Sunday, March 11, 2012

SA Road Trip

January 2012
I had to book the first bus out to Johannesburg but wasn't in the mood. You know that feeling when for some reason you don't want to do something? That's how I felt! I told my mom about the whole job thing (until then she knew nothing). We both got super excited.

Mom was going to town that afternoon, I decided to catch a lift with her and go book a bus. We drove behind the date guy. I pretended not to see them. He may have done the same too. We parked near each other and they didn't get out of the car. Good thing I always have sunglasses on because I wasn't about to make eye contact and be forced in a really awkward situation. When we went back to the car, they were still in his car at the parking lot. Oh well.

Time for my booking: There I was queuing at Shoprite and I saw this guy from church. People from church can be weird. Sometimes they don't even greet back or smile back. So I decided to ignore him and pretend to be really busy on my phone. When it was finally my turn, they told me the system was off-line. I knew that's why I didn't feel like making the booking that day.

On our way out of the mall, guy from church came after us, AWKWARD! He talked to us for a little bit. It turned out he was one of the nice ones and my mom loves him. I felt so bad. I was like 'wait, I recognise this shirt! Weren't you behind me in line?'. He said yeah, but I thought you didn't recognise me. I was like, 'sorry man!'. Crap!

We walked back to the car and headed home. The next morning, I headed for town, made my booking and ran a few errands before leaving for Johannesburg. Back home to pack. I tell you, if I got a dollar for every time I packed that suitcase, I'd be stinking rich by now! Time was running out because I was determined to fit ALL MY STUFF in one suitcase. It worked. I had to sit on the suitcase to zip it closed. Mom took me to the bus SA ROADLINK. WHAT THE HECK WAS I THINKING? In my defence I did some research and read that the company had improved and bought new buses.

January was HOT! Just before we got on the bus, the hostess warned us that the air conditioning wasn't working. Awesome! We drove for a few hours without any glitches. We stopped to fill up, they gave us a 20 minute break or something. I talked to a lady that was smoking up a storm. Apparently she has some type of a cancer, her son-in-law is dying somewhere in Pretoria, her husband left her and doesn't pay alimony sad sad life!

We must have driven less than an hour when all of a sudden the buss was jerking off (this sounds wrong). We stopped by the side of the road. The driver said it must be the radiator, all he needed to do was pour some water into the radiator and we'd be good to go. Nobody believed him because we just left a filling station, they checked all of that there.

It was around 9 o 'clock when we broke down. We left Uitenhage at 6. An hour later, the driver told us that there was a bus that was coming from Johannesburg headed for Port Elizabeth. That guy had tools with him, we had to wait for him to see if they could fix the bus. That bus would come by at 4am. I went back inside and tried to sleep.

There was a coloured couple behind me that was flirting and pinching each other, tickling each other and Lord know what else. The girl kept saying uh uh man! Uh uh! Good God! The girl was in an SA Roadling uniform. I asked the hostess to ask them to turn the volume down a notch. She said she couldn't. They weren't on duty and therefore had to be treated as regular passengers. AMAZING!

We were on the side of the freeway, there were no lights on the side of the road. One of the passengers went, 'oh nooooo, the bus lights aren't working! We're in trouble now! It's very late and the truck drivers are asleep around this time! They will fall asleep on the wheel and drive straight into our bus and and and. I was like oh my Lord! That's the last thing we need! To be involved in an accident with a bus that's broken down on the side of the road.

Some of the passengers hitch hiked. I slept. My bag was too heavy and we all know what happened last time I hitch hiked in Georgia, hint 'fucky! Fucky!' Around 4:30, the aforementioned bus came by. They couldn't fix our bus. Passengers were getting really annoyed. There was this short Nigerian guy. He kept threatening to beat people up. He wanted to beat his girlfriend up because she was the reason he missed his flight. Apparently he is here on training to be a pilot. He wanted to beat the driver up because he was rude. And he wanted us all to take our luggage off the bus and burn it up. He said if we did that we'd definitely get attention. Then he called South Africans weak because we wouldn't do that, 'you see that's why I love Nigerians'. He talked about Nigerians as if they were the other race. All to find out he himself was Nigerian.

