Thoughts on Experiencing Similarities and Differences in Countries and/or Cities you Visit for Only a Few Days at a Time

(I always wanted to write something with a long title like this. My favourite movie title is The Englishmen who went up a Hill and came down a Mountain.)

Countries under Discussion

France (a bit of the South and Paris, ten days)

England (only London, four days)

Netherlands (only Amsterdam, three days)

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One can hardly be an expert after visiting a country or even only a city for three or four or ten days – and for the first time! But we can make deductions, relate experiences and emotions and share observations after visiting places – even if it is after only such a short time. After all – that is why we do the lovely, beautiful, excruciating thing called travelling. So add if you want to, differ if it entertains you, but please don’t digitally crucify me for my inadequate, subjective views and comments on three great places my feet had the pleasure to touch.

We as a little family visited a few destinations in Europe at the end of last year through the beginning of this one. My husband is a seasoned traveller and had visited many countries beyond our continent’s borders, but for our son and I, it was the first trip beyond Africa and the Middle East. we looked forward to it for a long time and we weren’t disappointed. It must actually be ‘normal’ for South Africans like us to visit Europe at least once in a lifetime, because that is where our origins are. But travelling is a privilege and most of the time we can’t just jump on a plane and go wherever we dream to go. For us, the opportunity came up and we grabbed it with all fours.

 man in pau

France

After hoping and dreaming, we finally made the trip to visit to a friend of mine, residing in the south of France for the last five years. My friend, Mirella, her husband, Christian, and two sons, Daniël and Xavier lives in Sainte Colome, near Arudi, near Pau, near Toulouse in the south western part of Aquitaine province of the country, very close to the border with Spain. This border is lined with the beautiful Pyrenees Mountains and counts as some of the finest of God’s creation.

Our initial introduction with the French people wasn’t that heartening. Speak English at the train station in Toulouse and you are rudely ignored. Fortunately, angels roam the earth and an English speaking one was waiting for us at the ticket machine to help us obtain three tickets to Pau. Once in the countryside, people showed us the nicer side of being French. We breathed the good, clean Pyrenees air for seven wonderful days, we watched the world around us in awe, threw a snowball for the first time ever (!) and admired people’s skills in the soft, white, cold wonderland.

Paris was everything I hoped it would be and more. We visited all the famous tourist sites, enjoyed the food and watched the Parisians stroll up and down the Champs Elysees dressed as if it is a catwalk. We were there for only three days, but somehow we ended up going to the Eiffel Tower every single day! We left for London on the evening before the Charlie Hebdo incident. I don’t know if we will ever have the opportunity to visit Paris or the French countryside ever again, but I know that there is a smile reserved in my heart for my memories of France. I can’t help to wonder what Paris will be like in the summer though?

Things we Observed and Experienced while Visiting France for Ten Days

  • It is true. The French don’t like hearing English. We tested it. Every time my husband started an enquiry in his friendliest English, he was impolitely disregarded. I then stepped in, beginning in Afrikaans, our native language, and then flowed over into my version of ‘French’ – English camouflaged in a terrible French accent. It is quite easy to ‘bend’ English words so that they sound We were successful in all our missions this way – from asking directions, to exchanging pleasantries to buying cough medicine!
  • The French seems educated. (They definitely sound educated speaking such a beautiful language!) Everyone They sit on benches and read. They read on the bus, the boat, the train. Men read, women read, children read and grandmothers read to children who can’t read yet. It is just lovely to watch this passionate affair the French people has with books!
  • It also seems that all people living in France can speak French. (It might sound obvious, but it is not necessarily a given that people naturally speak the language of the country they live in – see my observations about London later on.)
  • Being South African and coming from a country where the crime rate is unacceptably high, one of my first observations of the French countryside was the absence of fear. In the village where my friend lives, they don’t even lock their doors (as some of those hundred-plus-year-old houses don’t have keys anymore!) There is a sense of safety and also an absence of aggression – something I had recognised and acknowledged within myself for the first time. I am still shocked to appreciate how living in a society with no respect for life changes you and make you angry all the time. And I am deeply saddened by it, because it had become the psyche of ‘my people’ back home. It is something I have to ponder on and to do something about.
  • I’ve touched the point above already that the French knows how to dress. They really dress elegantly and if you are clothed in the most common South African brand winter clothing, you stand out a little bit. Luckily it didn’t rain much, so we wore our ‘classier’ stuff the two remaining days. But with my weathered hiking boots I still looked very Boer-like in the presence of all those designer heels. Anyway, my feet were happy. And so was I.
  • In spite of them not liking English, the French are friendlier than one thinks and they are pretty likable people in the end.

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London

All I wanted was a beer in a real pub and sitting on the Underground, being in shops and walking in the streets of London and listening to proper English accents, like our friend Simon’s. Boy, was I disappointed! Only twice in the four days did I hear that. The rest of the time our ears were entertained by almost every language under the sun – Arabic, Italian, Russian, other Eastern European sounding languages, Greek, French etc. In shops, we were served by foreigners. The Underground was packed with people from elsewhere. London is a little world in its own.

In spite of not hearing much proper English, we really enjoyed our time in London. We walked, saw touristy places, we went to see Phantom of the Opera at West End, we went to the movies and checked out James Bond stuff in the British Film Museum. It rained and it didn’t and it rained and it didn’t. And we had that pint in a real pub – the Sherlock Holmes Pub, nogal!

I liked visiting London and won’t cry if I have to visit it again. I do still have a dream to go watch a tennis match at Wimbledon. And I want to still see the English and the Scottish and the Welch and the Irish countryside…

Things we Observed and Experienced while Visiting London for Four Days

  • There is no good coffee.
  • There is no good coffee.
  • There is no good coffee.
  • Did I mention that the coffee there isn’t any good?
  • London appears very orderly. Properly English. Things work. That’s nice. I liked that. Once upon a time, things worked well in South Africa too. We learned from the Germans and the Dutch and the French and the British. But somehow we’ve lost our orderliness. And a lot of other necessities too.
  • People flock to England to get an education. Some for real. Some under false pretences and get stopped at the airport – something we witnessed.
  • On that point, London had become a place of refuge for many people from many different countries. It brings along its own challenges for the authorities, because of socio-economic issues and increasing extremism, but for most people it had become a place where they can go to be safe and to make a new life. It might be a hard life and difficult to get ahead, but nevertheless, it is a place to where they can go to get saved from where they come from.
  • And also on that point. One gets a feeling of disconnectedness amongst the masses. Most people appear alone and distant and lonesome. Maybe it is because they had to disconnect from their roots and they just didn’t reconnect again. I suppose it is not out of the ordinary. Living in a foreign land does that to a person.

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The Netherlands

Amsterdam was a breath of fresh air. Okay, with a hint of marijuana near the train station. We spend a whole day walking along the canals with our friend, Rudi, who lives there. We ate biltong at an Aussie restaurant/bar that is nice enough to sell South African delicacies for the homesick Springbok supporters who watch rugby matches there. It was bloody cold.

It must be impossible to know for real, but statistics shows that there are more than 600 000 bicycles in Amsterdam. They have their own parking lots – like those for cars. Everyone is riding a bike – young and old. And sometimes the young with a mom or a dad. It is an overwhelming phenomenon, the bikes of Amsterdam. We visited the places everyone visited, rode on a boat in the canals and we walked and walked and walked. And it was bloody cold.

I loved Amsterdam. It was fun, relaxed and relaxing and we just had a great time. And we would love to see the rest of the Netherlands. Maybe in springtime…

Things we Observed and Experienced while Visiting Amsterdam for Three Days

  • The Hollanders are super friendly. Maybe they are always a little bit high with all the fumes hanging around (wink-wink) or maybe that’s just the way they are.
  • They are helpful people. Apart from their friendliness, they have this wonderful way in which they serve you. Really caringly serve you.
  • There also is an absence of fear.
  • Order and education is a visible priority. It’s Europe.
  • In Amsterdam everyone speaks Dutch. The population looks a bit like that of London with white, black, Asian, Middle Eastern etc., working everywhere, but the difference here is that every white, black, Middle Eastern or Asian mouth speaks Dutch! It is so weird, but also so wonderful! And we can understand them a little bit. If they speak slowly.
  • As in the case of London, Amsterdam is also a sanctuary for people from all over the world. Their tolerance throughout history made people flock to the city and it harboured many people in need of shelter in the past and still in the present.

These were just a few comments. I’m still working on my observations about living in Egypt. Maybe I will only write about that at the end of our time here. That is after all a whole different ballgame.

© 2015 – I, Fielies (Riëtte) De Kock tries hard to be a Proverbs 31-woman – excellentest wife, finest mom, greatest lover and successful ‘wordpreneur’ all at the same time. I temporarily share my living space in Cairo, Egypt with my husband, young-adult son, the building’s ginger cat, a stuffed toy dog, named Ike – and the space in my head with way too many ideas and multitudes of story characters, to functioning normally.

