Stuck in a holiday coma

2007-12-14 00:00

You know, Cape Town honestly feels like a whole different country, which is why it’s great to come here for the holidays. I might as well be in Düsseldorf, for crying out loud.

I had a job to do over the weekend and since it’s ended I’ve spent three days doing nothing much more than waking up, reading, sleeping, eating, watching movies, sleeping and eating again. Best of all, my cellphone was fortuitously stolen from a restaurant table and redistributed the night before I left Johannesburg. No phone calls. Double points for that.

All is forgiven as I type this from my friend Cassandra’s envy-inducing view of the mountain. Ahhh, this is the life and no amount of cellphone carrier insurance incompetence is going to get me out of my self-induced holiday coma. Is it time to open the bottle of Sauvignon Blanc yet?

Even being rudely woken up by a bergie couple at dawn shrieking the infamous “jou ma se ... soep” is not enough to get me wound up.

Thank goodness for Christmas, is all I have to say. It is the only time that our country is forced to close (unless you’re slogging it out at a hospitality or retail outlet, of course), helping us to take some much-needed time away from our desks and unavoidable “networking” sessions and fake laughs with people who we would never choose to be our friends.

But such is work and the children have to eat, and so we work and work and work, until baby Jesus’ birthday, whether we celebrate it or not, becomes a welcome reprieve to breathe. “Thank you Jesus” takes on a whole new meaning.

When I was growing up, a holiday for my mum meant several things, but none of them involved chilling. It was a time for my mum to sleep off her exhaustion, for me to visit my cousins in Killarney and get up to no good or to visit my grandfather’s farm in the Winterveld, “ko diplaseng” as we used to call it.

But as a girl, the older you get, the more you realise that holidays are for men and women are in the kitchen from dawn until dusk cooking, cleaning, baking, making tea and boiling bath water for the men and children. But I am on holiday, even if I do have to write this article, and thus you’re spared my feminist tirades today.

Nowadays there are no more family gatherings in the Winterveldt. My grandfather died about 17 years ago and since then Christmas holidays have never been the same. Of my mum’s remaining siblings, each is spending that time with his or her nuclear families, and we, their children, have our own lives and families who take precedence.

No more arguments about who didn’t contribute enough and whose lazy children ate the most. No more running amok stealing fruit from my grandfather’s orchard, no more drunk uncles and no more close family ties. We’ll see each other soon enough at someone’s funeral, where we’ll promise to call, and inevitably never will.

To the folks going to vote in Polokwane, what can I say — better you than me? I should probably care a lot about what will happen this weekend, but honestly, right this minute, I could not give a rat’s behind. But enough of the depressing stuff. There’s a glass of crisp white wine with my name all over it. — News 24.

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