A perfect South Africa - 21 February 2008

Sitting on the dock of the pool, thinking about what I would like to add to my life in South Africa

Family, friends and foes

When Lindsey left London in 2004 , I engaged myself into a daily routine: work sport and Fridays at the pub with Rob, trying to kill time while deciding what to for the rest of my life. Back then I thought I would have stayed in London forever.

Once I got engaged and I decided to leave for South Africa, all I wanted next to me was Lindsey. I wanted her again in London to share our daily routines and find comfort in those cold nights, discussing what happened the same day, while Rob would watch films from the sofa and shouting "genius" at every Kubrick or Malik's movies (don't ask me why, after a while I took for granted the fact that Rob was going to live with me forever).

Few months have passed. Actually, it has been almost a year since Lindsey went back to South Africa with a sparkling engagement ring and Rob left for Bristol. 9 months ago I was still in London, introducing Anna to my flat as Rob's replacement, and thinking what it will happen to me.

I'm still in South Africa; I haven't escaped the country yet. I know I keep repeating it just like I'm waiting for the right occasion to run away, but I'm taking little steps in approaching this country. Lindsey and her great family helped me a lot in settling down here.
It is the end of a warm February and the stress of organizing a wedding - which is a little more than 30 days away - , move into a new house, with all the work still to be done and try to not get nostalgic are probably catching up with me.

Life here is good. Relaxed, sunny and people are genuinely more approachable than in London.
There are problems and you can read about them on a blog called South Africa sucks (it will give you an insight view, maybe a bit extreme, of what's happening here).

But. Sometimes.

I wish friends and foes I met over the years in London and Italy would join me on a weekly basis to chat about the past and the good old times.

Nobody really knows here me or where I come from and there are only certain stories I feel safe to use to entertain guest.
Most of the stories start with "I was so drunk one time that..." which sometimes make me sadly feel like Fun Bobby from Friends .
The gross stories, which would disgust Lindsey and most of her friends and family, are something that I would feel safe to tell only to other guys who surely understand the danger of doing crazy things under the effect of spirits.

And so I stay silent, in the evenings, by the pool. No, I don't have a dock by the way. I think I started talking to myself recently, which, for a mumbler like me, is not too good.

Sometimes I wish that my friends were only 10 minutes or a phone call away and that Lindsey would have a chance to get to know them regardless of the language barriers. After all, I am what I am today thanks to the experiences that I faced in the past.

I wish Rob would still sleep on the sofa in the living room, or that would invite me out to drink Jack Daniels and eat salt and vinegar crisps, before buying a cheap Chinese meal and discuss about films.
I wish Lindsey would join us in the discussion, just to realize that, after all, he's a very good guy.

I wish my office was 40 minutes away in a sometimes cold weather, so I could exercise in the morning, and wake up earlier. And maybe enjoy some free cups of tea with Guy, or Rafal. Or even Jonny if he was around.

I wish I could reply to an invite to any bar with a very short notice, knowing that a bus will always be there to take me away and back, crawling to my door step. And knowing that Ian will cook for me on Monday, while discussing football and remembering the 2006 World Cup

I wish my football team was still behind the corner, but I also wish that my new football team, Panorama F.C., will accept me the way those crazy English people did.

I wish Beppe, and Max, and Mera were around, to take to me another night at the Texas.

I wish my dog was around, Olga was around, and even my dad with the constant smelly cigarette and the glass full of grappa was around.

I wish they were all here and they could spend some time with me, and Lindsey. Because what we do stays with the people we shared time with, and those stories are our legacy.

I know it is time to build a new legacy, it is time to start from scratch again, it is time to look at the future, but I also know that in beautiful nights like this one, when the only sounds I can hear are those damn crickets and the pool's fountain, nostalgia is the word.

This is why I feel like this wedding is so incredibly important. Because that day when I will say Yes to Lindsey and to a new future, I want to be able to see the faces that loved me, help me, grew up with me, hated me, but never forgot me.

After all, this is a new start. Not me anymore, but us. And there is so much to learn.