Jozi, Meryl and Ulysses…

 

Johannesburg...

Johannesburg…

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Meryl and I chilling. That's my post-call face on Friday evening

Meryl and I chilling. That’s my post-call face on Friday evening

If anyone asks, I’m off to go see about a girl… Those were my last words as I left Port Elizabeth for Johannesburg on Friday afternoon. For some odd reason I have had Matt Damon and Robyn Williams on my mind a lot lately. So come Saturday morning Meryl and I were at our favorite little DVD shop on Queens street in Kensington on a mission to fulfill my latest little resolution. Unbelievably they didn’t have Good Will Hunting… “It’s too old,” the lady said, “Too old?! 1998 isn’t old… and besides it’s a classic!” I said in exasperation. It was the second DVD place I had been to that morning that didn’t have it. The nice lady even called another branch but they also did not have the film, presumably for the same reason. “…Unacceptable!” I exclaimed, only half joking…

So we proceeded to choose another one, then two, then six movies, mostly because we couldn’t agree on what to get (we never do apparently, according to the lady that works there ๐Ÿ˜Œ) Walking out with that number of movies meant that it was officially going to be that kind of afternoon, which neither of us minded as that really is one of our favorite things to do together.

Getting breakfast at Uncle Merv's, Maboneng.  Highly recommended,  they have an awesome selection of smoothies :-P

Getting breakfast at Uncle Merv’s, Maboneng. Highly recommended, they have an awesome selection of smoothies ๐Ÿ˜›

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There was a rugby game later that afternoon, the Springboks are currently in Europe and were due to play against England. I was forbidden to take time out to watch ๐Ÿ˜“! “It’s just 2 hours I’ll be across the road at the Troyville Hotel and back here immediately after…” I pleaded. “So it’s QT vs the test match eh? are you going to defy your woman?” Rodney, my best friend over the phone, having a giggle at the tussle I was in. As a married man he has much experience in these delicate matters. I like to think I’m an intelligent man, so there was no rugby that day. My (subtle) sulk was met with a dismissive “You can always Youtube the highlights later!” Really…

 

Tha evening Rodney came over and he, Meryl and I hung out with a new acquaintance of ours, Ashley. She is an American living and working in Swaziland, who was passing through Johannesburg (as one does) on her way to Cape Town. We all got stuck into one of the most interesting conversations I have had in a long while; gentrification, reincarnation, heaven and hell, Anglicans and Catholics, and child rearing. How’s that for a list of topics? And all before any of us had any dinner! ๐Ÿ˜‹

The next day I turned 31. Just like that. “Je ne sais pas comment j’en suis arrivรฉ ร  ce point!” Me, in a conversation with my dad on the phone. Time really does just go on, regardless of and in spite of you paying attention. I mean I know exactly what I’ve been up to for these past 31 years and it’s not that I have any regrets or anything but jeepers has it been 31 years already?!

Just the other day I was like 19 years old! :-o

Just the other day I was like 19 years old! ๐Ÿ˜ฎ

Not that I necessarily would have but there wasn’t much opportunity for any kind of celebration as I had to fly back to Port Elizabeth in the afternoon. I got what I wanted though, some time with my girl over the weekend, and seeing Rodney the night before. My mother, and both of my sisters also called, Muriel in particular sent me a video over WhatsApp of a bunch of little Smurfs singing happy birthday, which I quite enjoyed! ๐Ÿ™‚ Henriette, a friend of mine, came over and she met Meryl for the first time. We all shared a quick lunch at Maboneng’s weekly Sunday Market. Then I was off to the airport, and back to PE.

Curiocity Backpackers

Curiocity Backpackers

A good place for a night or two if you ever pass through Jo'burg

A good place for a night or two if you ever pass through Jo’burg

The walls of Curiocity Backpackers, where we stayed over the weekend are adorned with words, parts of Lord Alfred Tennyson’s ‘Ulysses’ one of the greatest pieces of writing ever penned. ‘… I cannot rest from travel… How dull it is to pause, to make an end, to rust unburnished…’ Fitting, for a place continuously housing restless travellers but also I think, as the writer may or may not have intended, quite inspiring for a cerebral soul such as myself. Everytime I walked past a paragraph on a wall I couldn’t help thinking and imagining. I felt overwhelmed with a sense of possibility that the words seemed to suggest.

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That is what was on my mind as I got onto the plane. One could go anywhere (in the world) if one wanted to really…

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