Birth and death

I am back in Pretoria, a touchdown that is supposed to be a bit longer than the previous touchdowns. My return trip to the US has been rescheduled for March 26. I will have managed to have spent most of the two worst winter months in the southern hemisphere. It is worth living in hotels for 6 weeks.

I left Maseru under heavy clouds and thunderstorms and arrived in Jo’burg a little ahead of these same (?) clouds and thunderstorms. I still react poorly to the loud thunderclaps, looking quickly around me to see whether anyone is alarmed. No one is; in fact people here love what I would call bad weather here as it cleans the air and lowers the temperature.

I left Lesotho on Moshoeshoe Day – it was not clear whether it was his birthday (would anyone know?) or the day of his death (surely recorded by the missionaries as it was the day before his christening). At the hotel all the staff was dressed in traditional costumes and the ladies behind the reception counter couldn’t help wiggle their impressive behinds on the beat of the local band that played in the bar area.

Across town and across the nation there were lots of sport games; we had seen busses stuffed with uniformed school children amassing in various towns on our way back from Butha Buthe. But it was not a day off for the immigration officer at the airport who told me, with a sad face, that she didn’t get to celebrate the nation’s founder’s death day. For her it was about death, not birth. Maybe that’s why she didn’t get the day off.

I am back in the lovely guesthouse on the outskirts of Pretoria. It has as its byline ‘the discerning businessman’s choice.’ This is odd because I have so far only seen one business man here (from Texas) and the rest were all women. The rooms are decorated with a woman’s touch for a woman’s taste.

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