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A Waiting Game

July 16, 2009

Winter has settled into Cape Town.  The rain plays a constant marimba at our windows.  The damp chill it brings oils in, like an unwelcome relative, burrowing into your sheets and clothes.  The missing panes in the back doors have become more of a public enemy than Jacob Zuma in Kimberley. Because 19 college students seem incapable of figuring out how to operate the coin slot dryer, our clothes hang on racks for days, drying.  I washed the jeans I plan to wear on Friday, Tuesday morning so even the pockets would have time to evacuate the water.

Classes at University of Western Cape have begun, and we are all trying to understand the intricacies and how no one seems to know anything. Everything is done on paper, and always in a “different department.”  “Go to the Department of Arts” they say. So we go, stand in line for an hour and a half, only to be told that they “do not have us in the system,” or “that’s not here.”  The campus is large, and beautiful (like everything else here).  Originally, UWC was a designated colored school.  Regardless if you were from Durban or Jo-berg, if you were classified as colored, and wanted to study at university, UWC was your new home.  When apartheid ended, the university was opened to everyone.  And now, it’s open to us.

While the process of registering has us all trekking the 3.5 blocks to Babo for cosmos and Black Lable when we get home, it also has been an interesting lesson in “South Africa time.” This is a city with several different definitions for “now.”  “Now sometime”= Sometime in the near future, possibly today.  “Just now”= Definitely today, and hopefully in the next few hours. “Now now”= Right now (a.k.a in 15-20 minutes).

P.S. If you liked the previous post “Me and South Africa Go Good Together,” feel free to visit for similar styling.

One Comment leave one →
  1. Mom permalink
    July 18, 2009 9:05 pm

    I’m so pleased you have decided to post this blog. Your descriptions and insights are as ever eloquent and thought provoking. Your study of contrasts and complexities is beautifully simplified…all about love indeed. I can hardly wait for your next posting–until then know how much I love you and how happy I am that you are having this experience. xo–M.

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