Although I had a dream holiday in South Africa, I am so happy to be home. Usually I have a six-week depression on getting back to Germany – everything here makes me cross for being unAfrican, from the weather to the people to the landscape. Somehow this time, I seem to have avoided the crossness. I hate to admit it, but I think a little bit of Germany has crept into my soul.
South Africa is looking wonderful. The amount of work that has gone into getting the country ready for the Football World Cup is astonishing – the new Green Point football stadium is glistening, Cape Town is all shiny, the rail networks are working, the road infrastructures are better than ever. Any football fan who is lucky enough to have tickets for a match in the Western Cape is in for a great time.
And my God, it is beautiful. And funky, vibrant, exciting and alive. What a country. I am so proud to be South African.
So here I am, back in Germany, my South African soul just vibrating with images, memories and ideas from my beautiful homeland and I am not sad. It helps that my mother is living in England at the moment so that I feel close to her and not further away. It helps that the sun is shining and Germany is a sprightly green. It helps that I saw and had time to connect with all my special people in South Africa. It helps that everyone made incredible efforts to travel and be with me in the places I chose to be. It helps that I am going to a family wedding in Greece in four weeks’ time to see some special people. It helps that I have wonderful friends here to come home to. It helps that my children were thrilled to be back and are already rushing off on playdates so that they can be with their friends.
So instead of my usual deep sadness, I am calm, I am happy, and I am just so grateful that I am fortunate enough to be a South African.
And just a little bit German.