The Traveller


WHAT? Two more sleeps?

The city’s surging into its morning growl, and all you can think of is …. no, no,no, not England.

Your mind’s already traversed Africa to settle in Skala Eressos/Eressos, two villages with the sum total of about well, not many people, even in summer.

You’re thinking of the engaging Madame X, and the bicycle that’s propped up against a wall at the flat of Miss Muscles.

You’ll have to pedal, she says.

You anticipate the Kouitou Hotel’s quaint and quirky charm, and wonder what new art Alex Shine Martinez has sprayed onto the walls.

And floors.

You should be focusing on going to the bank and getting your tax completed.

You need to post the papers to Elize in East London, a palm-tree town in the Eastern Cape, one of the poorest and most blighted provinces of South Africa.

Elize told you, years ago — last century: Declare everything and don’t sell anything.

It was the best advice. You’ve stuck with her. You stick with all the women who help you.

She and — since you got to Joburg in 2005 — your hairdresser, Liezl, they are your enduring service providers, oh, and your therapist, Kantha, and beautician (yes, you gotta believe it), Jane.

Not to mention your helper at home, Nomusa and, how can you forget, your yoga teacher Champa.

Ah, and Gwyn, the general factotum and holder of the reigns when you’re away.

These seven women, your support group, you say au revoir, gracias to your security blanket!

You swear to not cut your hair until you see Liezl again. She laughs.

Snip. Snip. There’s hair on the floor.








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