Wednesday, 28 May 2014

Day 2 and 3 and I need a new diet and some sleep!

I'm surviving on around three hours of sleep a night and a constant flow of restaurant food. My body no longer knows what hour it is or what it should be eating. That's my excuse for why at 1:30 am last night I was working my way through my moms paperwork while eating chocolate cake.

Day 2 was a day of working through more cupboards and paperwork, a lunch out with my parents oldest friends, a short nap, more work and dinner at my brothers house so I could get my wifi fix and post a few pictures.

Day 3 my mom and I drove down the coast to visit my father in law and have lunch with him and my brother in law, it was great to see them both. We then did more packing work and headed out to dinner with my brother and family. I'm sure you can now see why I'm going to need a serious diet once I get home!

Day 4, I opened up my moms house to the staff at the retirement village to sell things, tomorrow I'm locking the doors and pretending I'm not home! 

People keep asking me how it feels to be back home and to be honest It's a strange feeling being back here. Things are so very familiar, but just not quite the same. There are times where it would be so easy to slip back into denial and living your life here, and then there are those moments I can feel my heart race a little faster, or I look around and shake my head at the sense of entitlement that a few people seem to have and know I'll never live back here.

Here are a few things that have left me unnerved or just shaking my head in astonishment.

  • Driving through my old suburb at night and seeing security guards outside houses.
  • Having my mom tell me to be aware at certain traffic lights as they're hijacking hotspots.
  • Driving past a guy wielding a rather big knife.
  • Being stuck in a traffic jam at a red light and having a guy walk up to you car, stand by the back door and peer into your car to see if there is anything worth doing a smash and grab for - and the sheer powerlessness to do anything, also the reason we drive with doors locked, windows wound up and valuables tucked away under your legs.
  • Being so used to being able to trust 99% of people and realizing that here you just can't take that gamble. I had people through the house today to buy stuff of my moms and little things I know we're taken when my back was turned while busy with someone else.
I convinced my mom to take half a sleeping pill tonight as she has not been sleeping either and was starting to be unable to focus, and I need her to focus on things right now. I've kind of decided it's no longer worthwhile trying to acclimatize my body to this time zone when I leave on Thursday, I think I'll just survive on the few hours a night with a short afternoon nap thrown in if I have time.

Two and a half more days and we have no choice but to be done, did I mention how I'm looking forward to going home yet?  Perhaps I shouldn't be lying here in the dark typing my blog. Late night paperwork anyone?

Sunday, 25 May 2014

Full Day number 1 done and dusted

I arrived yesterday, another long flight done and very glad to be back on the ground for the next few days. Had pizza with the family, got a look at some of the stuff to sort through and passed out for the night on the sleeper couch in my moms living room. All told I slept pretty well, awake from 2 - 4 am and then back to sleep until 6:30am, when I got up and tackled the first few things before a shower and coffee. 

I will admit I'm impressed with what I got done today. I cleaned tabled covered in mountains of paperwork, all while reading my school reports about how lazy, unmotivated and underachieving I was, with apparently my flair for being creative my only redeeming quality. (yes that's how much paperwork my mom has hoarded, and yes if you ever wondered why I have self esteem issues I think I may be able to point out why now). 

I put at least 6 black garbage bags out of stuff to give away for free or real garbage and did a few smaller bags of things for my nephews here to take back and fiddle with. I'm lying here feeling accomplished and I haven't even got to the good part of the day.

My best friend from school and bridesmaid at my wedding flew down from Johannesburg to spend some time with me today as it is not very often we are on the same continent. She spent the afternoon watching me shred papers, laughing at my face as I went through my Dads old stuff (and she wasn't even here when I found the condoms in my dads draw), and helping me sort through the liquor cabinet.

Sorting through the liquor cabinet was an adventure in itself. There are bottles in there that we were too scared to drink, we opened them outside and poured them down the drain. There were bottles we kept, admittedly we had to google if certain types of alcohol went bad and had to do a sniff, taste and visual inspection before drinking. 

All in all it was a successful and good day and I feel very blessed and happy right now, but that may be the 15 year old vodka talking. Tomorrow when faced with the next few cupboards to sort through I may not feel so great. I will only get to post this tomorrow night when I get a decent Internet connection at my brothers house, if vodka does go bad, I'll be able to let you know by then.

Thursday, 22 May 2014

Update from Dubai

At 5:30am today I ate a breakfast that would put an Olympic athlete to shame. In my defence I skipped dinner last night in favour of a hot shower and a bed. All that seemed like a good idea at the time, however at 1:00am when I woke up starving I started to reconsider how wise that was.

Let me start at the beginning though. At this present time I'm in an airport hotel room in Dubai on my layover to Durban. My body has no idea what time zone it's in or what meal I should be eating. I flew from Canada on Wednesday night, changed time zones to one that is 8 hours ahead of Toronto, arrived here after 13 hours and it was night again. This morning I leave here, fly another 8.5 hours to a time zone that's 2 hours behind this one and 6 hours ahead of Toronto. Are you confused yet? Yes? Good so am I.

I had a pretty decent flight from Canada even though I had a 5 year old girl sitting next to me. I inwardly groaned when she took her seat, expecting the worst, but she turned out to be well behaved and slept like a dream for most of the flight. Her mom was so happy to have someone who didn't mind if her daughters feet were resting on them and was happy to chat to the kid that I began to wonder if she was going to invite me to spend the night at her mothers house instead of the hotel. I got a bit of sleep, watched some movies and tv shows and still have more to watch on the way home! I highly recommend Emirates, their entertainment list is wonderful. 

Breezed through passport control here in Dubai on my Canadian passport, no visa required no questions asked. Got to my hotel, showered and slept. Until my marathon breakfast an hour ago. Now I'm back in my room trying to decided if I should relax here or go to the airport early to find a free wifi signal. All my friends are mostly now asleep, so maybe I'll split the difference and relax here for a bit and just get to the airport early enough to check mail and messages and post this.  This was just a quick update for now, I'm sure I'll have more to post once I'm settled in at my moms.

Wednesday, 7 May 2014


A land of colour, a land of beauty
A land of violence and strife
It calls you home, it pushes you away
The juxtaposition of life

The sea, the sun, the earthy smell in the air
The bustle of crowds, the vibrance of life
It reeks of hope, it clings to desperation
It festers in greed and false promises

Oh Africa, I love you, I fear you
I miss you dearly
I long to be back, I long to be done with you
Never to go near you

It's in your blood
It's in your soul
I'll be home soon,
but I'll never truly be home again