Right peeps, here's the deal. I live in the South of South Africa, cross country from my only niece. I hardly get enough time off from work to fly in for a visit, and right now I'm on my way to Europe for a three month long business trip. Sounds great?
Did I mention I'm missing the birth of my first nephew by going on this trip?
However, my stars aligned (read: my Visa was delayed JUST long enough), and I was able to book a little trip up to Gauteng Province to see my folks before my trip. But wait, there's more: I got word that I'm only expected to fly to Europe in a week's time. Which means that I have a whole week to hang with my fam.
Landed at O.R. Thambo International Airport, entered the terminal building, and on cue the Airport Radio played Take my breath away.
Gauteng always makes one feel welcome.
Le Parents picked me up at drop-and-go (the Louw family are above rules, you know), a myriad of turn-offs on the new Gauteng road system, and *Sigh*, finally home.
Given, there are certain things that reminds you (in a flash) why you've decided to move so far from home. For me:
Grandpa's parrot which came into our household after he passed away. Is it a little creepy to hear a bird be, all like, "good night kitty-cat, Nicoooo, you are BAD, *Grandpa’s throaty laugh*, Nicoooo, Sleep tight!, Nicooooo, *pigeon sound*, Birdieeee, *sneeze*"?
Yes, a little bit creepy, let me tell you. Can totally understand why Nicooooo moved out!
Then, WTF is it with these little Zhu Zhu animals!?! Why would you buy your kid a robotic hamster/mini rabbit/panda bear, that runs all over the house making LOUD and creepy noises! And why oh why did my little niece have to get two of these possessed animals!?! I came very close to drowning them in the middle of the night...
At the same time there are things that we LOVE and have missed so much about home:
A little hors d'oeuvre of meat before supper. Then a main meal consisting mostly of meat. I've almost forgotten what meat is from living in a vegetarian household.
Then: My gorgeous little niece. Mom arranged for us to baby-sit the two year old missy, and I'm sad (and feel a bit guilty about) saying, that I hardly know the kid. So we got some much needed time to clown around the house, and it was quite quickly that it became clear that little Miss Kara had somehow, inherited all of Auntie Lizette's best characteristics:
Yes, she showed me where her grandpa/my dad is currently hiding his stash of sweets, dried fruit & nuts. *sound of my heart melting*. My talent lives forth!
Then she went through my suitcase to explore all the wonderful things in there. AND THEN she discovered my MacBook on the table and we had to take a gazillion PhotoBooth pictures of the two of us. Aaaaah, my own annoying and inappropriate curiosity in other people's stuff... inherited by my little niece! *Sniff-sniff*, *tear-in-my-eye*. I'm so proud!
Also, she's a little tease. Cutely threatening her grandma that she's on her way to go steal more sweets. And then her mom and grandma teasingly make her say: “I am a naughty girl”. Which she does with a mischievous giggle.
It was to my disappointment to notice her T-shirt reading "I love shopping". Very unlike me. However, to my great glee her mother asked her to tell auntie Lizette what it is that she loves shopping for, and she answered: "Chocolate".
Mini-me of her auntie Lizette, I'm telling you. *Tears of pride and joy*
By the end of the night, this is all I have to say:
Designer Jeans just ruined by glitter nail-varnish: R500.
Pair of brown shoes, now sporting glitter polka dots: R200.
Knowing that I'll have an excuse to whip out a picture of my niece every time someone asks about the glitter stains: