“Well done”, congratulated an older couple as we were getting ready to get off the plane at O.R Tambo International Airport. “Well, let’s just say it’s done”, my husband chuckled, relieved that we were at the end of our very very long journey to the tip of the African continent.
This time round I was mentally prepared that at least one of the children would not sleep for most of the journey. I was armed with sticker books and coloring books and little toys and new apps. I managed Babybelle throwing up mid flight like an old pro. In fact, I am an intercontinental in flight baby vomit ninja. Actually, the flight crew were the real ninjas. Dearest Karabo and the rest of the flight crew on SAA 204 were a great crew. The lines at passport control in SA were short. Our baggage came crawling around as we walked up to the carousel. The Gautrain got us to Sandton in no time at all.
Joburg was happy to see us too. She delivered a spectacular hail and thunderstorm performance.
Each city has it’s own character and having been away for almost 18 months, what strikes me most is how much I love how Joburg smells. It’s in the ground, rich with minerals and the history of mankind. It’s in the freshly poured concrete and new paint, signs of growth and industry and ingenuity in a developing economy. It’s the sweet summer blooms, echoed in the wafts of expensive perfumes of those who want to see and be seen. Most of all, it’s the smell of summer rain here that is beautiful. It is crisp and earthy. Carried inside by a gentle breeze through an open window, it was the best lullaby on our first night home.
Here are a couple of happy snaps of the (northern suburban) ordinary: