Thursday, August 25, 2011

first journey home

Booked our flights back to South Africa for February and Poen's wedding.*

Three whole weeks.

Am so scared and so excited.

Fuck me.

Excited to see everyone, spend time with my family, view Jozi and Cape Town with tourist eyes, show my Brit more of my country.

Scared because I'll have to leave them all again. Scared in case seeing South Africa with tourist eyes makes my vision biased and make me not want to go back to England. (Especially as it will be mid-winter here.)

Scared of the nostalgia. And what I left behind.

Scared because I wouldn't have been back for over a year and a half. On purpose.

Scared as he'll meet my Dad for the first time.

But so excited to be a part of Poen's wedding, embrace home like I never have before, enjoy the sun, enjoy the cheapness of the Ront, see my whole family, drink Diemersfontein with my friends, take the Brit along the Garden Route and to Natal to see where I come from.

(He may be pleasantly surprised at how English the Natal Midlands is, for example. Will make sure we eat lots of scones.)

I am completely torn about going home, mostly because after being away for so long you forget the bad stuff. Your brain behaves like it does after a bad break up when you immigrate.

As time passes, you forget the shit times. You only remember the good stuff. Like the sun, the large gardens, driving everywhere, how chilled out it is, braais, friendly South Africans, biltong - oh my fuck biltong.

I left home at the end of the FIFA World Cup - when the country was celebrating, festive and blowing each other's vuvuzelas.

I have to remind myself of the bad stuff when I get home sick. Like the traffic. Like drunken driving. Like always looking over your shoulder in case you're hi-jacked. How dry it gets on the Highveld in winter, how bored I was. How everyone has a house, 1.4 kids, a picket fence and life insurance.

Joburg left me behind, I didn't leave it behind. I don't have children, am not close to being married, and while my friends give birth, I travel around random places like Slovakia in my spare time. So I cannot complain.

Regardless, it's my home. And I will always attribute a huge chunk of my existence, experiences and life to it.

And even though I have a new home, and live in one of the most exciting cities in the world, it'll be good to see how much I miss England after my three weeks there. Probably more than I expect.

I am very excited. I wonder if it's different or same same?

*Jesus. I'm not going for at least another five months still.


SpecialK said...

Snap! Will also be heading home in Feb to celebrate the last year of my 20s. It will also have been over a year since I've last been...

''Johannesburg left me behind, I didn't leave it behind'' - totally feel you on that. My friends are also all married, soon-to-be etc etc.. Whilst I am still as lost as ever...:P

Flarkit said...

You've left the good (weather, people, places) and the bad (crime, politics, economics) for a life of 1st World experiences and uber-LOADS of travel. I'm tempted to gripe and complain cos that sounds like a fab trade-off.

Why aren't you a travel correspondent yet???

Stacey Rowan said...

Home is where the heart is and you'll never forget your roots. Having lived in UK, I prefer SA. But each to their own. You'll have a ball. And I am sure your Brit will too :)

Robyn Silverstone said...

The first trip back is always scary but I found when I got onto the plane at the end of the 2 weeks that I was looking forward to coming back to London.

Peas on Toast said...

SpecialK - Luckily for us 'lost one's there's the UK, accepting us into its fold with open arms. :)
Hope you have an awesome time in Feb too - we'll have to swap notes!

Flarkit - That's a good point. Why AREN'T I a travel correspondent yet?
(best. Job. Ever, right?)
And you're right, the trade off is a good one. I'd be bored out of skull at this stage, had I stayed there any longer. That is something I must not forget!

Stacey - Yip am hoping to show the Brit parts of the country he hasn't seen yet - I can't wait :)

Robyn - that is such an awesome thing to hear. I secretly suspected as much. I'll let you know if that's the case. :) xx