Scary stories from a lovely place
Jozi was a magical city. When I was there I wanted to be here. Now that I’m here I miss it, sometimes I even wish I was there again.
I’d say I’m definitely romanticising it. There were things that made it difficult, that made me want to be here. But there were real, tangible things and people that made it wonderful too. Things like the view of the Sentech Tower from my bed, the man at the spice shop in Brixton mall, Soulsa, Ciro’s Too, free tennis at Kingston Frost Park, Stan and Lesley, Fufu, breakfast with Vicky, rushed conversation with Dineo, Sarah and Trevor, chatting with Lu, walking with Brigitte, Wits University, Budgie and Lelethu, dinner with Luis and Jacinda, tea with Helen, anything with Trevor, Mainly Music with Marietta, getting documents certified at Brixton police station, Oriental Plaza, real Indian food in Fordsburg, lunch in Sandton with Teneshe, the hills in Auckland Park, the neighbourhood of Brixton, the viewing deck in the Carlton Centre, people helping me with Silas, Mr Price, the purple of the Jacarandas in spring. None of these things or people can be replicated here.
There are good things here too, lots of good things. But in all honesty coming home has been a little disappointing. It’s my fault – I had idealised it here. The people I missed and longed to see face to face, I can’t see as often as I would like. Driving is not as stress free as I had remembered. In fact motorists seem more harried here than in Joburg. The housing is nigh unaffordable. The politics have become boring. I’m glad I’m here. Really. I just miss it there.
Homesickness is weird. It’s not longing for one place, it’s wishing for bits of different places to be merged into the one complete experience. It’s impossible to salve. Maybe nowhere is the best. Maybe happiness depends on more than safety and comfort.
I wish all the people I loved lived in the same cool city, by the sea.