Scary stories from a lovely place
More and more I find my mind changing on things that I had once held to unswervingly. I’m sure once in my life I have said ‘I won’t ever get married’. But then I did on the 7th March. But when you meet a nice Irishman called Stephen who makes you tea and is really protective and hot, what other choice is there? I’m sure once in my life I have said ‘I will never have a pet’ but now I have Kitty, Stephen’s cranky cat who really adopted us more than the other way around. I’m sure once in my life I have said ‘I love the beach too much to live away from it’, and now I have a daily, hourly, minutely reminder of the fact that there is no beach within a 5 hour radius of my house in Johannesburg. And the reminder is that there is no coastline for me to navigate when I drive. I’m sure once in my life I have said ‘I will never read Mills and Boon’, well that was terribly wrong because such literature is genius entertainment. And, predictably, I know I have said many times in my Internet conscious life that ‘I will never write a blog, they are pretentious and boring and self important’. Oops. My slippery personality deserves nothing but shame. But I don’t care, about many things that I used to care about.
So here I am, in the big, bad world of self important writing. I don’t even know what this blog is going to be about. I have wanted to start a blog a few times, but thought I needed a landmark sort of event in my life with which to begin, like graduating, or moving to South Africa, or getting married. But life is pretty overwhelming during landmark sort of events, which I guess is the point. So my landmark event is, it’s Thursday which is my day off, but I have a lot of work to do, but I need to chill or my brain will start crying it’s own tears.
As the title of my self important writing suggests I love Johannesburg, which is fortunate because I also live here. I moved here from peaceful Wombarra on the south coast of New South Wales, Australia in 2008. I was planning on moving back to peaceful Wombarra at the end of 2009 but Mr Reid had other plans. Stephen and I got married in March 0f this year and are planning to stay here for a few years before we move to either Wollongong/Adelaide/Christchurch/Glasgow/Dublin/New York (please!) or keep on staying here. Jozi has a certain charm that makes it hard to leave. If you live in the western world don’t be put off by the stories and attitudes of the ex-pat South Africans who have emigrated there, especially if they were from Johannesburg. Interestingly though, in conversation with such people, if you pull on the threads of their memories just a little, you will find that they actually really miss elements of their life here, and don’t know how to reconcile that with the elements of life here that they left, and their cushy, new lives in St Ives.
I have nothing against cushy living. That’s certainly what I had in Wombarra, and I hope to return to it one day. I could use many words to describe life in Jozi, but cushy or easy or straightforward wouldn’t make the list.
By way of closing, let me finish with a story of life in Jozi. Stephen and I often tell each other stories of our day and then we add them to the list of stories of life in Jozi that we will never be able to tell our kids. Yesterday I was driving on one of the major highways, the one that skirts the city in kind of a computer car racing game way, and there was a man hopping along on crutches who had a pretty serious looking metal pin extending from his knee to his ankle, attached by about 4 bolts. For some reason it really shocked me. It looked clean and well inserted. But it was the context that didn’t make sense. Usually when I see such a leg apparatus it is attached to protective plaster encasing the fragile limb. Why was he not in hospital or bed? Why was he in the emergency lane of the M1 south?
These are questions I will never get an answer to, but I wish I could.