Om die lewe te celebrate

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Gewoonlik kom families bymekaar om troue of begrafnis te hou en net soms in hierdie gelooflose samelewing nog as iemand (klein of groot) gedoop word. By begrafnisse huil almal saam oor die verbygaande aard van ons almal se bestaan en ook oor die familielid in die kis wat eers weer in die lewe hierna te siene sal wees. Dan, daarna kuier hulle ‘n hond uit ‘n bos uit, sodat hulle nie eens die tannies van die sustersvereniging raaksien as hulle die stukkies verlepte blaarslaai wat uit die broodborde op die grond geval het, optel nie.

Troues is darem gewoonlik meer heuglik, want almal ‘oe’ en ‘aa’ oor die pragtige jong bruid en netjies gemanikuurde bruidegom in hulle ontwerpersklere – hoewel trou deesdae so duur geword het, dat net die mees bevoorregte familielede dit tot by die bruilof maak. Kinders is nie meer by onthale welkom nie en soos wat die jong geslag trou, word pa en ma se ooms en tannies ook nie meer genooi nie, waarvoor dié geslag nie juis kwalik geneem kan word nie, want families ken mekaar nie meer verder as pa en ma se broers en susters en kinders nie. Om verskeie redes natuurlik. Ons geslag het mos weer ‘n groot trek begin. Families raak oor die aardbol vesprei – van Kanada tot Australië, Irak tot die Verenigde Emirate en hier plaaslik enige plek van Pietersburg/Polokwane, tot in die Kaap. Dis nou uitgesluit die spul wat te kwaad of te skaam is vir mekaar (soos dit maar in die meeste normale families gaan).

Maar daar is ander tye vir families en vriende om andersins ook bymekaar te kom, hoewel ek nog nie by baie van hulle was nie. Ons familie het een jaar ‘n paar siekbeddens beleef. My tannie en niggie is deur kanker skrikgemaak, maar is albei na chemoterapie en bestraling ‘skoon’ verklaar. Ekself het my tweede hartoperasie gehad. En al het die operasie baie vinnig gekom en gegaan, het ek en my klein gesinnetjie van drie maar weer deur al die doodgaan-emosies en fases waardeur hartpasiënte maar gaan, gewroeg. Voor ek in is, het een aand vir my man en naby vriende gesê dat ek ‘n fees wil hou as ek oorleef om saam met hom en ons seun en die lewe te celebrate.

En ons het. Een aand, vier maande na die operasie, het ons gesin en vyf van ons vriende en hulle kinders, tydens ‘n toer in Israel, almal wit klere aangetrek en langs die Rooi See in Eilat, die lewe gevier – met een klein botteltjie J.C. le Roux, wat ons vir ons huweliksherdenking die vorige maand by ‘n restaurant persent gekry het. Dit was ‘n beskeie geleentheid, maar het ‘n groot indruk op my gemoed gemaak en daar gelos.

‘n Paar maande later was ons by wat my tannie se 75ste verjaardagpartytjie moes gewees het, maar  my oom het die geleentheid eerder gebruik om my tannie se gesondheid te vier. En dit het my ook bygebly, want oupa Koos het ouma Mienie se lewe gevier asof hulle twintig is en asof die lewe voor hulle lê. Dié twee is intussen al mooi oor die tagtig.

Miskien moet ons minder ernstig wees en net so ‘n bietjie minder oor werk en geld en veiligheid worry en die familievetes vergeet en die mense wat ons liefhet die tyd en erkenning gee wat hulle verdien. En nie wag totdat die dood een van ons in die gesig staar voordat ons mekaar se lewens vier nie. Miskien moet ons net soms vir sommer geen rede nie, ‘n fees reël om saam die lewe te celebrate.

Sê sy wat in die middel van die wêreld weg van familie en vriende sit…

 

© 2015 – Ek, Fielies (Riëtte) De Kock probeer hard om ‘n beste eggenote en minares, goeie ma en ‘n suksesvolle ‘woordpreneur’ te wees. Ek deel op die oomblik ‘n leefwêreld in Kaïro, Egipte, met my man, ons jong, volwasse seun, ‘n gemmerkat, ‘n speelgoedhond, besoedeling, skreeuende immans en te veel storiekarakters in my kop om ‘n normale lewe te lei.

Living in Egypt – Almost Eight Months Down the Line

Leila Quote

Since my first blog entry about our new life in Egypt a lot had happened. Our small family was transformed from overwhelmed hotel dwellers, into residents living in a house and becoming streetwise very quickly.

