10 Years

The longer I live in Johannesburg, the more difficult it becomes to write about what I’m experiencing. Sometime in the last two and a half years, I ceased to be an anthropologist/observer and became something else. I have now lived here for longer than I did in San Francisco, my chosen location after four enforced years in Boston’s tundra. There was a slow process of yuppification after college, like being stuck in a gooey bowl of gelatinous credit card debt, car payments, and the sweet girlie-drinks that came after work and before the latest fondue dinner craze. I was waiting for the whole mess to solidify around me when I finally got out.

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Homecomings

My awareness of the courage required to exist between worlds is only tangible while traveling between them. The day before leaving the U.S. everything seemed wobbly and surreal; the Starbucks that has taken up residence in what used to be a Friendly’s restaurant near my parents’ house in suburban Boston looked to me as though it could beam into space at any second. It is incredibly liberating to bear witness to this impermanent sense of place. The act of traveling is a spiritual declaration of freedom. It requires sacrifice but rewards the brave with the perspective that home is truly “a moveable feast”, a lunchbox to be packed on a life journey.

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