Wednesday, April 03, 2019

Africa! I'm Coming Home!

Traveling light! NOT!

It's been too long! I'm finally going back to the motherland! Tickets are booked! I already have most of my stuff in suitcases. I weighed and weighed and weighed my luggage pieces. Everything was more or less in order. I took a bunch of things from my eBay store to sell to my people back home. People had been asking me to either sell things online to them and ship to South Africa or to bring them stuff when I went back home. Well!
Here we go!

The plan was that Calvin was going to drop me at the airport. Very nice of him to agree when I asked. He was going to have to go to bed very late. My flight was almost midnight. I spent the last day at home going over luggage. To be going home after so many years, is so exciting and nerve wrecking! There are things that I had been accumulating over time, with intent to give to my family when I got back home. Now, to remember every single one of those items! Thankfully, when my sister was in Los Angeles,I had sent her back with some of the stuff. Those were simpler times. It was just after I got married, so less drama in my home.

I have family spread all across the country. I would have loved to rent a car and do a cross country road trip. When I talked to my people back home, everyone was like, are you trying to get hijacked? Ah, sh*t! There goes my fun already!

I packed up to the walnuts I got from my clients. Those were for my sister, Pumla to use in one of her amazing recipes. Check her out on Afternoon Express, SABC 3, my South African people. She's a regular guest on that TV show, doing a cooking segment. Also, her second cookbook is out, find her @ Pumla Brook-Thomae on all social media for orders. I know how expensive nuts are, especially walnuts, so I took some of my clothes out to fit those in there, haha! It was a big bag as you may have seen in the previous blog.
First time crocheting in forever
The above beanie ended up pint sized, so I undid it and tried again...
We're getting there!
Find some form of creative outlet that you enjoy doing or learn how to do, it's therapeutic! 

Date night?
Night before I left for Africa, hubby, Calvin took me out to dinner. Some Asian cuisine. He paid a lot of money for us to cook out own food, but c'est la vie. 
Calvin went to bed early, got a few hours of sleep in and had me wake him up when I was ready to roll. He rushed me to LAX. I was psyched, he wasn't feeling it! But he was nice enough to take me there. I had downloaded the ride share apps, just in case he changed his mind. You never wanna be caught with your pants down! Calvin dropped me and my many suitcases right by the drop off spot and drove off. I was like, you're not gonna help me in? I had 6 pieces of things! He told me he wasn't going to put me on the plane, he needed sleep. Owkayyyy! I stood there thinking! Well, damn! Then something said, don't mope! Don't mope! This is a great time! You're realizing your dreams, chin up! I grabbed my chin from the ground and pushed my cart into the airport. I was just on time! Just about! The lady checked my suitcases and told me that the flight was probably going to be late. She said that so nonchalantly, as if it was the norm!

But first! A selfie!
For as long as the flight is a little late, selfie time! It may not translate in this photo, but I was very happy the moment I took that selfie! Think of a time when something you always wanted to happen but wasn't sure it was gong to happen, happened? Something that came this close from being taken away! This, right here, was that moment for me! They did pull me and my many vitamins aside and make me name them individually. SMDH. 

After about an hour of waiting, we boarded. I hadn't seen that many black people in one place since a shoot I did where they had a wedding scene, so they hired all black people for that. And when we worked on the music video of Pharrell's Freedom. By the way, did you spot me in there? Lots of black folk in that shoot!

I had my window seat just like I had always visualized in my fantasies about going home. There was no one in the middle seat and a really tall guy in the isle seat. We chatted for a few seconds, you know I started up a conversation! He asked to be moved to be back where they had more room for his long feet. He was probably 7ft tall (taller than 2m). I was already dozing off when he left. I ended up having the entire row to myself! How lucky am I? On an international flight? I'll take it! Thanks! Flight was from Los Angeles to Dublin, Ireland; Addis Ababa,  Ethiopia, to Cape Town. The first leg was great! We left around 1am, I slept across the row, it was fantastic! Like so...

Hush, little baby, don't you cry!
We arrived in Ireland, kinda! There was some kind of a storm out there, so, we circled the airport for a while and then headed to Heathrow Airport, London. I'd been here before and my experience was not amazing! Click on the name of the airport for that story! 
They got us off the plane, while they were cleaning it for us to get back on it. OK, fine! Except, we had to go through British customs on our way back to our plane, even though we weren't even supposed to be there! We didn't leave the airport, nobody was expecting us in London, why are we taking off our shoes and going through intense security again, right now? Do you know that some people's stuff was confiscated because it didn't meet The UK's customs rules? I got lucky because somehow I was all over the place, they lost their patience after checking one of my bags, and told me to go to the side and gather my shit and then come through. When I went back to get checked, my fluids fit into their fluids bag, but the rest of my fluids had already been checked by the first person who checked my first bag. That was, I was able to go through with more than one bag of fluids. I hit the jackpot, cos the second bag had two Chanel perfumes. I needed those! 

