious. now i want that. i want all of that and some. all the cars are shiny. roads are straight and smooth as silk ribbons. sigh. and i know i am a snaggle toothed hill billy from the back countries, when it comes to paying for parking into a machine, buying a train ticket from a machine (where the children pretended not to know me), racing away from people on the dodge cars instead of into them, scared as a cat is from an enraged, fierce bull terrier. but still. what fun.
comin' home wasn't helped by my first shopping trip into town, where i drove straight into riots. all the dala dalas (the taxis) went on strike because the police keep on harassing the drivers. six or eight of them were thrown into jail. for parking offences? i noticed the roads were emptier than usual...the traffic actually flowed....on rounding the corner, i saw ahead of me, a mob of about 500 people, toy toying down the main drag of mbauda, straight towards us....i couldn't move anywhere....stuck. as they jogged past, people bashed my car, tried to open the doors, shouted things at me, ah, ya know, like "mzungu!" and shit, while i stared doggedly ahead with a stupid smile on my face.....yes. a smile...anyway. a gap appeared and i raced ahead and got the hell outta Dodge, not funny, just before the Field Force (government crack force) arrived. apparently lots of plastic bullets were fired, tear gas and stones were thrown. miranda took shelter in beate's ice cream parlour. not a bad place to hide in, mind.
and then two days ago, there was an horrific armed robbery at a nearby coffee estate. it was pay day. lots of cash to be had, you see. one of the managers was pangad (sp?) (attacked with a machete. google if you don't know what a machete is) so badly that they cut through a tendon in his leg. the other was axed on his head (52 stitches needed) and one man was shot dead. horrible.
but this is home. and mama paka (the cat) and bella the dog and the horses are happy to have us back, i think? and there are friends. and the mountains. and ridiculously beautiful twilights. and the wind blows at night while i lie cuddled under my hyrax rug (which c hates because he says it stinks and i look like a viking) and early in the morning, the owls land on the green tin roof and hoot in the dawn. things could be worse, i reckon. and, oh bestests, i'm still on holiday and i see zanzibar inside the crystal ball....
the sun keeps risin' and the world keeps spinnin' ....
Kitchen Board: July 31 2011: Ngorobob Hill House: goddamn Monday.
toodely toot, y'all and bisous X.X.X. riotous ones just where your neck meets your shoulders x j