Scary stories from a lovely place
Yesterday I took Silas to Brightwater Commons. It turned out to be a surprisingly pleasant excursion. I love being outside but it’s hard to do that in Joburg with a baby while satisfying my husband’s stringent safety regulations and avoiding being hit on by too many guys.
So I decided to give Brightwater Commons a try. I understand it was previously a waterfront experience. Fake, of course. Anything like that is fake in Joburg. These days it’s basically a mall, like most attractions in Joburg, but it’s outdoors. You can walk around on luscious grass, chase birds, admire enormous grey catfish in the ponds, gaze at the fountain display and watch sweaty teenagers riding bikes in the skate park.
Silas and I window shopped and then settled on a shady patch of lawn for lunch. The intrepid boy then set off to explore all the drains, gardens and fences in the vicinity. He was particularly taken by the pigeons. Silas does this cool thing when he gets excited, particularly for animals or brake lights. He tenses his whole body, grunts and waves his arms up and down. Then he makes high pitched squeaks of pleasure while straining towards the object of his delight.
While he was playing on the grass a pigeon caught his eye and he went through the above routine and then tried to chase it. The bird was about 10 metres away so Silas didn’t have a chance, but it meant that it didn’t fly away in fear, but just hopped away from the advancing Blocker. He wasn’t as taken by the huge catfish, but perhaps he couldn’t see them.
We then went to Pick ‘n Pay which was strangely cheaper than my local one in Brixton. Silas charmed the ladies at the checkout and laughed more easily than he normally does. They were thoroughly smitten.
Back in the car and Silas was asleep before we had left the free carpark. I was impressed that it was such a pleasant use of half the day. Sure, ultimately I was at a mall, but at least I was outside on grass, underneath a real sky (as opposed to the one at Montecasino). And it felt really safe. Sometimes I have gone to Emmarentia Botanic Gardens during the week but it is a little too quiet for comfort. We’ll definitely be back to the Commons.