by Veronique Krüger
Thursday, August 14, 2008
Rated "G" by the Author.
Print Save Become a Fan
This is another piece of writing that can be found in my book, "Attempting Authenticity."
When the plane lands in my home, I feel a surge of electricity shooting through my veins.
Home for me is the place where I land at night among the city lights and think, "Cool, the power's on today." It's the place where I understand the people and they understand me; there's an undercurrent, a voice, "We are all South Africans."
My home is the place where a foreign pilot says "Welcome to magnificent Cape Town," or "Welkom in pragtige Kaapstad." Where the creativity of the people sometimes gets them through the week, where they live on ideas.
The taxi driver tells the German, "There's no way you can come here and not enjoy yourself. In Cape Town we're a laid-back people, and if we're not off work by noon on Friday, we sommer quit."
My home is where I plant my feet on the ground and feel a thudding in the earth that matches my heartbeat, and I think, "I can't believe I ever left." I suddenly feel like I can do more; be more; breathe more; live more. I had life before, but this surpasses life; like I was underwater and tasted air.
The people in line for breakfast at the hotel all stand with eyes glued to the TV, watching rugby. Strangers ask each other, "Are your ancestors from France or Holland?" An underlying knowledge of where we've come from, of everything we've done wrong and right. Rebuilding, restructuring, building trust. Intolerance for evil, a yearning for goodness.
Biltong, braaivleis, pap, the red sun that rises over Africa. It sends shivers down my spine and makes me want to live in the sun. They say we're poor, but they haven't been here. They haven't seen the spirit. Wealth isn't just money. We are wealthy in a way that pushes past problems, in a way that perseveres.
Gold and green flood the landscape, here and there a gorgeous desert with veiled secrets. Mostly freedom, we'll get there. It's a long hard road filled with red dust and laughter. The sea, the mountains, and sand in between. Eden must be grand if it's better than this. A mixture of cultures, all living together. African tribes and refugees for religion, harmonizing to create the song called South Africa.
Buy "Attempting Authenticity"