While at Ti’s apartment, we had to deal with an unexpected problem: noise during the night. A couple of blocks from Ti’s building there are student residences or apartments, and the noise coming from that place goes on and on, until the first lights of the day.
All that confusion happens with the background noise of speeding cars. And when the wild students decide to settle down, the street sound prevails and rock us until (finally) we manage to sleep (peacefully) during the morning. (If we ever move to such noisy neighbourhoods, having sound proof walls and windows is a must!)
Last Thursday night Paul and I went to Vi’s, the only person we know since the boys left to Durban. We had different intentions concerning the internet: for one it was the news, for other the blog. Due to the usual difficulties with the server, we were quickly drawn to the general conversation and found ourselves sharing the cushions around what can perfectly be the “lowest dinner table in the world” with two other couples teaching at Witts university. The conversation changed of subject to Mozambique beauty, from that to nutrition, from nutrition to dreams and from dreams to love.
“It is impossible to be creative writing in English”, said a nice fellow sitting in front of me. I know that he is American, a French Literature teacher, if I remember. “English is a trade language. I love you is I love you. Except for those three words, there is no other way to say it.”
He is trying to be provocative. If that is the case, he is successful judging by the general reaction. If we don’t accept his opinion, could we give examples? It is not easy. Anyway, we show our disagreement.
I remember and quote a couple of lines from African poems I read from time to time. He admits that there are messages of love in those words, without using the three in question, but he stretches that Portuguese (a language that he just started to learn) is far more rich in terms of expressivity than French or English. I have some doubts about his opinion, but suddenly I am involved in another discussion to my right involving Chinese, English, Portuguese and Brazilian poetry.
All the conversation was “washed” down with a surprisingly tasteful homemade mint and honey tea and the wonderful smile of the apartment owners. This is the kind of contacts we miss in Mozambique, despite Paul complaining later on of a back pain caused by the unusual seats.
TD’s building has a nice garden, cared with love by gardener Thomas. We closed the apartment door where we stayed for a couple of days, for the second time, leaving the spare keys inside the fridge. The apartment is in front of the hotel we used to stay and still frequent when we need.
The day I arrived and Vi found me looking in dismay at the now blank picture we had offered months ago to Ti, with a signed photo showing a beautiful rank of trees, she exclaimed with complacence: “Ti and his minimalism!” He was near and explained to us: “My intention was to use my own, but when I have a photo that I really like I always give it to someone as a present!”
I think Ti’s minimalism is a result of being robbed in the past and of his errant life of musician. I quite like his minimalism and Paul is getting used to it. Despite his naked apartment, Ti has a few commodities that I appreciate: a narrow corridor and a great bubble bathtub with twelve yellow little ducks and a Spiderman!
Outside it’s grey and raining. The voice on the local radio jokes about G. W. Bush and famous couples divorcing. I look at the window, front and left. My eyes follow the dance of the raindrops. One by one they execute the same movement. They get stronger, they gather momentum and blindly run towards the same corner, something I shall never do!