A hot saturday afternoon of December. I arrive late, at this common friend’s birthday. It takes place in some hidden yard, behind the buildings in downtown Pretoria. Kind-of hipsterish place. There, I meet Rudzani for the second time. Or is it the third? Not hard to spot you I say, with your woolen hat. He laughs. It’s true. That hat is stuck to his hair!
a bit of a paradox
As good hipsters, we soon fit ourselves with pints of craft beer and sit in the hall at massive Ikea tables. It’s very noisy in there. I hand him the sketchpad. And as the little prince to the pilot, I ask: “explain me South Africa”. But instead, he draws me a sheep and starts talking economy and geopolitics, of how a country like South Africa is hardly independent in the choices it makes. I can’t help noticing the gap with what he is currently drawing.
Talking about intolerance in South Africa, naturally comes the hot topic of how all these colours live, side by side on that magical rainbow.
people don’t tolerate intolerance
I try to sit better on the wooden bench, feeling a kind of restlessness, probably due to the philosophical questions open. Looking at a distance at the zebra pictured on the label, the brand of that pilsner beer we are sipping at, I ask myself: “is the zebra a white horse with black stripes or a black horse with white stripes?”. How do people manage then? I want to know. I need to.
I used to be comfortable everywhere
Yes. I’m wondering where I should feel comfortable then, as a foreigner. Everywhere, hopefully, with everyone. Almost.