I talked to the driver, trying really hard to remain calm. He told me he was waiting for a bus around 10am. Great! 6 more hours. I went back to sleep. It was kind of hard because normally I'd be up at that hour. I listened to the Zimbabwean dude that thought we were going to get knocked off by a truck. He had more and more negative scenarios. I just kept nodding. He got hungry, I gave him some of my chocolate. I had lots! It's all I had but it was enough. Good thing I can't eat when I travel.

Around 9am, a random dude stopped and talked to our driver. The Zim guy came back and told me that we were going to get a lift to Colesberg where we'd be picked up by an SA Roadlink bus. Last time I took SA Roadling, they picked us up in a Mercedes Vito and dropped us off in Colesberg were we waited 5 hours for a bus. I had bad memories of Colesberg but anything was better than where we were. I didn't believe that that guy was going to come back for us though. Why would he?

He did! A few minutes later, 2 mini buses picked us up. People flew out of the bus with their little hand luggages. I had a 30kg Suitcase waiting for me in the baggage compartment. Darn it! I tried to remain calm and positive. I got on one of the mini buses. We all did, except for the driver. He had to look after the broken down bus until Lord knows when. I felt sorry for him.

As luck would have it, I sat right in front of the cancer lady. She told me more miserable stories about how her son-in-law contracted this weird, fatal disease, how the husband ran away with a 19 year old and and and. Almost 3 hours later, we were in Colesberg. There was an SA roadlink bus idling at the filling station. I tell you, I whisked my heavy suitcase like it was nothing and I was on that bus!

I sat behind a really nice looking, blue eyed guy. He was nice too because we exchanged bus breaking down stories. He was from Cape Town. Their was broke down and they had to wait 5 hours for the next. We were stuck for 12 hours. TWELVE HOURS!
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Saturday, March 10, 2012

The Date

January 2012

My brother, bless his soul, wanted me to get a job closer to home so I can stay at home with mom now that she's alone. And he didn't want me going to another God-forbidden country and be spat on and kicked. He came over one afternoon with police friends. He brought me application forms. There were 3 police friends in the car and 3 ladies at home, myself, my niece and Someone (remember her?). I was already in my Night dress when they came over, my brother was like, you can't go out looking like that! These are police officers! Whatever that meant, I wasn't trying to impress and cops as far as I was concerned.

I changed and went outside to meet the cops. They were all from the old Transkei. Apparently the driver was being hooked up with me. He had long pinkie nails, a HUGE NO NO in my books. I think he was convinced he had it (me) in the bag. He let me take his car for a spin to prove that I can drive. He promised to take me to the offices to submit the application forms blah blah blah!

We spent ours talking hours, I was cooking and dying to leave. They were drinking and having a good time. I was bored to death. We exchanged numbers and they finally left. He called me later to tell me how nice it was to meet me and that he couldn't wait to see me again. We agreed on meeting the next day, Sunday. Sure, why not! He was supposed to call in the morning and we'd meet around 10 AM. He didn't.

He called around 4pm, we were out. I told him I'd let him know when I was back home. He didn't live far from us. I texted him when I got back, he said he was on his way, he'd be there in 5minutes. 5 minutes became forever. He finally showed up. He parked up the road from my mom's place. I walked up. There he was with the biggest smile ever! Cute!

He whooped out a small box of Debonair's Pizza. It was hot. It smelled! He had some while flirting with me. Not cute!
Me: So....
Him: Yeah babe
Me: Where are you taking me?
Him: Oh you want to go somewhere?
Me: I was just asking if you had any plans for us for tonight.
Him: To be honest with you, I don't want to go to some rowdy club, I want to be somewhere quiet with you. I want us to get to know each other.
Me: We can go to a restaurant. First, can we please go to the shop, I need airtime?
Him: Sure babe, there's one right down the road.

When we got to the shop he asked if he could buy the airtime for me. For a split second I was sort of kind of impressed. Until I realised he meant I should give him the money, he'd go to the store for me. I refused. We went to the store together. I got my airtime and we headed back to the car. We were parked right across a filling station and Spur (restaurant). Back in the car, out of the blue, he blurted out 'let's go to PE (Port Elizabeth). I said sure, let's do it! We went to the garage (gas station) to fill up. He got R50 ($7) petrol (gas) which I know for a fact is not enough to go to PE and back. He came back in the car and asked me if I really wanted to go to PE. I was like 'it's your idea!'. He told me how I looked tired and he didn't want me falling asleep on him, and suggested we do PE some other time.

