There’s an advert on our TV at the moment that advertises that out of three people who’ve left South Africa, two return. I’d really like to contact them because I have a house for them to buy…
Mrs. Black’s sister and family visited South Africa for Christmas. They moved to Ireland for work like so many South Africans moved abroad for a few years to earn Euros or Dollars and come home. The plan (as far as I’ve heard from those who’ve done this) is to put everything in storage, live and work abroad for two years whilst renting out the domicile and paying it off then come back triumphant with a wealth of experience and money.
The reality appears to be different. Nine years later and they’re still living in Ireland with no thought of coming back except for the odd brief visit to family and friends every second year.
When we went to meet them at the airport, it struck me how the place had deteriorated in just a few months. From when South Africa was the golden child, hosting the Soccer World Cup and each and every elevator and escalator was working and all processes were running smoothly to now, where only a few escalators and elevators were working and getting out of the paid parking area was a nightmare. We had to take two elevators to get to our desired floor – the floor in the middle. We had to find one that went two floors up and then one that was capable of going one floor down. Nice.
What was worse than this? The tiny seed of knowing that had been hiding deep in my mind that suddenly sprung into being as a shrub - knowing that more than likely the next time I am to visit the airport is the time I’ll be separated from my family for a few months. Will my little girl recognize her daddy when she sees him again? Will she cower away coy and shy or be ecstatic and shrieking as she’s prone to do with sheer joy?
Either way, my months away are going to be lonely and it already saddens me but I must take heart! It’s all for a greater cause!
I now have short hair. Belgium, I understand, is extremely conservative and having long hair won’t do in my field. I decided over Christmas that it’d be better to cut my hair sooner than later, another small step towards the turning away.
All we can do at the moment is take small steps until the house is sold.
Ciao for now.