Good-bye East London

I wake up early and finish packing. Craig is at work and it’s impossible not to tour the flat at the Kennaway without whispering good-byes. Though the  past weeks have been full of jocular assertions that I will return – certainly for the World Cup in 2010! – I don’t know how realistic that is. Good-bye jacuzzi tub, good-bye Dennis Fistofassholes, good-bye depressing penguins at the East London aquarium.

I have a couple hundred rand left in my pocket. It’s a grey day, windy and spitting rain, but the vendors are out on the waterfront. I buy a wooden spoon from a woman who asks me to take her to Canada. She is out here every day beading bracelets and carving pieces of wood into mantle-sized elephants and baboons. Good-bye waterfront vendors.

The local Spar (grocery) is not very big but they have what I am after. O.B. tampons cost about 2 bucks a pack here; I clear the shelf, and throw in five tubes of Sensodyne. The checkout woman does a double-take and I wonder what kind of affliction she is imagining I labour under. I walk back through the parking lot.  Two men are asleep, spooning on the grass under the sign for the fitness centre. Good-bye.

Though Craig is not scheduled to take me to the airport until early afternoon, he shows up at the Kennaway at 11am. “D’you wanna go for lunch before we head out?” We load my bags into the BMW and grab a bite at the Red Tree Tea House, a cafe that’s full of antiques and really weird art. Normally we’d indulge ourselves and skewer the misshapen Jesus with six fingers… but there’s not a lot left to say, now. I hate long good-byes. We pay up and drive to the airport. Good-bye Debonairs Pizza, good-bye parking lot guys, good-bye magic bank machine (you were the only one in East London that would give me money).

Craig parks and comes inside, claiming that he wants to make sure my bag isn’t overweight. Liar. I check in (good-bye 1Time) and we walk to security. Awkwardly, Craig thanks me for coming to visit and we hug. I turn to him abruptly and say, “I don’t want to make this a big thing…” God, I can be lame sometimes but there it is: Good-bye, Lady Kennaway.

Click on a thumbnail for a closer look:

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3 Comments

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3 responses to “Good-bye East London

  1. Aaahhh….I was all sad when I read the post, but the pics had me laughing again. And of course I lifted the penis enlargement sign photo for my blog. Thanks.

  2. Aw, I feel like this is the end of Casablanca, except with Bogart leaving Claude Rains behind. This is the beginning of a beautiful friendship… goodbye.

    Sob!

  3. Kim

    This is a wonderful post, it made me sad but also had me laughing out loud, especially the magic bank machine and the OB tampons. x

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