Tuesday, May 30, 2006

How Familiar

I had a coffee break at Europa in Norwood yesterday- one of the few Jo'burg suburbs with any street life that doesn't exclusively include various souls aggressively selling wooden birds whose beaks bend or now that it is winter in the Southern Hemisphere, polyester ponchos. I'm chatting with my cool-cat Jo'burg chick friend and our mutual guy friend- in his 40s, Jewish, not yet married, chatty, fun, eclectic. I'm having a bowl of vanilla ice cream for lunch since I can no longer ingest any more halloumi cheese or smoked salmon for at least another month. South African food is so delicious and fresh, but can be limited in scope.

Male friend has a new girlfriend that we both know. She's lovely- kind, caring, appreciative and intelligent. Surprise, surprise, he has commitment issues. And issues with his mother. The Jewish people really are unified across the world since I cannot tell you how many identical conversations I have had on this topic in New York, Montreal, London, Philadelphia, and Jerusalem with other guy friends (i.e. me in a third person role- not directed at me!). Yes, I know your mother employed tactics including excessive guilt regarding your role in the future of the Jewish people, extreme levels of nagging, and passive aggressive phone-calling, but you can get over it.

More interestingly, I am now writing a compendium piece at a Sandton cafe with ostensibly free wireless access. In this case, free is defined as not requiring monetary payment but listening to a door slam in my ear at clockwork intervals of three minutes, watching a large man tap his foot loudly and to some techno rhythm, listening to the Musak version of Billie Holiday, drinking my fourth cup of coffee of the day (yum... Rwandan and Kenyan and Ethiopian beans roast like beauties), enduring the before-mentioned large man tell me the same joke six times--- what a burden it is for him to finish his fries, har, har, har--- and realizing that I could jog around the perimeter of this mall five times and the first page of this web-based database would still not be loaded.

Also, a metered taxi driver a few days ago tried to recruit me as a soldier for the upcoming South African race war and asked me to tell "all my American friends" about it. So I am telling you.


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