Tuesday, June 16, 2009


I have come to realise that I have two "me's" living in this bod. Like non-identical inner twins. Let me introduce you to the way they behave: This morning an elderly, bent, shaky man with a white stick approached his begging place at the robots of a dangerously busy intersection. Enter 'me 1': who is moved by his plight, wants to move to Guguletu, live in a shack, get to know the valuable people who live there: to experience with them what they have to deal with daily. Me 1 somehow feels its wrong to be so blessed when others have nothing. 'Me 2' rudely pushes the compassionate twin aside and whispers of the crime, the dirt, the deprivation, the danger - and quickly gains supremacy: I am suddenly grateful for my house with its burglar guards; my local mall, my car and my lifestyle in general. And the very thought of pandering to me 1's idea is ridiculous. Later this morning: Lunch with new, but rapidly becoming dear, friends in an upmarket restaurant close to Cape Town; a venue rubbing shoulders with great boutiques; interesting shops; vibey people and Cinema Nouveau. "Ahhhh," thinks me 2, "I could SO do this every day! We should move here soon - like tomorrow." "It will be so great to start a completely new life style" For a while I was fooled into thinking the twins had found consensus. But no. As we drove home, the sight of the sun shining on the sea, the mountains rearing up on either side of the valley like the protective paws of a lion and our house tucked into those mountains, stirs 'me 1' into action. "Can I really leave all this behind? After all there are family ties, life long friends, generations of our history with this ugly little town with its beautiful bay." There are plenty more examples but you get my drift? I think I will name them - Me 1 = Dycot Me 2 = Tomy One of them has to go - or is this how things are?


Lynette said...

This is how things are!

Don't feel guilty...remember many people are in a bad place through choices they made all by themselves. As for the little old beggar...he is most probably earning a pension and chooses the streets.

When we started in ministry we drove up Kragga Kamma (millionares Row) road every evening to our home and we felt condemned because we live in comfort...NONSENSE! We have what we worked very, very hard for.

So nothing is going...okay!?

Ness @ Drovers Run said...

You have just described in perfect detail, the great white dilemma.
Such is life in Africa. I think I may have triplets inside...Gawd help me! (me 1 & 2, plus me 3 who is emigrating)

Meriel said...

Allie I have a picture of your twins being your arms. As you walk the tightrope of life your left and right arms rise and fall keeping you in a balanced place. Don't fight it, they are the ebbs and flows of you. xxx

Shayne said...

I go thru the same emotions regularly - especially living where we do becoz the poverty (locations) is right under our nose. But then I just thank God that I have the life and blessing that I do.

As M says, they make up you, so embrace them both!

And I so understand wanting to live near CT and do lunch/dinner/sushi/cinema noveou movies!

Kate said...

I loved moving closer to the city - the little town by the sea is always there and never changes.

I say go for it!

Then you'll be closer for frequent visits from me :-)

...okay, my reasons are selfish...but I miss you! xx

allie said...

Dear Lynette!
I wish I could say I have worked so hard for the life that I have but, really, it just landed in my lap.
But I get where you are coming from - and will try to "get a grip" :-)

Ness: as you say, my friend - probably a Seffrican condition. I feel for you in spades with your triplets.
I just hope you ain't gunna hate your emigration triplet in time ;-)

And M - what a marvellous picture that conjures up!
God knows how much I need visual aids!
Thank you xx

allie said...

Ah Shayne - I knew you'd get it.
You have the poverty situation so in your face -AND you have a yen for city life. And you've had to deal with all that goes around those things.
So I will try to learn from you and go with the flow.

Kate, you were born for city life! It was so apparent when you lived in this little dorp.

It will be fantastic to live closer to you - we can pick up where we left off.
Stand by. . .

Farm Fresh Jessica said...

I'm familiar with that phenomenon.

Gill said...

I think most of us South Africans have a bit of a tug-of-war going on inside. I SO feel for those who are living in poverty and with violence and hardship a daily reality. BUT having just enjoyed a delicious sushi dinner..... wouldn't want to give that up in a hurry....

Simply-Mel said...

Oh geez, yes!

Yesterday a guy at the robots begged me to buy him soap, toothpaste and body cream (his skin cracking!). I dashed off to do it and then he was gone when I came back. I could never turn that down.

I give when I feel its right. And feel like akkies when I cant. I HATE IT.

scrappintimes said...

i feel like that too. but i think me1 makes me2 appreciate all we have. me1 has humility and empathy, and me2 has ambition.

just this morning i was driving, thinking about what colour car i should choose. and cursing myself for having 2 personalities. jacki1 is practical and modest, and jacki2 is non-conformist and extrovert. so, do i choose a brownish gold (dust coloured) car, or a red car?

but regardless, me1 will always be grateful that i have a car, and don't have to walk long distances in awful weather..


Ordinarylife said...

I hope it is how it is supposed to be because otherwise there seems to be a whole lot of us that aren't quite "normal"!

I totally understand where you are coming from. I so want to do something to help, but I also like the good things but then sometimes feel guilty about them. Lets hope we all find balance.