Almost Home

Yesterday Mr. Handyman came to install my washing machine,  my stove and a security door. This last one is kind of mandatory in South Africa, although the house break-ins in our area are neither more nor less than the average place in the world, or so we like to think. I ended up paying the handyman too much, and I was the one who solved the problem of connecting the washing machine to my hand basin, by suggesting the correct fitting : a simple T junction. They wanted to sell me a new tap, that would have cost a fortune and would have probably ruined the handbasin, and I do not want to talk about the mishap with installing the security door either, which the apprentice screwed in the wrong way while the master handyman was busy making small talk.. Ah well, all in a day’s work in South Africa.

Since I ended up paying a fortune yesterday for the privilege of owning and using my appliances, I wanted to make use of them as soon as possible,  hence we made pan cakes for breakfast and for lunch we fried fish cakes and fish fingers, but the highlight of the day was inaugurating the washing machine; I think it is truly a mother’s best friend. The handyman thought the dishwasher was too, but I beg to differ, because there are disposable substitutes for dishes should one want, but they haven’t invented a socially acceptable form of disposable clothes. In theory you can eat take out, from the pot, or from the container to minimize on dishes, nobody would notice unless you invite them to your home to watch this anti-social behavior, but everyone would surely notice if one chooses to minimize on clothing or go completely without… Therefore the washing machine is definitely non-negotiable.

Today it is two weeks since we moved here, and I am definitely not in a frenzy of ordering. Things are getting to their places in their own good time (or in mine). I  have been busy with a number of small jobs and I was keeping strange hours, such as sleeping at seven with my boy and then waking up after midnight to translate, review or proofread as the case may be.  Now I have a bigger job that will demand my attention for the next four week.. I am a very busy woman.. touch wood.

That said, things on the day-job front do not look that great. The atmosphere is getting increasingly stifling there are more rule-writers and micro-managers than I can tolerate, and I keep wondering how long before I just throw in the towel and concentrate on spending my time in more rewarding activities, like making my flat feel like a home for example..

Now it is almost home with a few touches missing here and there. There are many positives to the new place : It is closer to Robert’s play school, so I normally walk with Robert there and back,  this dramatically reduces my travel time and transport expenses.  The down-side is that it is far away from my favourite food stores; I definitely need transport to do the shopping or I need a high degree of enthusiasm to walk back five kilometres or so with a heavy backpack. This is the only way to go though if I was going with Robert since it is too difficult to get him, his stroller and my shopping bag(s) onto a minibus, or even a bus – our city buses are horribly inaccessible with a half a dozen steep steps to the passenger deck and very narrow seats and aisles.  Still, I can do this. Shopping is not an everyday affair, unlike taking Robert to the day-care.

Robert himself seems to be heading towards a difficult time for me. He has developed an interest in the Micky (Music in our language) and asks for the radio the moment we step into the flat. One would like to think that he wants to listen to the songs, but no, not Robert. He wants to move the CD player about, plug it in, then out, then carry it to the floor, or put it on the table. Later he starts pushing buttons indiscriminately, and opening and closing the tape deck, taking out the CD and then putting it in again… drives me absolutely insane.

I tried to ask him to promise me to leave it alone, not play with it or move it. But his only concession to my demands was learning a new phrase :”promise mommy”. It is actually so cute when he stands in the lounge and asks me for the radio, then says to me “promise mommy, promise me” while slowly nodding his head in affirmation – makes me want to give in.. I am thinking of buying him a cheap tape recorder to break, and I will make tapes of his favorite songs so that he will stop scratching the CDs. Oh, the things that this boy is making me do, but I love him so much.