I used their wifi to call home and tell them I was still in London. They were like, say what? What are you doing there? Anyway, I was getting closer and closer to my African Dream!

I bought these over the knee boots for myself but they were a tad too big, sold them to my sister's neighbor; a former Israeli Victoria's secret model. She's fabulous. I had to ask if she models. Turns out, yup! She also bought a copy of my sister's book while there! Win, all around!

Back on the plane! Everybody had to go back to their original seats. Someone tried to come sit next to me, I was like, it's taken! I was dozing off again when someone bumped into me. It was a man and another men. Two men! An old African man and a younger one. They were moving in! I tried to tell them that the sit was taken. Which, it was! That was the super tall guys seat! I don't own the pane, so I wasn't going to be stubborn about it. Maybe they had an issue where they were coming from but the way the old man handled the whole situation was less than cute. It did remind me where I was going. We're not in America anymore, mami! 

There were a few babies who were not pleased on this flight. One of them cried most of it. Even the hostesses were trying to intervene. The plane was kind of a pig sty. I had never seen a plane that dirty! People were eating and throwing garbage right by their feet. It was kinds nuts. No pun! I know all this because, I got up and walked laps around the plane, on the isles. My feet were swelling from no longer lying down, because I had uninvited guests. I had to do something to get my circulation going. 
Food was nice. Lots of carbs but meat as well, so I just ate the meat and veggies. I wasn't that hungry and they fed us often. 

Because we had to be rerouted to London, we lost a decent amount of time. People who were going to Dublin, had to make alternate arrangements. They were even offered a chance to go to Ethiopia and fly from there. Imagine! I felt for them. They were told they would have to wait three days in London. Imagine if you only were intending to be in town for two days, now, you gotta wait three days to even be there! We lost time, so we were concerned about our connection in Ethiopia. 

When we arrived in Ethiopia, our connection to Cape Town was waiting for us. They didn't even take us through the airport. People we forcing their way into the shuttle, wanting to make sure, I don't know what! Because they were waiting for us and they knew how many of us were connecting. People were just being ridiculous. Got onto an already packed plane. A nice and handsome doctor guy helped me with my suitcase. Turns out, it was his dad that I was going to be siting next to. Nice old man, who raised two handsome gentlemen. The other handsome brother was sitting behind us. More food, then, 6 hours later, welcome to the city of Cape Town! Whooooooohooooooooooooooo! I was in pure disbelief! Am I really here after all these years! After everything I went through in America! Am I really back in the motherland. In the mother city of all places. Mommy, I'm home! You couldn't wipe the grin off my face! 

I took photos and snapchat videos and all kinds of things as we were landing. Thanks to my followers for your patience, haha!

Mother City, AKA Cape Town
Pru! I'm here! I told my sister, Pumla. They got on their way. I tell you, the wait for someone who is 10-20 minutes away feels much longer than a 28 hour flight. I know this, because I've lived it. I had to be careful with my cellphone. We're not in America anymore. People get killed over cellphones in South Africa. True Story. I'm not saying don't visit Africa, I'm saying watch your belongings! I had to quickly adjust my brain to that life of holding on to all my belongings and being extra paranoid. It's gonna be an interesting vacation. But you know what? I'm home!

My sister welcomed me with these cake pops
Here we go,my low carb peeps! Red velvet, chocolate cake and some other kind of cake pops made specially for me by my sister. I wasn't not going to eat them. She baked me an entire cake when I got back home from Eastern Europe. Click here for that story. 

We hung out, chatted. I may have shed a tear or two when I saw my brother in law. I love him so much! I hadn't seen him since I left. I talk to him on the phone though.

Pru, aka Pumla, grilled us chicken wings for dinner and boom! Load shedding! Welcome the fck home, Babes! What? On day one! Can Eskom (the electricity company back home), couldn't even wait? Below is the semi finished product of our attempted grilled wings. We lit cangles and I used flash to take the below picture. Something about no electricity. The house becomes so quiet! 

Sorta Grilled wings and tomatoes
My first meal in South Africa.

My room
My room was so cute! It had night gown and nailpolishes, lipglosses and all kinds of goodies that I like. If you follow me on Snapchat, I took a video of it.

PS. Internet is not as cheap in South Africa! So budget accordingly!

Fool moon from Cape Town angle
The stars were bright and beautiful but they didn't come out in this photo. 

I love you for reading
@ Babalwa Brook on all social media and Youtube, find me! 


Ncebsie78 said...

First time I'm reading your blog Babes
Don't ask I've been living undera rock ��

Brook said...

Better late than never, right? Welcome, Ncesh, I hope you like it here!