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Postcard: Cape Town

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Nov. 28th, 2011 | 02:58 pm

The customs official smiles blankly and stamps my passport, “Have a good holiday.” He hasn’t at all processed that I leave here January 1st but go to India part of that time. It must not matter, I hope. The other passengers crowd the baggage belt, doing that thing where everyone stands too close for anyone else to see their bag. Mine drift past, behind a short Indian family and a set of tall, bleached Afrikaaners. I resign myself to another round, then dodge and dart, duffel, gear bag, trapeze wrapped in baggage tape and reluctantly surrendered at Schipol, no-one, no-one anywhere in the world thinks American security is good enough.
 
He runs around the end of the dividing half-wall, wraps his arms around me, nearly sweeps me off my feet but that I’m always worried I’m too heavy and I don’t pick them up. Yes, it was right to come. No, I’m not a fool. Cape Town is a swath of darkness between the airport and home, a flash of a grubby cluster of low-built houses, a shantytown clinging to a rise. His suburb is white and gated and guarded, he scans a fingerprint to raise the gate.
 
I’m here. I’m in Africa. How’d that happen?

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Comments {3}

Jemima Pauler

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from: jem0000000
date: Nov. 28th, 2011 08:24 pm (UTC)
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Wow, how breathtaking! Have fun. :)

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whipchick

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from: whipchick
date: Nov. 29th, 2011 12:29 am (UTC)
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Thanks! So far, so good!

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Jemima Pauler

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from: jem0000000
date: Nov. 29th, 2011 05:20 am (UTC)
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Yay!

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