Okay, so here’s the follow up to my post on ‘Middle Class Musings’ in Australia.
I’m sitting on the plane in Sydney, about to fly back to Jozi-Town, with mixed feelings. I’ve had three weeks to get used to a way of life that we don’t experience in South Africa.
It needs to be talked about. That embarrassing thing about our country that ruins our beauty. The hideous scar across our perfect face. Crime. It’s such an ugly word. It’s such an ugly thing.
I’ve had three weeks to get used to not having to worry about keeping my handbag close to my side and zipped up wherever I go, not having to look after my belongings like a hawk, not having to keep alert and aware of all my surroundings in case of a mugging, hijacking, smash-and-grab, or bag-snatch. I’ve not worried about locking everything up with bolts and alarms and gates and electric fencing. You don’t realise you are doing it, until you don’t have to do it anymore.
I’ve had to learn to be free and safe. It sounds ridiculous, but I had to learn to do it. Leave my belongings way up on the beach and go swim in the sea, knowing that everything will be there when I get back. I’ve felt safe while driving (very slowly) on the roads – no aggressive pushing, hooting, cutting me off and road rage. The death toll over the recent long weekend was 9 and this caused an uproar at the shock of such a high number.
I go back to South Africa with a heavy heart. I feel sad for us that we live in fear and don’t realise it because that is what we know and are used to.
That being said, the grass is always greener on the other side of the fence. Especially when the fence is barb-wired.
It’s also greener where you water it.