CHAPTER 9

Posted: May 17, 2014 in Uncategorized

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CHAPTER 9

You have to take the good with the bad – anon

It’s taken me the better part of three days to recover from the party on the weekend. My inner chachima is slumped over the bed exhausted. The rush to get the house ready and the planning and preparation of the party had me running around like a chicken without a head. Today is probably the first time I have really had the time to relax and enjoyed the space and tranquility of the new house. My morning routine is pretty much the same as before except now I leave thirty minutes earlier in the morning, to drop the children off back at their old school. It’s just for these last six weeks of school I think thankfully. I cannot imagine doing it for any longer. I remember being accosted this morning in the driveway by Tess attempting a post party post mortum. “Did you see Rahima’s dress” she said, “I wore that on Eid and she liked it and just  had to buy it” she said with a mix of annoyance and pride. I still was not used to the early morning run and I was late already, so I had to rush off and make an excuse as I reversed out of the driveway and down the road. Tess was just reduced to a two inch image in my rear view mirror waving at the back of my car in a green and red morning Sameera-gown. Jameela and Bilal are already enrolled into a private school next year, where most of the other neighbourhood children attend. Tess already suggested carpool when I mentioned it at the party. Yusuf also thinks it’s a good idea, at least it will free up a few mornings during the week.

Elizabeth is on cloud nine, at the new house. Apparently the domestic workers here all get together and have their lunch break together in the small park a few houses away. I wasn’t so keen on it but she was so glad to be making new friends that I didn’t have the heart to say no. The familiar, “iYoh!” , “Huaawu!” And more audible “Seriaaas!” Can be heard around midday followed by loud chatter in a language I don’t understand. I wondered how this arrangement came about because to me, many of my neighbours seem like slave drivers that bark out instructions to their domestic workers throughout the day. It’s not uncommon to hear the odd scream of “Anna!” or “Jospephine!” resonating through the quiet streets. The answer became clear just a week after Elizabeth started joining them for Lunch. After lunch one day she was in stitches and said, “Yoh Madam, these gurls they come with all stories from da Ma-dams house. Even uSharon. The other day she said her Ma-dam has ten different creams she put on her face. Takes her two hours in the morning before she can come out of the room”. Elizabeth did a little dance gig as she laughed and told the story, then shook her head and held her ears closed. I couldn’t believe that my neighbours would use their domestic workers to snoop about everyones business. I wonder if the domestics are promised a bonus for any juicy gossip they bring back. After a good talking to, Elizabeth understood that she can continue to have lunch with them if she wanted, but not to listen or participate in their nonsense.

I guess every neighbourhood has its pros and cons. In our old neighbourhood everyone kept to themselves and didn’t bother about any one else’s business. That did mean though, that my children didn’t have any friends despite there being many children their age around. I guess change comes with good and bad. I look at my watch and get the food ready on the stove before I head upstairs .

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our Elizabeth

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