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Every morning when I drive Mia to school in that insane traffic, I decide this place is intolerable. It took me ONE HOUR to drive my 3-year-old to school yesterday (without traffic a 10-minute drive). And then at one point, as we sped up for mere moments, a military vehicle suddenly put on its sirens and swerved around me (I don’t know how he didn’t hit me), while every other car insantly stopped and pulled over for him. It was crazy. If you have a siren and a gun and are a soldier, you can do anything you want, including almost kill a woman and a child if you don’t want to sit in traffic like everyone else. grrrrrrrrrrr. Stuff like this is really incensing. That’s when I hate it.

And then later, when I am enjoying an afternoon with my kids sitting under a lush tree while a cool breeze blows, having to rush nowhere, I think, I don’t ever want to leave. sigh.

It’s all okay, in the end, circumstances will help me decide where we live.

Writing is going well. I didn’t get to do enough of it in S. Africa, but I enjoyed myself so much there (all those first world joys!), the racial tension notwithstanding.

But home is home. Dar was a relief, oddly enough, when we returned. (The racial tension was clearly more taxing than we realized.) That tropical third world smell — vegetation and traffic fumes — met us at the airport, along with the humidity — which was welcome after the cool, dry air of Pretoria.

Mia’s back into school rhythm after a week. She still says she wants to go to a restaurant every day (as we did in Pretoria), but every once in awhile she says, “It’s nice to be back in Daah (ie Dar).” And Lily is experiencing separation anxiety for the first time. Every time I leave the room she cries and then races (she is a very speedy crawler now) behind me. “Slap slap (sweaty, fat palms on tiled floor), pant pant.” She stands up on occasion, unaided. And she gets into everything. She is an utter, enchanting joy. And Mia is a grown up little miss (most of the time). She only wants to wear dresses or “girly shorts.” And she has been begging me to get her high heels. cripes. Where did this child come from?

All right. I will sign off now. Much to do without my dear husband here. I’m starting to feel like one of those European memsahibs of old colonial east africa, who look after household staffs, send their children to foreign-run schools and endure the absence of their husbands. Clearly, I must get back to writing my fiction…my imagination is running wild.

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