Our house is a ground floor ‘apartment’ as it is called here and not a ‘flat’ as we South Africans would call it. That earlier blog entry was written by a person new and still very confused by her surroundings. Since then I learned to find my way around our neighbourhood and can even navigate the way home when entering the beginning of our suburb. And I am starting to recognise roads previously taken. That is what is called forward motion in such a large city as this one.

It was a crazy, busy time these last almost seven months. We had stayed in hotels, did house hunting, moved into a house, furnishing the house, living in it and learned to breathe in it. (Which is not as easy as you think in a climate that requires 24/7 air conditioning.)

Work-wise things had gotten direction too. My husband is settling in nicely and I am playing my supportive wifey role pretty well, I think, attending dinners and receptions and other events and making a lot of small talk – because in the ‘business’ we’re in, that’s called ‘work’. And sometimes it is real hard work. Most of the functions we attend are in other parts of the city, a mere ten kilometres or so away, but going there three, four or five times a week, means travelling in peak traffic, which takes an hour and a quarter to an hour and a half. Fortunately, driving back only takes half an hour or so – normally. Sometimes we do this twice a day.

We have travelled a bit for official purposes, as well as for leisure and have seen quite a bit already of this vast and intriguing country. We’ve made our way to Alexandria and were happy that the sea there was more like ‘ours’ – with actual waves and sounds. We’ve made a stop at El Alamein and found the grave of my great uncle who died there on 23 November 1941 in WWII in one of the battles. We went to the Red Sea at Ein Sochna twice and we have flown over the breathtakingly, beautiful Sinai desert to Sharm Al Sheikh, from where we drove the 50km to Dahab – a diving and snorkelling paradise, where we lazied away five wonderful days in the very, very, very hot sun.

A few weeks ago we visited El Alamein again for the commemoration ceremonies. It was a touching experience, sitting there in the blistering autumn desert sun, thinking of the many people who lost their lives in those wars and wondering what life would have been like if they didn’t sacrifice their lives for us. I also couldn’t help to wonder what the future holds for us with the threat of fanatic terrorists taking lives as if life was theirs to take, not so far from us in the Sinai, Iraq and Syria. The previous night twenty plus Egyptian soldiers were brutally murdered in the Sinai, making the day of remembrance much more of a reality than just remembering history. With the young soldiers standing guard around us in a church service, I couldn’t help wondering what still awaits us in the near future.

Since being here, we have met with friends from South Africa visiting Egypt for various reasons. Some were old friends of ours, some were friends of friends and others were new friends, like Foeta Krige and Barend La Grange, who were finishing a trip from the Southern-most tip of Africa in L’Agulhas to the northern-most tip in Ras ben Sakka, Tunisia.

My brother-in-law, John, was our first stay-over guest. Our spare room was ready just in time for his visit. He stayed three weeks, but it rather felt like three days. Our son was in the last three weeks of his school career and we couldn’t entertain him as a guest should be entertained, but fortunately he is a seasoned traveller and no stanger to Egypt , so he entertained himself. He went about his own business and even went to the desert for a few nights. At least we took him for his first-ever quad bike experience to Sakkarah – something he took to enthusiastically and enjoyed immensely.

Michael’s friend, Wilhelm, is currently visiting and the two of them are enjoying their first few months of adulthood together. Both just finished school and turned 18 recently.

Life is treating us well and we feel very privileged and thankful to be able to have this experience. Things aren’t always easy and we miss ‘home’ and our family and friends and our pets. (We are warming up to the building cat however – or is he warming up to us?) And we miss the tastes and sounds and sights and everything that is familiar. But it is a fantastic experience to live abroad for a while and to experience so many different people from so many different nationalities that we socialise with on a regular basis. One learns so much from other people and from visiting other places. And you learn also to appreciate what is dear and sacred to you. One has to learn to live your faith, rather than just practice to believe. It is good for the soul. Very good.

Travelling, in my opinion, must be something that every person aspires to – even if you can do it only once in your life, you should. One should save as much as you can and travel as far as you can on what you have. Go experience the world and its peoples. Learn about new places and taste new tastes. And broaden your horizons. And if your savings aren’t enough yet, get onto your feet, onto your bike, or into your car, or on a bus or train and just go to a place in or out of your town or your city and experience something new. Go see how people who are different from you live life. It will change your opinions, views and just maybe, your life also.

