Thursday, February 28, 2013

Long overdue update

The last post was nearly a year ago and much has happened since then. 

  • We finally finished the kitchen revamp.
  • Two weeks after it was completed, Himself was told we were being transferred back to Cape Town.
  • We had the house repainted inside (HOLY HELL what a mess!)
  • We did some much needed maintenance to the house.
  • Put it up for sale at the end of September, got our first and only offer on the 5th of October and the sale finally went through on the 16th of November.
  • We moved back down to Cape Town on the 29th of November (Yay for  Stuttafords whose staff were brilliant).
  • We bought a new house in Somerset West which finally registered in December.  We were homeless for about two weeks then which was fun.  Not.
And now we are Capetonians again, finally!  After spending 8 years well and truly entrenched behind the Boerewors Gordyn (Farmers Sausage Curtain for my Afrikaans challenged friends), I learned the following :

  • I completely and utterly understand why there is so much hatred between blacks and whites, especially Afrikaner whites.  Growing up in Cape Town, my exposure to black issues of the day was fairly minimal.  While my grandmother and parents were of the opinion that blacks should be kept as second class as possible, I grew up in a more liberal and free thinking way.  According to family members, I'd regularly embarrass them by making friends with black people (oh the shock and horror of the older generations!).  Living in the middle of Pretoria where white people think they are by far superior certainly opened my mind to what it means to be a second class citizen but I will never truly know the fear that black people lived in (watch Miracle Rising for some idea although what people like Whoopi Goldberg and Oprah know of the situation in this country still eludes me.  Desmond Tutu's well documented reaction at the TRC hearings is a better indicator).
  • Racism is an ongoing issue, not easily eradicated, if ever.  Too many of us are still entrenched in the biased and very dangerous opinion that we are right at all costs, and that goes for both black and white groups.
  • Raising my kids to be free thinkers in an environment where religion, the abuse of that religion in terms of human relations, wasn't easy but certainly doable.
  • Making friends was hard, especially a white chick who likes to listen to Techno and other weird English music.  There is no way, ever, in any way, that I will ever think Steve Hofmeyer is the God of Music, TV and Movies.  Ever.  No.
  • Keeping those friends even though our beliefs and likes meant we had nothing in common, was fairly easy.
  • Saying goodbye was hard.
  • Going through being hijacked at gunpoint doesn't mean I hate black people, I just hate the fact that I am still so scared of walking past or driving past groups of black men.
  • Celebrating one's Afrikanerness in the face of blatant hatred isn't as bad as it could have been.  Being white in a mostly black world, in the minority, isn't nearly as bad as it could have been.
  • Teaching my kids that black people are human beings too in the face of consistent denial of that fact by the members of the community we lived and socialised in was a learning curve that makes me proud of them.  Proud that they don't automatically follow the herd.
  • Not having a readymade babysitting service in the guise of family was hard.  Finding and keeping a reliable babysitter near impossible.
So, that's what happened to me last year.  Nothing spectacular in the grand scheme of things but pretty damn awesome because we are finally back where we belong.


DJ Jack said...

Very interesting post! Just update more regularly :)

Claudine said...

Dude! You actually read what I write! :D