I initially mistake the reflections of sunlight on the polished metal bench at the Port Elizabeth Airport for insects crawling around my couch back in Riemvasmaak. Chairman once said to me, “you know the insects personally and they know you. This one knows when he sees you, ‘that’s the owner of this house.’”
One of the many things you learn in the township is how to wait—often, for nothing in particular. I have adapted. The initiative and ambition that is so valued in the Western workplace has taken a backseat to endurance and perseverance. I will have to realign myself.
Scarcity and transience causes a particular mindset: better to do it now—there may not be another chance. I notice a peculiar, but now familiar anxiety as my phone charges in the outlet at the airport. I must get as much as possible now, before it goes away.
My withdrawals from township style living are now being overcompensated with overindulgence. Long hot showers, hours of surfing the internet, oversleeping in a full size bed with clean sheets, sitting on the couch and wasting time watching TV.