The Other Shoe

Life does not follow a narrative arc. But sometimes it certainly feels like it does. I am currently living such times.

Remember when I posted all my negativity about the inevitability of everything falling apart? Well, things have fallen apart in a manner of speaking, at least for me. (Don’t worry. I’m fine, if adjusting to culture shock.)

I’m in Cape Town. South Africa. I arrived yesterday. Two months ahead of schedule. With 48 hours’ warning.

It happened like this.

Saturday (8/15) Lonnie and I discussed leaving in the first week of September. We talked about plans for renewing my visa on Tuesday. I started making school plans.

That night, Fran got sick. I didn’t know.

Sunday morning (8/16) I woke up early. I made bread. I baked beans. I thought about the schedule for the next week.

Lonnie got up late and gave me the news: Fran was sick and they were going back to South Africa, as the Zambian medical system is not trustworthy. I had to leave Zambia.

As my visa expired on Tuesday, I had to leave on Tuesday. (No point renewing the visa for only a couple more days.) The electricity was out in the afternoon, and internet the rest of the day. I read a lot, killed time.

Monday (8/17) I woke up early. Fran was doing much better, but the Turners still wanted to return to South Africa. We left for the airport around 1000 hours. I booked a flight to South Africa for the next day. I holed up in a coffee shop (with the worst cream donut I have ever had the misfortune to eat) to get internet for an hour.

Tuesday (8/18) I left. And ended up here.

I’m safely ensconced in a hostel, where I’ll be staying for a few days to figure things out, get my feet under me. Suffered a few minor snafus traveling, but no lasting harm.

As much as shock at finding myself somewhere new and unexpected, I find myself shocked at my sudden expulsion, albeit partially self-imposed expulsion, from the place where I was finally starting to feel comfortable. I find myself lacking a purpose, someplace to be, when I have come to depend on such a feeling in the last few weeks. Perhaps most of all, I miss Zambia. I find myself homesick for a place that is not really my home.

Not that there’s anything wrong with just traveling for a while, at least while I sort things out. I just wasn’t expecting it. I guess what I’m saying is that change makes me deeply uncomfortable when I’m not expecting it.

With that musing, I leave you. May you all be safe and have no undesirable surprises in your lives.

One thought on “The Other Shoe

  1. Sounds like your space went askew rather abruptly. Unfortunate, but glad you are philosophical about it. Hope things work out. Keep the posts coming. We enjoy them. And they bring back memories…….of times when we were floating untethered at about your age

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