Sunday, August 29, 2010

The Groot Trek

For those who have moved, this post will be unsurprising. Dull even, out of sheer predictability and familiarity. I’ve moved a few of times, and there’s one thing that always surprises me: you always forget how kak it is. Not just the packing and stacking and taping and moving of boxes. Not even the heavy loads. It’s the unsettling nature of it all. You call a place home for lets say, two years, then suddenly within a week you have to pack it all up and try nomadically plant yourself in a new location. And call that place “home”. If only it were that simple.

Of course the first thing that’s (obviously) drastically different is the actual house. You were used to your layout: TV there, couch there, dining room wherever, wine boxes here – there’s a general setup to it that your body grows accustomed to, and it’s programmed to expect certain objects to be in certain places after a while. I won’t even go into the nightmare that is getting used to the kitchen. It takes a really long time to feel completely comfortable in a new place, and to completely relax there. Particularly when you have all sorts of plans for the joint. (For example, I already have: curtains, TV cabinet, TV, bookshelf, hooks in kitchen, redo floors, paint peeled wall, retile bathroom, hang up mirrors and pictures – it doesn’t end any time soon.)

The thing I find most perturbing, however, is the locale. The houses around you, the streets, the kind of traffic in those streets, and above all – the shops. I was very happy with my Woolworths – quite literally around the corner from me. Along with the best Chinese and Indian take-out joints I’d been to, The Throbbing Strawberry being my ‘local’, and the very good Pick ‘n Pay across the street. Not to mention optometrist, pharmacy, post office, biltong shop (beeeeeest biltong), gift shop, carwash and garage AND even more food places. I think it’s safe to say that shopping centre (300m away from my house) is probably one of the best ‘stocked’ centres around. And I’ll settle with the idea that they’re difficult to find. But daayyyum was that convenient. I now have a tiny Spar, two very nice restaurants, a couturier (?), a pharmacy, and a convenient store Woolies at the garage. BALLS! And you get used to the layouts, you know? “Oh, I need mafasha-mafash, I’ll also get some yadda-yadda while I’m there, and pick up the shmoo-shmoooo-shmoo.” No more of that, my friends. I now have to do my general shopping… IN A MALL. I know – just put me in a canoe and sail me out to sea.

I have to say, other than the obvious inconveniences, moving is great. For your mental state that is. After you’ve recovered some sense of sanity, you notice the change is very refreshing. It’s exciting, uprooting and stressful. And the one big change (i.e. relocating) is often the first of many. Restructuring the foundation of your life, being the place you call home, can make you see the need for change in so many other areas. Extra work you’ve been putting off, throwing out things you weren’t sure about, buying furniture you weren’t sure you needed, ending relationships, starting them, revitalizing lost friendships – all sorts of great things come from having to get off your arse. (If I’m kidding myself, do me a favour and leave me in sweet delusion – it’s obviously a coping mechanism I’ve created. I think it’s a good one anyway.) Olé! And here we go…

(Needless to say, the move is the reason the blog’s been dead for a good week. I’ll be back to mixed tape Mondays and what-not immediately!)

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