I have a young friend who was a member of my writing club, who is exploring the world right now. She is only 19. She is beautiful, a talented writer and this is what she said about travelling on her Facebook page the other day:

With travelling there are many things that go along with it. Once you have been somewhere so different you undergo a form of transformation, a loss of innocence. You realise how messed up and beautiful the world is at the same time. The more you see, the more you realise how little everyone knows. It makes you want to live for others and not for yourself. You realise how little it means to have a lot of money or a nice face. To realise this at an early age of your life will change the way you think forever.

You get it, Leila!

© 2014

I, Fielies (Riëtte) De Kock tries hard to be a Proverbs 31-woman – excellentest wife, finest mom, greatest lover and successful ‘wordpreneur’ all at the same time. I temporarily share my living space in Cairo, Egypt with my husband, almost-university-student son, the building’s ginger cat – and the space in my head with way too many ideas and multitudes of story characters to live as a normal functioning human being.

Uit die dagboek van ‘n slaaplose

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Dis so stil as wat dit snags op Sionsberg kán wees. Genadiglik is dit lank na middernag en die Moslem immams skree nie uit alle windrigtings nie. As ek lank genoeg wakker lê, sal ek die ongenadige oproepe van die vroegoggendgebede hoor. Dankie tog dat ek nie hoef te probeer bid met iemand wat so op my skree nie. Maar dan aanbid ek ‘n genadige God wat my laat kies wanneer en hoe ek tot Hom wil bid en tot wie ek enige tyd , enige plek of sommer heeltyd kan bid.

Sal ek ‘n slaappilletjie drink? Nee-wat, in al ons ses trips hierheen het ek nog nooit ‘n wakkerlênag gehad nie. Die slaap sal kom. Die horlosie op my selfoon sê dat ek in elk geval nie ‘n heel een sal kan sluk nie. Wanneer dit wel met my weerstandige sisteem akkordeer, werk dit vir ‘n volle agt ure. Maar daar’s lankal nie meer soveel ure in die nag oor nie. Slaap sal nou-nou kom, maak ek myself weer teen my beterwete wys. Ek ken mos nou al die tekens, maar kies steeds om dit te ignoreer in die hoop dat dit tóg sal kom. My oë is weer toe en ek konsentreer om vaak te word.

Ons is op toer in Israel en slaap in ‘n dormitory met ses oop kamers – drie pare van twee kamers oorkant mekaar. Ek en my man, Deon, slaap in die eerste kamer links as jy by die deur inkom op ons makeshift dubbelbed. Oorkant ons op die boonste van die een bunkerbed slaap ons seun, Michael, en op die onderste twee beddens snork Migaél en Ariél, ons vriende se onderskeidelik ses- en driejarige. Ons is gewoond om saam met dié twee snorkertjies/slaappratertjies in een vertrek te slaap. Maar ek moet sê – op hierdie trip snork hulle nie so erg nie. Ek dink hulle is te moeg daarvoor. Hulle gesels. Soos Migaél nou. Hy raas met sy boetie en klik dan by sy pa oor iets wat kleinboetie gedoen het. Selfs in die onderbewussyn floreer die sibling rivalry.

Die selfoonhorlosie wys dis al ‘n halfuur later. Ek moes dalk maar ‘n halwe pilletjie gevat het al. Almal slaap, behalwe ek en Janet, die buurvrou in die kamer langs die seuns s’n. Ek kan hoor sy’s wakker omdat sy elke paar sekondes haar kop met die kussing toedruk om die klank van haar aanhoudende hoesbuie te probeer demp. Gisteraand was dit dieselfde ding. Sodra dit nag raak, begin sy hoes. Die verskil is net dat ek gisteraand nie slapeloos was nie. Sy voel skuldig omdat sy so hoes en en terwyl ek nog lê en wonder of ek ooit gaan aan die slaap raak, sluip sy saggies in die donker by ons kamer verby en maak die sinkdeur op sy sagste raserigheid oop en gaan buitentoe. Seker toilet toe, dag ek en konsentreer weer op die slaappoging. Maar sy kom eers heelwat later terug.

“Het buite gaan staan”, verduidelik sy fluisterend, in die hoop dat sy sal ophou hoes.

“Nie in die koelheid van die Jerusalemse herfsluggie nie”, kommentaar ek.

“Jammer dat ek jou wakker hou”, vra sy om verskoning.

Ek sê: “Nee wat, dit kry ek sommer self reg.”

