Whenever I feel sad and lost and lonely in America, overwhelmed by questions like “Why do they stir their coffee with straws?” or “Why do they think ‘In God We Trust’ is not religious?” or “How is my money worth 60% of what it was when I got here?” I go for a walk around my neighborhood. It’s my alternative to buying a bottle of red wine and drowning my sorrows, because when I’m sad, I don’t know the meaning of “a couple of glasses to relax”.
So instead I walk around, smelling the roses. Orange is flat – it’s a lot like the Cape Flats except the streets are cleaner, there’s no crime, and the low-ceiling, two bedroom houses cost about R3-5million each. The smelling the roses thing started because I wanted to see which ones had a smell, and which ones didn’t. Then it was supposed to cheer me up.
But my rose smelling thing always backfires. there’s something about the smell of roses that makes me terribly sad, these days. And it doesn’t help that it’s Halloween. I know it’s supposed to be fun, but the macabre shit all over the place just freaks me out. I don’t get it.
I can’t wait til it’s over and Orange can start redecorating for Christmas instead. The out-there Christianity is tiring at times, and the carols drive me up the wall, but at least they’re not terrifying.