He suggested going to Spur. Sure! I was game! I just wanted it to be over asap! While driving to Spur he tried to confess, 'you know what babe! Let me tell you something about myself'. I begged him not to, 'please don't! Whatever it is you want to tell me, tell me the opposite and I'll switch it up for myself'. He looked like he wanted to tell me he was broke and I wasn't ready to hear that. He opted not to tell me. Thank goodness!

When we got to the parking, he said 'oh no, there's no parking babe, what are we going to do?'. I said there's parking right in front of you! As we got off the car, he said, 'just drinks ne? (Ok?), nothing else! Just drinks! 'Ok!'.

We got in, found a nice table. Waitress brought us a menu. I ordered a milkshake.
Waitress: anything for you Sir?
He: Eish, uhm, I'm almost scared to ask but... How much is a beer?
You know what? Never mind. I know you guys! You guys are expensive. It's definitely double what I pay for a beer in the township. Never mind!
..Ok, how much is it? How much's a beer?
She: I'm not sure, sir, let me find out for you!
He: you see, you don't even know how much it is! That means it's expensive.
She: I'll be right back
He: these people are so expensive, I bet you a beer is R15 ($2) or something! Ugh!
She: it's R14.95 sir!
Me (trying not to pass out of humiliation).
He: you know what? I'll have water. Just go to the tap, open it up and get me water. Yeah! Water from the tap!
Me: I'll have some too, please!

He drank water from the tap, I had the most grossest, most sweetest milkshake of my life: caramel milkshake from Spur! This coming from someone who has a sweet tooth. Our conversation went something like
He: I like you, you know?
Me: thanks
He: you're different.
Me: how?
He: you're so different.
Me: oh yeah?
He: you and I have nothing in common.
Me: is that a good thing?
He: yeah, I like your confidence, I think I can learn a lot from you.
(If I got a dime everytime a guy wanted to be in a relationship with me so he can 'learn' from me, I'd be a gazillionaire by now).
Half my milkshake later, I suggested we call it a night.
This was just after they played Silver Pozzoli's Around my Dream. A blast from the past. That's the only good thing that came out of that night.

He asked if I wasn't going to finish my milkshake. I could tell he thought I was wasting money by not finishing gross tasting milk shake. He paid and took me home. He wouldn't let me get off the car without a kiss from him. Heeeeeeyyyyyllllll Naw! Not gonna happen! NO! I tried to be polite about it and told him good things come to those who wait. I got off the car, he chased me all over the street trying to get a kiss Gosh! Why do guys do that? I gave him a hug. He whispered in my ear 'imhandi! Mhhhh! Ndiva kamhandi! (It's nice! Mh I feel good!) Grosss! Who says that?

I ran off to my mom's. I retold the story to the niece and we both were so shocked that people still act like that nowadays. Ugh! He was supposed to take me tot he offices the next day, no word from him. I knew he couldn't because he was broke. He called me the next day to find out why I didn't call him. I wanted to die!

He wanted to come see me, he had a few minutes before work. I told him I don't do cars, he should call me way in advance, arrange to go on a proper date and take me somewhere. Never happened. Instead, he kept buzzing my number, if I didn't call back, he'd hide his number and buzz again. So annoying.
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Sunday, February 26, 2012

Plan A, Plan B, Plan C

Beginning of January, people went back to their respective places, Cape Town, Johannesburg etc.
Only a few of us, Someone included, stayed behind.

I was busy hunting for jobs overseas, and it hasn't been smooth sailing. I'd hoped to get a job by February at least. Plan B would've to go to Cape Town, do a 6month course while working part time and also do my BTech with Unisa. Plan C which would've been to go back to Johannesburg, do the BTech and act.

I was scheduled for an interview with the institution I was going to do the 6month course with. It was 2weeks away and in Cape Town. My sis Pru heard of a vacancy in Johannesburg and thought to let me know about it. Johannesburg was only my last option but I'd to consider it, it's not like I had a job waiting for me anywhere else (except for Georgia). This was Saturday, I was to call the person's office the next Monday. I tell you, I prayed a never ending prayer all of Saturday and Sunday. Pru told me to be the first call they got that morning. Deal!

By then, it was just my mom and I at home. Everybody else had left. She was out working everyday, and I was at home, cleaning and cooking and job hunting AND WATCHING GREY'S ANATOMY. I didn't tell her about the job lead. There wasn't much to be said about it yet anyway.

