8 September 2006

Sign Of Times

It is hard to put any kind of sensible description to all of the feelings that fill my existence at the moment. I suppose it is some strange mixture of melancholy, confusion of the past and hope of the future. I am in an airplane somewhere over the Namibian desert on my way to first Heathrow and then Helsinki; only to leave for Birmingham again in less than few weeks time. Although I am on the African airspace for the next hours - a whole night really - – I cannot say when will I be setting my feet on her ground again.

Not that I would say that I will not, because I am sure I will but the summer is over and not only was this summer a winter for me but I am about to start my last year of studying and then it will be the time for some big questions. What to do with my life? I love what I do but it does not pay any kind of rent so I must figure something out.

Leaving, after all these years of doing it, starts getting a bit old. - the goodbyes, the people that have been good to you but to whom you cannot promise coming back and everything that comes along. In this case of Cape Town I suppose I will always go back, even as a tourist, and see my people but after five years of not very stable life, I think I have seen it - unstable life, not Cape Town. Not to say where I would stop, or even for how long, but I need a room and the mindset that if I buy a book or a CD I do not have to think that what will I leave from my bag on return or will the weight of my luggage exceed the limits of whichever air company I am using. Or how do I get it to the airport at the first place.

Cape Town has been good to me. During the past eleven months I have spend half a year there. Not everyday has been sunny, weather wise or metaphorically, but there is something about that city. It is beautiful city, that to me is obvious and the mountain never fails to amaze me, but it is also a troubled one. Especially this time, maybe because of the season, many people around me were having trouble and on top of that the widespread poverty which is highlighted
during these times of widening gap between the different classes makes me feel sad. The street kids, the rape figures and murders. It is a violent city. But the spirit of its people is still something else. Last weekend my friend took me to Mitchell’s Plain, one of the biggest areas of Cape Flats, the poorer side of the city which does not see the tourists unless if they are on a tour driving through it, and I visited a the old neighbours of my friend. I was, like some many times before, asked the question “What do you think about Cape Town and South Africa?”. I cannot really answer very simply to it because there are so many sides to it, some of the very troubling and some just magnificent.

I learned so much again. Working with visually impaired people, Adrian and Leandre, was a great experience. It forced me to see things differently and think outside of the box. The other day I was helping them out with updating their blog; actually I was not helping but showing them how to do that by themselves. One is so used to looking at the computer screen and from there it is easy to say "“click that"”, but when you cannot see, or you can but they listen to what is happening on a computer with a help of a special software which reads the links and the texts with a very monotonous voice, you must first understand how it works, they how they are used to using computers and then how can you explain all this with out saying "just write on that big box on the corner". I was quite pleased when together we figured out the way of getting around all of the obstacles and now they can keep up their own stuff online.

I also learned that not being able to see really lets you to experience things on a different ways. I still do not know how exactly it works but I guess it is just sensing things the other way and picking up cues that to me just does not exist. Or they do but I cannot hear or sense them. Adrian always asked me "what’s that big grin on your face?”" or “"are you alright because you seem a bit sad?"” and not once was he wrong with it.

But this trip is now in the past. It saddens me a bit but at the same time, and on the very last moment, I was talking with a friend on a phone and was encouraged that it will be just fine. I suppose it will always be. On a very last moment I was also happy to realise that another friend had got her forthcoming album back on track and I heard a new song, recorded last night, and it sounded great.

I have this feeling that times are changing now more than ever before, maybe because the changes are happening within me, but I reckon I must get outside of South Africa and get some distance before I can truly understand that what just happened. Past months have been surreal time to me and I feel that I am being cryptic here but I must first understand the impact of many things before I can say more about them.

I am not sure what has been the purpose of this piece, or I know the purpose of it for me but for you it has probably been just emotional nonsense – and fair play, I just needed to get it out of my system. Next time something more sensible.

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