Returning

The screaming of Hadidas, James writing «Melanie, I’m outside», robots, laughter, a Savannah on the stoop, the warmth of the sun, biltong salad, people chatting in a familiar language I don’t understand, «Good morning, how are you», mosquitoes soaring through the air, Peter playing his guitar in the garden, stars shining brightly in the sky, a visit to the doctor, running out of airtime, »floor eight, door opening, door closing«, the smell of meat and smoke from the Braai, «Sorry mam I don’t want money can you please buy me bread«, taxis hooting in the street, an alarm going off in the night, the taste of fresh mangoes – all familiar and yet strangely intense. As if revisiting a dream I had some time ago. Yet better.

Or, as Marc Augé* reflects on his returns to Africa: “The brutality of this reception, from which there was no means of escape, had no equal except for the ease with which I adapted to it … and the worries of the day before disappeared, as if I had left yesterday behind, in effect, and come back to my place (home, sweet home!) with the smiling absent-mindedness of habit.”

_______

Augé, Marc (2004): Oblivion. University of Minnesota Press, p.60

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