Ons giggel saam oor die klein seuntjies se in-hulle-slaap-pratery en ek soek met my flitsie vir haar Strepsils in die noodhulpsak. Ons sê weer nag in die hoop dat die slaap sal kom. Ons is net albei weer rustig in ons beddens toe ons ‘n ernstige ‘doef!’ hoor. Dit klink kompleet soos ‘n kind wat uit sy bed val. Ek sit regop en loer na die oorkantste kamer toe. Dit lyk of daar ‘n donker skadukol op die vloer is wat nie daar was nie, maar daar is geen beweging nie. Dit kan tog nie wees nie? Die kind kon tog nie uit sy onderste bed geval het nie?

Dis nou doodstil in die dorm – asof die plofslag alle ander geluide uitgedoof het. Ek sak terug in my bed en vra of Janet dit ook gehoor het en sy sê ja. Ek dag ek sal maar opstaan en kyk of die kinders ordentlik toe is. Tot my skok stamp ek my voet teen die skadukol op die vloer, wat klein Ariél is – op sy magie op die vloer, boude in die lug en ineengestrengel met die komberse. Vas aan die slaap! Ek tel hom versigtig op en sit hom terug op sy bed. Wat as hy op sy kop geval het en bewusteloos is en breinskade opgedoen het? Ek vertrou maar vir die beste en bid vir die teendeel, wetende dat ek na dié eskapade definitief nie gou gaan slaap nie. Ek’s bly Janet is wakker. Ons giggel weer. Ek dink nie enige iemand sou my weergawe alleen van die uit-die-bed-vallery geglo het nie. Gelukkig het ek nou in haar ‘n getroue getuie. Ek loer by die seuntjies se ouers se kamer in. Hulle weet van niks en slaap die slaap van moeë, droomloses wat nie vannag oor hulle kinders hoef te worry nie.

Ek’s nou desperaat vir slaap. Die selfoonhorlosie kondig aan dat ek nie eens meer ‘n halwe slaappil sal kan vat nie. Ek haat slaaplose nagte! Ek lê weer in die donker en staar en luister na Janet se gedempte hoesies. Ek hoop nie sy vergeet die kussing op haar gesig en… Nee, tog. In die nag is alles altyd so erg! Ek klink soos ‘n ou tannie. Ek wens ek het geweet waar in die donker ek kan soek vir my MP3-player. Tegnologie beteken ook niks as jy dit nie kan gebruik nie. Maar dan weer, as ek lê en musiek luister, sal ek nie hoor as kinders uit hulle beddens val of Hamas met bazookas in die dorm instorm nie!

‘n Haan begin sy oggendkraai. Ons bly op die plek waar Petrus twee millennia gelede vir Yeshua (Jesus in jou Afrikaanse Bybel) verloën het. Snaaks hoe party dinge nooit verander nie. Na 2000 jaar kraai die hane steeds om ons aan Petrus se vertwyfeling te herinner.

Nou weet ek wat kom. As die hane begin kraai, begin die immams skree. Dit klink nogal na die geskree van iemand met ‘n allervreeslike maagpyn. Janet se hoes is stil. Ek hoop nie dis die kussing se skuld nie…

En daar is dit. Die geskree weergalm deur die Kidronvallei. En regdeur die dorm se deure en vensters en mure tot binne-in my ore. Slaap het nie vannag gekom nie. Leoni sluip verby badkamer toe en loer by haar seuns in toe sy terugkom. Ek moes tog vir ‘n oomblik ingesluimer het, want toe ek weer sien, val die son deur die venster en Deon sit koffie op die makeshift bedkassie neer. Die res van die kamers se inwoners paradeer in tussenposes verby, tandeborsels en handdoeke in die hand. Ek moet 07:15 vir komsbuisdiens aanmeld. Daar is ook geen opening vir niksdoen in die dagboek van ‘n slapelose nie. Vanaand vat ek ‘n slaappil!

2009 Fielies de Kock

Fielies de Kock is is ook vrou en ma en hoop om binnekort ‘n meer suksesvolle skrywer te word. Sy bly tans in Kaïro, Egipte, waar sy en haar gesin die vreemde taal en kultuur probeer oorleef, terwyl hulle na hulle familie, vriende en vier honde verlang. (En stadig, maar seker en  onwillig begin lief raak vir die gebou se amptelike gemmerkat – net bekend as Die Kat.)

 

Fielies is ook as Riëtte De Kock bekend. Haar eerste kinderboek, Yeovangya, asook twee kortstories is as eboeke beskikbaar by https://www.amazon.com/gp/aw/s/ref=is_s?k=riette+de+kock