small talk

‘We’re going to live in South Africa?’
‘Oh? Where? Cape Town?’
That’s usually the presumption. Cape Town. That’s where the English go.
‘No. Joburg.’
‘Oh. Where?’
‘Don’t know yet. We’ll find a place.’
‘Be careful though, won’t you?’
‘What of? The crime?’
‘Is there crime there?’
‘Yes! Lots!’
‘Oh. No. I was thinking of AIDS.’
‘What? Be careful of AIDS?’
‘Yes. So much of it down there.’
‘Yeah. But I don’t think you catch it in the air you know.’
‘No. I mean, you see it. So many people. All over the place. With AIDS. Awful.’

*

‘So you’re going away again -‘
‘Yes.’
‘Don’t you get tired? All that travelling. To Africa.’
Silence.
‘You’ll get tired of it eventually – Africa – and find another cause.’
‘Cause?’
‘That’s what it is, isn’t it. A cause. I s’pose we all need one, don’t we. We’ve got kids.’
Silence.
‘Your husband must get tired of it. Shouldn’t you stop it for his sake. He’s not interested in Africa, is he.’
Silence.
‘At least you get a lot of Rand for your Pound, I s’pose.’

Advertisements