after a journey that felt like nearly forever, a little shopping jaunt in london's heathrow, and a tearful reunion at the cape town airport, my mom and i have settled in to our hotel (with a view of the atlantic and the smell of a bakery in the wee morning hours!) and are ready to take on the mother city.
it is a funny thing to come back to a place after 5 years and to be reminded of small things (the ever honking shared taxis plying the roads for passengers, the way south african pronounce 'here' like 'he-er,' and the newspaper headlines stuck on street posts) and to see how things have noticeably changed.
i was last in cape town after south africa had been officially democratic for 10 years (in 2005) and even had the opportunity to attend the african national congress' celebration of democracy (where i was one of the only white faces in the crowd that had barely a dry eye because of the pride and excitement), but i rarely saw mixed race couples or groups of people of all colours out together. in one short day, i already have the sense that it is different now.
and who am i to make such bold statements, but in my experience, it feels like a more diverse and truly rainbow nation. however, we have only been in airports and the rather cosmopolitan area of sea point in cape town and it is surely very different in the cape flats, the townships, and the rural areas.
but all in good time, we will see that face of south africa too.
needless to say, i am thrilled to be back, to have familiar faces welcoming me back to the southern hemisphere, and to be enjoying the stunning weather!