Monday morning, 8am, I dialed the number. They told me the PA would be in at 9. I tried again after 9 and got hold of her. I told her who I was, she told me she'd been expecting my call and was to sms me her email address so I could send her my CV (resume)
You know how you have different CV's for different jobs? I've recently been using my teaching CV. I looked at it and saw how it had nothing to do with the post I was applying for. I thought to tweak it up a bit but Pru said, no, don't do that! You're honest, be honest! Great! I had to use the cover letter to sell myself. That must've been the longest cover letter in the history of mankind! SENT! I got a confirmation and PA said she'd get back to me in due course. If only I knew when that was!

I could them 2 times for an update after a few days of waiting. The second time, I got good news. They had a better position for me and would like to interview me for it as soon as I could get to Johannesburg!

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2011, The last days.

... Pru, bro-in-law, niece and I went grocery shopping. I called my brother from there and told him not to be surprised I was using my South
African number, I was roaming. I couldn't get hold of mom. I wanted to know when he'd be home so I could call and talk to mom. He called me back, I darn it!
Me: 'Hiiii, ssup?'
He: Baba, uphi wena ngoku? (Where are you right now?)
Me: I'm in France. Listen, I'm roaming, I don't know how much this call is going to cost me, so I'll talk to you later when you're at mom's? Click.
(I was thinking gosh, I hope he's not here at Pick n Pay as well, that would be so weird!)

I didn't hear from him that evening, of course, I knew he wasn't at mom's because I was at mom's.
He came over the day of the function. That was 2days after I arrived in Uitenhage. I was too excited to hide. A, my sis from Johannesburg, said uh uh, finish what you started! Go hide! Ugghhhh! Instead of hiding, I went and answered the door. He was surprised to see me of course. That was the end of the surprise spree. He brought over 3 of his sons and the wife to be.

The function went very well. It's times like that when you see that you've grown up. We had to do most of the 'work' ourselves. It's a very interesting ceremony, now that I got to part take in it. My brother played the role of the 'man of the house' as he was the only brother present. We drank umqombothi (African Beer). They gave some to my 3 year old nephew and he LOVED IT! They gave him more and more, he drank it and got so hyper. He's naturally a hyper kid, so you can imagine.

It was an intimate ceremony, so we had a few guests which we dropped off at the taxi rank afterwards. The next day was Christmas. Fortunately, everybody at home was grown up, we didn't need to do Christmas Stocking. Hallelujah! We'd made so much food for the function that we didn't have to cook on Christmas day. My niece wasn't too pleased about that!

The next day was more Christmassy than Christmas day itself. Pru, the chef cooked, the niece and I helped out as usual. We ate and were merry!

New Years wasn't that eventful. Which can be a good thing! We all were at home. We stayed up and talked about traveling and boys. Most of our conversations end up being about relationships. That night's wasn't any different. We ended up with my bro-in-law having a task to hook me up with his long lost cousin who's a Nazi. Yay, White Supremacy! NOT!

By midnight, A and Someone were fast asleep. We popped champagne and toasted to the new year. We called my oldest brother, who was in Cape Town and the nephew, who at the time was a Band Manager in Johannesburg. His band was performing that night.

It was as good as it gets: New year's with my favourite people! What more could one ask for?

We missed my late uncle very much, first Christmas without him. R. I. P. Tanci A. Z. Brook.
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Wednesday, February 01, 2012

Umqombothi (African Beer)

21st December.

We had a ceremony to prepare for. It was going to be on Christmas Eve. We had to mad Umqombothi (African Beer). None of us had ever made it before. I ended up being the one to do the honours. Apparently, somebody that I'm going to refer to as Someone was on her way and she'd made the beer a few times before. She was going to coach me. We had to wait for her. We had the ingredients and the direction on them but we waited for Someone. Someone arrived, 2kids on tow, and worked me through the Mqombothi making process. By worked me, I mean, she read the directions from the ingredients. THAT'S what we'd been. waiting for the whole time! Breathe Brook! Breathe!

I did part one of mixing the ingredients, covered it up and wrapped it up in really thick and warm cloths and hoped it came out right. It took 3days for it to finish, and we only had 3days. It had to come out!

