December 2005 Archives

Homecoming Queen

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Just a short note (since we pay per minute for the luxury of the internet here in the third world) to let you know that I arrived in one piece (even if not in one peace! But more about my little pun later).

It's WEIRD to be home. Doesn't even feel like home. In fact, I feel like more of an alien here than I ever did in the States! (Yeah, that would take some doing, wouldn't it? Ha ha.) Honestly though, I thought I'd feel a stirring of SOMETHING when I looked out the plane's window and saw South Africa again, but nothing...

At that point I was so tired though, because I didn't sleep on the plane or for the last few nights before leaving. So I was pretty much on autopilot at that point. (Thank goodness I wasn't flying the plane!)

My being awake had little to do with discomfort though and much more with being frantic with worry. You see, shortly after boarding the plane in DC, a South African Airways crewmember offered me a hand with one of my carry-on cases (the one containing my precious laptop). Since I was really laden down, and since I saw that they were assisting many other people as well, I accepted his help. He promised to bring it up to the flight deck where I was seated.

Long story short, just when we were about to take off, he came up to me, handed me a receipt and told me that I could pick up the suitcase at baggage claim after landing in Johannesburg. I was IMMEDIATELY frantic, because Johannesburg international is notorious for its baggage handlers nabbing valuables from luggage. So the entire flight I begged all the flight attendants to try and get it back for me during our stop-over in Accra, but to no avail. Everyone just echoed the same thing: "Impossible."

So I wasn't too surprised in Johannesburg when the suitcase in question finally appeared on the carousel, torn apart by the baggage thieves, my laptop missing... (and I still haven't figured out what else they took.) But even though I had expected it, I was still devastated and broke down right there in the middle of the airport and wept like a baby. Things didn't improve much from that point onwards. I had to make a claim (I don't know for what, really, since I was told that it wouldn't really help and that SAA doesn't accept any liability since crimes like that are so common place) and so I ended up missing my connecting flight to Cape Town. Luckily a kind samaritan offered me his cell phone and I could let my sister know.

Oh, well, at least I "gave" someone a really nice Christmas present, hey? So I've already made my contribution to the New South Africa.

Speaking of Christmas presents... when I finally DID get to Cape Town about four hours behind the original schedule, two of my sisters were there to greet me with open arms. My parents still had no clue that I was coming home - I can't believe no one leaked it, because everyone around them seemed to have known for ages already - so when we finally pulled up here at my sister's home outside of Stellenbosch, they were told to come outside for a "little" (*ahem* yes, very funny, right? Those of you who have seen my expanded frame before I left the States will get the joke) surprise.

Oh, I can't even DESCRIBE the moment I saw my parents again. (Yeah, yeah, so much for wanting to be a wannabe writer!) It was really amazing... One of those true and completely mushy Hallmark movie moments. There were tears and embraces and laughter and screams and it was good.

And now I'm here. I don't know what the future holds. I'm still at my sister's in Stellenbosch, I suspect I will be here until next week some time. Like an alcoholic, I'm taking it one day at a time (what did you think I was going to say, ye gutter-minded beasts!? But yes, I see your point: being on a wine farm does make it very easy to drink like an alcoholic as well and I'm loving every moment of that drinking).

I miss you all desperately! I'm already having severe Starbucks withdrawals and am already devising plans to be smuggled back into the US soon...

Please please PLEASE stay in touch!? I have a feeling I'm going to need lots of encouraging words in the days and weeks ahead...

Love to you all,

Still alive

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But will I survive?!?

Yeah, probably. Only the good die young, after all, right?

Thank you very, very, very much to everyone (more than five! Who KNEW that I had more than five readers? I certainly didn't!) who replied to the behind-the-scenes e-mail I'd written to explain why I'm more quiet than usual.

To those of you who are blissfully unaware of what I'm going on about (as usual) and who wish to be relieved of your state of bliss and ignorance, drop me a line or two (okay, one will do) and I'll send the much coveted (fine, but a girl can dream) explanatory e-mail to you too!

To those of you who for a welcome change DO know what I'm going on about this time, I'll just say that I'm doing... okayish. My moods (de)range from erratic highs to devastating lows. Oh, right. That's normal for me.

Seriously though, this is probably the most difficult thing I've EVER had to do (which yes, makes me pretty lucky, I guess), and I just want to say that your e-mails of encouragement (and even a Christmas card, from her and her love!) have been helping to get me through this. I wish your e-mails could also help me pack (those of you who can't remember how difficult it is for me to move, see this), but for now I'm content to take all the words of encouragement I can get!

So thanks.

is a South African girl living in South Africa. That doesn't sound very original, we know, but you might find it remotely interesting when you learn that she has only recently returned to South Africa for the first time after a nine year, one month and two week (non-stop!) stint in the United States where she accidentally became an outlawed alien (also known, especially in immigration circles, as an 'illegal immigrant.' We prefer the term 'outlawed alien' ourselves). During her reversed exile from her homeland, she kept herself occupied by winning this website (but only after shamelessly bribing the judges) and thus being unleashed on the web where she slowly, leisurely became the World's Laziest Blogger; by being a nanny and by attending sci-fi conventions in search of other aliens. In the US, she also made her sailing debut, her international acting debut, tried and failed to learn the piano, and never learned to cook. She is hopelessly addicted to coffee, dogs (especially Labrador Retrievers), how-to books (with a particular fondness for her copy of the Time/Life A - Z Medical Encyclopedia), and she tends to grossly overuse parentheses (we're not kidding) during her attempts at writing, which you may - if you really have masochistic tendencies - subject yourself to by reading the words to the right of this column. If you REALLY and truly STILL want to know more, you can read her C.V. here.
Or you can stalk her send her some love via e-mail at: redsaid[AT]gmail[DOT]com

The Wish List (Because yes, she really does need more how-to books. Honestly!)


  • Redsaid Author Profile Page: Terra: YES! Wait... you didn't think that I would be this possessed to post for NO REASON, did ya???... [go]
  • Terra.Shield : OH! ... [go]
  • Marco Author Profile Page: Be a bit like serving drinks at AA?... [go]
  • Marco Author Profile Page: I personally think it is a mindset that has been cultivated over the years, and one, if not stemmed,... [go]
  • Redsaid Author Profile Page: Ms. Crazy Cat Lady Pants!!! Squeeeee! Sooo good to see you! (I thought NO ONE was bothering to read ... [go]
  • Ms. Pants : Kitties don't get enough credit sometimes. (All times, if you ask me, but I'm a Crazy Cat Lady.)... [go]
  • Redsaid Author Profile Page: Hey Tamara! I know, right?? That is a tough act to follow indeed. I adored that dentist. He used to ... [go]
  • Tamara Tipton : Well, I am not sure how any dentist could live up to that standard! LOL! I hope your appointment was... [go]
  • Redsaid Author Profile Page: I'm really really glad that I'm not the only one, Po! Sometimes I drive myself mad with all the what... [go]
  • Po : Those questions run through my heads for various times in my life too, that is for sure!... [go]
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