Well, the day has finally arrived. It marks the cusp of a variety of events: the end of my flatmating (well it’s a word now, purists!) with wonderful Peas; the official end of my life as a Joburger; the end of my life as a bachelorette (living with Gilb is practically being married to him, right?); the end of my brief employment hiatus; my last day as a 26 year-old.
Quite a list, eh? In December 2006 I said 2007 would be my year of change, and I got what I wished for – of course, the devil is in the detail, and here the mischievous fiend has taken vast liberties, for the changes are not at all the ones I’d been hoping for. Ah, well. These are the changes I believe are best for me now.
But let’s not wax too philosophical – plenty of time for that while immersed in the culture of Secunda, a.k.a. Satan’s Lung.
Instead, I thought I’d take a trip down memory lane and share with you the highlights of my two-year life with Peas – she has been so central to many of my fond memories of the past two years that moving out of home with her might be the hardest change to adapt to.
So here goes, in as chronological an order as my gnat-like memory can muster:
1. The night before I move in, Peas throws a welcome party in my honour, which is loud enough (or could the music have been so offensively 80s?) to land us in trouble with the neighbours and almost get us evicted. Enter with a bang, they always say (do they?)
2. We get invited to a ladies chocolate party at the Westcliff, and we behave badly. Terribly! All the other ladies are skinny shmodels who don’t indulge in the celebrated afternoon tea platter, so we steal everyone else’s cucumber sandwiches and pastries and shovel them down our throats. That’s not all we steal, eh Peas? A roll of 3-ply, a napkin (so soft that I keep it in my cubby-hole and use it to clean my sunglasses), and an umbrella. And we’re rather heavy-handed on the free alcohol, drinking bubbly alternated with single malts and cocktails. Unbelievably, we’re not the name-draggers of the day: two girls who got slightly giggly themselves started swearing loudly and offending other guests, and had to be told by management to shut up or get out. Amateurs.
3. Peas’ raucous birthday party complete with trouble-inducing jacuzzi. Completely plastered, I dragged my name through the mud and then some. But I did meet a lot of her very cool friends who have thankfully managed to overlook my obscene behaviour and still speak to me.
4. Many, many nights of karaoke. If Michael Bolton were in his grave, he’d be turning – spinning, even. So would Whitney Houston, Lionel Ritchie, the Carpenters (she’s already turning!), the South Park soundtrack guys, the Annie soundtrack guys, etc. This karaoke has been performed in a number of styles: drunk & clothed, drunk & unclothed, sober & clothed, sober & unclothed, drunk & in a trolley. The singing, however, is consistent – think round 1 Idols – should or should we let them scrape through? It’s touch and go, I tell you.
5. The men in Peas’ life: the tubby one, the skinny one, the tall one, now the blondie. Mine has been much more mundane with just one recurring act, the Gilb (but how memorable he is!) Peas and I share sex stories, relationship questions, and yes, even discuss our sex noises. I remember calling her a grunter, I can’t for the life of me remember what I am. Peas?
6. Peas’ eccentric behaviour, to which I can only imagine her new flatmate will have a number of cartoon-style double-take moments: eating tuna out of the tin, and leaving the tuna in the tin, plus a fork, in the fridge for tomorrow; loud singing in the bathtub, with the door always open; let’s not get started on the music collection, she’ll find out pretty soon (including Peas’ current rave phase); her addiction to Home & Away (good luck trying to watch anything else during that time slot); her inexplicable fondness for foods like Golden Smackeroos and pork bangers and her obsession with Snackwiches. There are plenty more, but if the new flattie reads this I don’t want to give away all the surprises that lie ahead, now do I?
7. Hiding booze and spliff in a picnic blanket and getting royally drunk at Zoo Lake. Walking around the Artists in the Park exhibition and saying, perhaps a little too loudly, “crap, crap, frigging awful, crap, almost decent, crap…” as we walked past the exhibitors’ artworks.
8. A dinner party where Peas, using a glass ornament aubergine (not in our flat, I assure you) demonstrated fellatio on nervous Gilb. There’s a picture floating around somewhere…
9. The Amazing Race, where our car’s participants were supporting the Ikeys, and wearing eye-catching phrases like ‘F.UCT’ and ‘Niknak poen’ on our clothes and bodies. We were magnificent! And we even put in a decent performance, coming third and winning a set of steak knives for the effort.
10. The Durbs July last year – not too much that we can remember directly, but the pictures don’t lie: we had a royally fantastic time, that’s certain. Sneaking into the expensive tents, wearing name badges of guests like ‘Thokozile Makhanya” and having the bewildered waiters serve us free food, dancing up a storm on chairs in the Pinkies tent (of course everyone wanted to watch us dancing, we’re fabulous!), posing as tea pots and stalking tigers…
And, just because lists of 10 are contrived, here’s an extra:
11. Famous Peas. It’s amazing to see how much cult status she’s achieved, I think even the new flattie’s a bit starstruck. From her blog, to the countless mentions of her in the media, to the blog awards, to her sex column, Peas is certainly a mini-shleb in this part of the world. And it’s all been achieved through the force of her personality, coming through in her delightful writing style. Truly amazing.
Alright, that’s it. Any more reminiscing and I’ll change my mind about moving out. To Peas: cara Pisella, ti amo molto. Spero che non dimenticherai di mé e saremo buon amiche sempre.
I expect numerous visits from Peas to the Poenda, I’ve insisted we don’t move into a place that doesn’t have room for a spare double bed, so there’s always a home for you (and any other visitors) in the backwaters of Mpumalanga, dear friend.
PS: much more frequent writing will resume from next week, when I am once again officially employed. And proper attention will paid to your blog sites, too!
PPS: thanks to Rev for your awesome idea for my birthday/farewell party! Everyone’s dressing up like they’re from the Poenda, and I’m arranging for some sokkie musiek for everyone’s pleasure and/or pain.