Oh BTW Someone 'also didn't know' I was coming. Mom called for my other sister to open, I decided to go to surprise her. When I got at the door, she went, 'I heard mama calling out Pru, Pru! Pru! Pru! I was expecting her to come and open. Even as you were approaching the door, I heard the foot steps and thought it was Pru! Seriously! I thought it would be Pru'. I stood there wondering: is she surprised?

Day 2:
I'd to make the fire outside and cook some of the ingredients. I let them cool down and mixed them up with the stuff I'd made the night before and covered them up once more.
My nephew kept calling my mom, we'd to keep reminding her that I'm not here. Ugh, there's no end to this. He kept telling mom that he was coming the next day, until today!
My other sister from Johannesburg, let's call her A (as in exhibit A, just kidding) called Someone. They talk often. Someone went out of the room, I'd already seen A's name on the phone screen and we signalled for Someone not to tell that I'm home.
Before we knew it, we overheard her going, 'yeah! Yeah, we're making Umqombothi. In fact, Babalwa is! No! Not Pru, Babalwa! Yeah, she's here, she's home'. I WAS SOOOOOOO PISSED OFF! How dare you come all the way here and ruin my surprise like that? What the heck's wrong with you! As soon as she walked back into the kitchen, there was silence. Awkwardness! I asked her, 'Someone! Did you just tell A that I'm here'. Yup! She didn't even seem to care. It felt like that day when you find out that Santa Clause isn't real? Yeah, kinda like that! And the person that burst the bible was oblivious to the fact. I asked her, 'you know that we're keeping this as a surprise, right?' No, I didn't know! Just like that, flat tone. Not an inch of a bother in her voice. She didn't care. That explained why she was acting so weird she she saw me open the door for her. She didn't care if I was here or not, or whatever, she just couldn't be bothered.

I got a message from my niece who I was chatting with the entire time when this happened. First, I got one from A. It read, 'The secret's out. You know Someone, she doesn't keep secrets. Welcome to South Africa! See you 2morrow'. I responded 'uhm, WHAT?' I had to try maintain the facade. My niece massaged me, 'A says you're here!'. I replied, 'oh is that what she was talking about? I just got this message from her -' I sent her a copy of the message from A. I must have went on and on and on about how people should be considerate and not be b!tches about other people's feelings and secrets. No matter how minute they might seem to them. What annoyed me more about the whole thing was the fact that, she didn't see anything wrong with what she did, she just walked away, into the lounge and watched Generations. Generations! That's what you're going to watch when you piss someone who just came back from the most weirdest experience of her life and you just ruined her surprise! Go on! Watch Generations!

Whew! Of course, I'd to share a bed with Someone that night, there I was sleeping with one eye open. I didn't know if she was going to get up in the middle and literally skin me alive.

Day 3:
Someone told mom that Mqombothi was ready! She seemed excited! Mom asked if she opened it up and checked. She told he she could just smell it. She's the only one that was smelling it. It was far from ready, as usual, I don't know what she was talking about! A and my niece arrived that morning. They called asking to be picked up. Mom wasn't home, and I'm the only other person that drives her cars, and I couldn't because I wasn't here, remember!

We didn't know whether my brother was going to pick them up or they'd take a cab. I was with Someone in the house when I heard Pru talk to someone outside in Xhosa. I was like Oh My gosh, they're here, let me hide. 'I don't think it's them.' Uhm, then who is Pru talking to? 'I really don't think it's them'. Uhm, whatever, I'm gonna hide anyway. So there I was running like a headless chicken, trying to find somewhere to hide where they wouldn't walk straight into me. I went into my late uncle's room and stood behind the door, behind the book shelf. I didn't think they'd want anything back there. I put my phone on silent and tried not to burst out laughing.

The floors are wooden, so I couldn't even move! When I heard they were close by, I messaged my niece and asked if they arrived safely, she told me they were close. they walked in through the back door and camped up in the kitchen. I was dying to get out and hug them. I missed them so much. That's my family from Joburg, we went though so much together. I couldn't wait to be reunited with them. A asked if I was home. Pru lied and said I wasn't. They didn't dwell on the subject. Pru just talked her Someone was mistaken when she told her I was here, SHE (Pru) is the one that made the mqombothi.

