I’ve got a small-town heart and a big-city mind.
And after 22 years of living in the ‘ville, I’m moving closer to the big, bad, beautiful city.
Azaadvile wasn’t exactly Ed’s Shit Towne, it was more like the “the muftis live up the street from me, the fiqh-dealers live down the street from me”. Think small town, and now think smaller. That’s Azaadville; quiet, quaint and religious (four mosques, two temples, two churches). A good place to bring up your brats, a great place to move from when they’re older. The trouble with Azaadville is; it’s terribly uitgegooi*. And it’s for this very reason, that I’ll be leaving on a jetplane (wishful thinking).
But, there are some things I will miss about living in Azaadville:
- Aunty Kashifah, the librarian who never charged me the two-month overdue book fines.
- Friday nights at Uncle Harry’s Roadhouse and the best double-thick butterscotch milkshakes on the West Rand.
- The sunrise over the informal settlements on Main Reef road.
- The four muezzins who make darn sure you hear that salaah is better than sleep.
- Smoking hookah with my high-school friends on a quiet weekend, and trying to hide the coal burns on the carpet from my gran.
- Having the best conversations with Saffiya when we’d have nothing better to do than drive around the ‘ville.
- Hearing every other language except any of our eleven official ones, while walking to Teddy’s vegetable shop for dhania and lemons.
I move in two weeks, so perhaps my nostalgia is premature.
*souf efrican for ‘thrown out of the way’, or ‘in the boonies’.