Archive for April 2011
or – How not to make friends.
“How can THEY do THIS?” our neighbour’s domestic staff got asked when she came back to work for her employer the next day.
“THEY” are us, and “THIS” is the story to be told.
As told a while ago, we were lucky enough to meet Sol Rachilo, a writer and poet, co-founder of the Market Theatre, and a living history book.
Sol likes us very much, and so on Monday he called inviting us to a play in the Market Theatre. He called again on Wednesday, to make sure when and where to meet. Unfortunately Monique didn’t feel yet for theatre after her stay in the hospital. So she did call friends, checking whether they were spontaneous enough to step in. But all were busy or not reachable short notice.
So not to waste her ticket she did call Victoria, our neighbour’s domestic worker, and since the play was after her work hours she happily accepted. It was not only her first visit to Market Theatre, but her first to a theatre with live actors at all, and not a movie theatre.
We just entered the Market Theatre parking lot when her cell phone was ringing.
“I don’t know. I didn’t touch” –
“No, I didn’t touch.” –
“I just packed your bag for the travel” –
“No, I can’t come, I am in town.” –
“I am going to the theatre in town” –
“I can look tomorrow.”
With the first tone of her cell phone I had a guess, but I was curious and so I asked Victoria who was on the phone. I got proofed true: Her employer looking for a cloth.
Walking to the theatre she shared some insights to her worklife, and these type of calls are common, whether it is in her after work hours and she staying in her room, or on her day off being with her kids in town, or even when she is on leave with her family in the Eastern Cape. And if she turns her cell phone off, they are cross with her.
We were early at the theatre, so we had a drink in the lobby – a Cappuccino for Victoria, a Grapetizer for myself.
Then Sol arrived – a red wine for him – and lots of hugging and laughing, and him sharing he recent experiences and the success of his new book. Victoria seemed overwhelmed entering a new world. Sol sharing memories from the early days of the Market Theatre, or encounters with Mandela in the sixties before Madiba got arrested, his own experiences with the system, taking Victoria’s hand (and mine) to make her feel the remainder of John Voster Square on his skull.
While the play (“Play me” – about how Indians came to South Africa) Victoria asked me whether I was able to turn off her phone. (Thanks to the wisdom of phone designers and the creativity of cell phone software engineers I wasn’t). It were her employers trying to reach her.
“How can THEY do THIS?”
Victoria’s answer: “Because they can!”
I suppose they will thank their lucky stars once we have moved out of the complex. But most likely live won’t be exactly the same as before we came here.
… Investors, Business Partners, Shareholders
A good hour drive north from where we are living today (same distance time-wise from Oliver Tambo) a new Big5 reserve is going to be officially opened early May this year.
For phase1 everything is already in place: Game fences surrounding 18.500 ha bushveld, 5 access gates, and lots of game (zebras, giraffes, rhinos, crocodiles, all kind of antilopes, jacals, lynx, leopards). Even the lions and elefants are already there, yet still in respective bomas to get used to their new home and environment. Once the minister officially opens Gauteng’s first Big5 reserve, they will be released to roam freely.
Only the buffalos will come later, since parts of the reserve have been cattle farms (and some are still operating) so chances to spread bovine deseases need to be eliminated first.
We are contemplating to relocate into the reserve, and to start a business there apart from my day job. There is a lack of accommodation (and restaurants) in the reserve. So whether to buy/build a lodge with guest rooms, some chalets next to our future home, a “village” of rondavels for guests, or luxury safari tents to provide accommodation in an “Out of Africa” atmosphere – the limit is just the budget available.
Oversea’s guests will soon be able to enter the Gautrain rapid train at Oliver Tambo International, and reach Pretoria in about 30 minutes where they could be picked up for another 30 minutes transfer. Taking into account the morning arrival of overseas flights it would give enough time to settle and refresh for the first game drive in the afternoon of arrival.
Artists are enthusiatic about the light in Toscany, and so they book workshop-stays there. They would be thrilled about the light on the South African Highveld (which is just one night flight away from Europe, without the downside of a yet lag since staying in the same time zone). An alternation of game drives and painting might be a great option. And there are great wines and excellent food here as well. Or cruising the bush on an hot air ballon – and seeing Giraffes from above, the prospects are sheer incredible.
If you know somebody who might be interested in participating, please connect us – we already started working on models of participation.
Spread the word and/or join us.