So my dad has pulled into town on his motorbike. He lives in a teensy little town, Hanover, in the middle of the Karoo [desert], and has travelled 8 hours on a bike to stay for a while. I don’t see my pops often, perhaps once a year. He makes eccentric people look dull. Coming to the Big City just accentuates this.
It’s always funny to watch him:
- Hit the deck when he hears cop sirens
- Walk around posh places in his Crocodile Dundee hat
- Think its ok to walk in Joburg. Nobody walks here. He’ll happily meander 20 kms through suburbs on foot
- Take out his map at every intersection to find his bearings
Truth is, I’m very worried about my dad. He says he’s happy, but I can see he’s not. He’s broken up with his long-term girlfriend, but doesn’t say much about it. He is looking thin and tired. He smokes very foul-smelling cigarettes – the kind where the tobacco was grown on the back-end of a crapper in rural Zimbabwe. He’s a proud man though, so would never admit to anything.
He hasn’t walked into a department store for years, I doubt he even knows his size. Today, I’m going shopping for him and buying him some much needed new threads!
Also a carton of Marlboros, if you can stand the irony. (He grounded me for an entire month when he caught me puffing behind the tool shed when I was 14.)
I want him to stay longer in JHB. He says he needs to get back to Hanover to work. I want to feed him up and get him to relax a bit. How do I get him to stay?
Bribe him with cigarettes? Make him roast lamb every night?
He’s an elusive soul, so getting him to stay after the weekend is going to be hard work.