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2016 - A BLOG ODYSSEY Let the Awe and Mystery of a Journey Like Any Other Begin

THIRD TIME'S A CHARM 5

UNITED KINGDOM | Wednesday, 10 June 2015 | Views [302] | Comments [2]

 

 

Tock.

 

2.22am. Body clock not ticking to any particular time. Might be African time. Or Greek time. Or Middle Eastern time. Or it might have been hanging onto Sydney time all these years and it was simply because I'm suddenly back in winter and I left the Lecky Blanket on 3. Either way I'm up.

 

Up and drinking 100% Single Source Ceylon tea from a mug my mum bought in - huh - Greece ages ago. As well as a wee cup of non-caffeine Ecco in one of the wee cups I bought in Soweto from a wee old lady who flirted with all her customers and said I could have both wee cups for 125 Rand which is when I told her I loved her and she laughed and shook a knarled, old, Sowetan finger at me. The cups - little enameled, tin mugs really - are covered in a clever sheath of coloured beads in a very geometrical, very African design and I cannot for the life of me figure out how they get this sheath of tiny beads around the tiny handle and I can't see any discernible join or cheat or gimmick and my nose detects no actual magic. It's just bloody clever.

 

She was sweet and funny and switched on, that old lady from Johannesburg. Her stall was one of about only five (probably needed a permit) right across the road from the Hector Pieterson monument. A watershed moment in the journey toward Apartheid's end. Hector was shot, along with many of his schoolmates, when they peacefully marched in 1976 because they were sick of having to learn Afrikaans. Now this is not going to turn into some white man's lecture about racial inequality nor is it going to be a history lesson nor is it going to be a sober reminder etc etc etc. But how the hell a black person can be so polite and funny and charming and GENUINELY SO to/with a white person only two minutes (20 years...not long) after the metaphorical walls came tumbling down is beyond the understanding of my grumpy white heart. It's more perplexing than the beading around the handles of my wee African cups. And she was far from the exception that proved the rule. The same day an old, old man reached out and took my hand on some random Soweto street and smiled and said "integration". Again, I felt super guilty for being born with less melanin than him. He didn't seem to give a rat fart. I think the word of that day was (astoundingly unexpected) compassion. And that's why that place has some kind of future that just might not be utterly f**ked up. Because at the moment it still seems a little bit f**ked up. Then again, what country isn't? Actually, maybe Luxembourg...

 

I'll leave that there.

 

The reason I started writing this particular blog was twofold. It's the middle of the night and I'm not sleepy. And the writing on the teabag packet says "The Single Origin Tea". Having been through four countries in three weeks - and don't be impressed....I did that in two days back on the '09 tour (now you can be impressed) - the words "single origin tea" rankle for some reason. I mean, yes, they're just letting us know that this isn't a bunch of tea leaves and chaff raked up from some giant communal teabag hall in some town somewhere in Somewheresville. This is Ceylon tea and only Ceylon tea. But my question is: is it? It had to come from somewhere. Maybe perhaps maybe because Sri Lanka is an island the provenance of this tea leaf has, indeed, been uncorrupted since the world of advertising came into existence. I don't know. But my guess is that at some point this tea's DNA was sleeping with another strand of tea's DNA and making some funky new tea DNA babies. I hope I've not been too technical. I'm just saying that all this traveling makes one question the purity of anything. Indeed, the purity of the word 'purity'. Perhaps purity should be in your Thesaurus under the words 'grab-bag' or 'ad hoc' or 'jumble'.

 

I've lost my own thread.

 

What I do know is that I'm ready - finally, assuredly, and acceptingly - ready to stop traveling through four countries in two days or three weeks or six months and just settle down and unpack the bags and toss my Akubra on top of the fridge and make my home. Which might possibly be L.A. I'm going there in a couple of weeks. The last box that needs – and I'm talking career-wise - to be ticked.

 

Yes. L dot A dot. 'House of Cards' thank you. Just started watching it. Love it. Mean to be on it. Not a guestie. Mortgage-feeding regular, thanks. Cheers. Wouldn't that be fun? Yes it would. Haven't had such a specific goal in a while. I'm quite fond of a specific goal. If you're into The Law of Attraction and if you're not that's fine and if you want to laugh at me that's also fine and in fact if you want to get angry and rail at me about what a nut-job I am and what a wanker I'm likely to be at this point for even admitting such a thing, please go right ahead, but in the meantime I'll just quietly be getting on with feeling like there's something to it and giving it a shot because, you know, what the hell, push the boat out, give it a go, gotta be in it to win it, life's a barrel of quantum equations and no mistake, maybe perhaps maybe it's not a load of old cobblers it's worked before why not have a little dabble...et cetera...anyway it's important that one's goal is specific. So 'House of Cards' it is. Fingers not crossed, merely holding the pen upon which I will sign on the dotted contractual line.

 

Yes you read that correctly. I made myself a cup of caffeine-free Ecco and a cup of caffeinated tea. Couldn't make up my mind. So I made both. My stomach has, for we've been through a lot together, on so many levels, coped. Or maybe it holds a thread of compassion.

 

At 2.22 in the morning.

 

Liverpool. Tick. Johannesburg. Tick. One week holiday on Mykonos. Tick. Jordan. Tick. (That's another blog.) Australia again. Tick.

 

Huh. Whoever thought ABBA would help pollute the globe's gene pool?

 

F**k purity. Let's dance. And maybe throw in a bit of compassion.

 

Tick.

 

 

How I treasure every minute
Being part of it, being in it
With the urge to move on

Tags: australia, greece, johannesburg, south africa

Comments

1

I liked the Pratchett esque beginning and that it ended. oh and that you are a nut job. bless. b ox

  Bryant Gumbel Jun 22, 2015 9:07 AM

2

Truth takes time and time is such a moveable truth that one can easily come to the conclusion that it may as well not even bother to exist. Of course this would cause all sorts of issues with distance and velocity. So it only stands to reason that you will always go far in a relatively quick period of time. Unless your time has stopped. But then nothing much will be an issue at that juncture.

  Zorm Glaptron Jun 25, 2015 10:25 AM

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