Listening to Reggae While the Winter Steps In


Our week in TD’s apartment in South Africa shrink to five days, two of them mostly spent on the road. We had just a business meeting and other punctual things to do. The main idea was to relax and enjoy the ride. Well, our ride this time was a Limpopo driver named Walter with a visible inclination for reggae. He fanatically listened to a wide variety of performers but when he tuned to hits like No Woman No Cry the volume was turned up. High up.


We had one day of summer (Monday 19), one day of Spring (Tuesday 20) and the winter stepped softly and unmistakably into our short holidays. It was such an unexpected change that I remarked locals heavily dressed and even a free spirited tourist who went to a Rosebank well known restaurant wrapped in a common blanket. Color? It had to be orange. I was really surprised because she was an average woman by all standards. Was it the case that we wore short sleeves because we enjoyed the contrast of the cold with the asphyxiating hot summer days in Mozambique? Anyway, that blanketed woman was with a partner and they seemed to be very much in love. Was she sick or too hot from love to cope with the cold?


During those days, fun meant walking, shopping and eating. Paul was lucky I only noticed three movie tittles I really wanted to watch the morning we left.


Walking was mainly at night and in the quiet streets of Rosebank. Shopping was the same old same. As I gave up one of my dream acquisitions, I had cash enough to buy all the rubbish I wanted. It’s evident I bought a couple of things with meaning and purpose. Paul seemed to be pleased too because he had the opportunity to buy all the nutritional supplements he could have need and a great deal more. Yes, I do believe he is a compulsory supplement buyer and consumer.


As for eating, we usually had a simple fruit breakfast in TD’s place, lunch out and mid afternoon tea also out or already at the apartment. Monday and Wednesday we dinned at TD’s: Monday was chicken and Wednesday a salmon salad. Tuesday we had dinner in one of TD’s favorite restaurants. It was a cold night, but not yet for a blanket. Ever? We had minestrone soup, grilled king klip for Paul and grilled calamari for me. I feel constricted to say baby calamari. It sounds like if I am contributing to the extermination of a species. Dessert was assorted cakes after a long walk with a stop to listen a saxophone busker. The next day a fortuity blood exam reflected the assorted cakes temptation. Only twenty-four hours later my nutritionist explained that the result of the test could be affected by that particular dessert.


Thursday was our traditional goodbye dinner with a Chinese or Japanese meal. This time was Chinese. It wasn’t good as usual (Where is now the Chinese restaurant functioning at the old nice Rosebank Hotel? I enquired and heard the owners just quit.), but the quantities were more than enough for ten. The Chinese waitress decided I was French and I decided not to disappoint her. I was inclined to make people feel happy, before I felt inclined the other way. I think I’ll confirm if people keep asking me if I am French or Brazilian because they might feel much happier if I reply “Spot on!” or “How could you guess it?”


From this short holidays I will also remember the cold nights sat in front of the computer, almost like if I was at home writing, sometimes too absorbed to notice that summer had turned into winter.