I sent Pru a message telling her to say hi to everybody when they got home. I told her I heard, they weren't that far. Pru, being the actor that she is, (by the way, did you see her on the Short story Baby Johnson last year? I believe it was on MNet?) she told everybody, 'Babalwa's good! It's as if she knows you guys just walked in, she said to say hi.' I was still hiding. Trying not to laugh.
About ten minutes or so later, yeah that long! I came out. My niece was so surprised! A, not so much cos Someone ruined the surprised and planted a seed of doubt. Plus, A is the one from whom I'd got a missed call. Apparently she was trying to call someone else, and accidentally dialled my number, that gave her the impression I was here.

Yay! Finally reunited with the family. Wait, that's not everybody...

Monday, January 30, 2012

Road Trip!

28th December
My older brother came over to lunch with us. He didn't know I was back. He was more in the dark, because we don't talk often. I was in the shower when he arrived. He sat in the lounge, no one said a thing to him, I came out, walked right past him to my sister's room pretending to be a ghost. Hahahaaa! That was fun! He was soooo shocked!

One of the days, sis and I went to the mall to pay the bills before heading to my mom's for Christmas. I was that fool that walks around with a huge smile on her face. It was so nice to be around familiarity. KFC! Oh my goodness, KFC! We went to the banks, I smiled at everybody, we bought KFC and on our way back, my sis let me drive her car. Yippee! It's an automatic and the last automatic I drove had 3 pedals, so yeah. Go figure! Last time I drove a car was in Akhaltsikhe. It was left handed and I drove on the right side of the road. It's not that different though, once you get on the road, it's not scary or anything. It helps that the pedals are in the same place for both drives.

We also went to Unisa, the other side of town. This was a different day, we took the train. I was still relaxed, walking around with my phone in my hand and my hand bag closed. My sis had to remind me where I was and that I'd better hide my phone and zip my bag. There was a guy sitting across from us in the train. His pants were torn right above the thigh and he was sitting nonchalantly with his legs wide open. Oookkkaaayyyy then strange flashing dude!

We got off the train and asked for directions from a coloured lady who walked us halfway there and on the way, she asked a random black, probably homeless guy for directions IN ENGLISH and he responded IN ENGLISH! Yup! All those tiny little things we take for granted! South Africa IS and English speaking country and I'm very proud of that.

21st December
5 days since I got back to South africa and I was still as tired as a dog. The very very hot weather didn't help much either. We packed and left for Uitenhage mid morning. Brother-in-law drove. You know me and my motion sickness situation. I wanted to check the scenery, but half the time I had to either look straight ahead or close my eyes. When we passed The Wilderness, a small town in the garden route, I thought of a friend of mine, I say friend but he really is an artist/actor/Mr Everything guy I met while doing the second day of my first commercial. He wanted us to do something together and we confirmed so many jobs that we'd do but we just didn't end up doing any of them. He meant well, and I love him for that. I remember when we asked where he was from because he has a bit of a British accent. He told us, 'The Wilderness.' I was like, really? He went, 'you know where that is? Nobody know where the Wilderness is'. Uhm, yeah, I do! It's in the garden route. I did think of him, and I remembered he'd posted that he was at home in the Wilderness. I said hi to him in my head.

8hours later, we arrived in Uitenhage. We have a pice of land on the way out of Uitenhage towards Port Elizabeth, it's where we grew up, the thieves stole all the buildings, from the buildings, to the tanks, to everything. All that's left behind is land. It's always so weird to drive past there. And the fact that it's not that far from the cemetery where we buried my brother doesn't help much with the emotions either. R. I. P. Big!

We got out to offload the car, mom came out and was like, 'hayiiiiinnnniiii, uBaaaabbaaallllwwwaaa!' (OMG, Babalwa!). She sure was shocked to see me here. She thought I'd be in France by then, well, here I am! Hi mom!

So strange to be at home without my uncle. You know how it is when you go back home for the holidays, you're so used to seeing everybody. And then boom! Someone passes away! Next time you go home, there's someone missing, their room is empty, their furniture is lying on its sides and your mom's wearing dark coloured clothes? Kinda reminded me of way back when, when they took me home during school term from boarding school, didn't tell me what was happening, my uncle had shaved his head, we took a huge wreath with us all the way to Uitenhage. When I got home my mom was dressed in black. I asked everyone what was going on, they told me everything was fine. I was eleven. My dad had passed away. I figured it out when I asked my now late younger brother where everyone was starting from the then oldest member of the family. The only person that was not fine was my dad, my brother told me he was in hospital. I knew he was the one that had passed away.