Sakkie Sakkie Boer Dance
Our mothers cousin is due to meet us for breakfast. She advised in advance that she could only meet for about an hour as she had plans. As we pass the car park I wave at a police van. As we pass the receptionist she quickly fumbles to minimise facebook and dubious dating websites. I then hear her shouting at the police. My mother enters with a beautiful lady so akin in looks. She looks lovely and so put together, this is my second cousin. I hug her hello.
We sit at breakfast and endure the same meal as the day before. It doesn’t matter because my mothers cousin is wonderful to chat to, she’s fascinating and studying for a phd in theology. She tells us about her upcoming travels and can relate to my wonderful time at the Alhambra. The only time we stop talking is when Witness the barman walks in and I greet him then shout “Witness where did you get your T-shirt?!” Alarmed and ambushed by us he quietly says that he made it. Cici and I shout across the restaurant “Do you sell them?!” He looks mildly terrified and says quietly that he will talk to us later about it if that’s okay. It’s a black tshirt with a 1rand coin painted with silver teardrops around it. Absolutely beautiful.
Conversation returns to finding out more about our wonderful family member. Then it continues and we find out that our cousin, who didn’t know us, used a plan b encase she had to bail if we were particularly weird. Clever lady, I’d have done exactly the same! Immediately I feel a connection with her. She is wonderful and fascinating and has such a history about her. After years of remote talking her and mum get on beautifully. My aunt and cousin arrive and my father hijacks my uncle for a long walk to waterfalls. My aunt, mother and cousins walk into the village to amble around the shops and craft centres. I fetch the car and load my grandfather and Cici up. We take a very slow drive around the village. After the day before, his blood pressure is out of whack and he’s a bit shaking on foot. We meet up with the ladies in an antique shop. It’s less antique more junkyard. I catch my grandfather thumbing through old vinyls.
He really struggles with his blood pressure so I run down the hill to pick the car up and collect him from outside the shop. Saturday crowds are building so I pull up beside him, wind down the passenger window and shout out “Hey Handsome, get in” he chuckles as does a group of ladies nearby. I take our time driving around and then we haul up in a sunny spot outside a cafe for a few hours. We sip coffee and Grandpa smokes in the sunshine. The ladies join us and I order another round. As I listen to really tough life stories I feel something land in my hair. My aunt shoots spitballs into my hair, the hair that is managed by a Scandinavian man called Martin who spends much resource on it’s condition. My sister excuses herself and gramps to move tables. Lucky bitch.
My father and uncle arrive after a walk through a waterfall. Quite literally. They are saturated. I go to the toilet of the cafe and find a rolltop bath and washing machine in the room. A part of me wonders if I’ve just invaded someones home. I don’t really care either way, I’m just counting down the hours before I leave this place.
Instead of joining my aunt shopping my father excuses himself to walk a few kilometres around the escarpment with my uncle and cousin. We leave the cafe and there’s a couple outside with a vintage refurbished Soviet motorbike and side car. My grandfather and Cici immediately stop to chat. I get in the car to charge my phone and sit swearing to myself and reading through messages from my business partners. They have been hard at work carrying me while away.
We drive back to the hotel and try to order a coffee, they advise that they don’t do coffee outside in the seating area. The receptionist is really testing my patience. So we walk back down the street with my mother and her cousin, and Cici and Gramps to an outdoor table in the hot midday sunshine. We order drinks and a kitten sits on the table. It then tries to paw milk out of the milk jug. While they are cute and all, they are little disease ridden things. I remember back to the time an Ethiopian cat infected me with an intestinal parasite for a month and my weight dropped to just over 40kg. Damn disease carriers.
We eat, we chat, it’s so nice. She’s so nice. I’m truly having a great day.
It’s early afternoon and it really is time now for her to leave as it’s an hours drive back to her house and we don’t want her driving the mountain pass on her own in the dark. We walk her to the car and she provides a box of gifts for us. I cry with happiness. It’s so thoughtful and wonderful. There’s a handwritten note and beautiful needlework as gifts. Just like her brother a few days ago she is such a special human and I couldn’t be more proud to call her family.
My cousin, father and uncle arrive looking exhausted. We don’t tell them that we’ve already eaten lunch. Instead we head back to the hotel rooms and share water and treats before leaving in a full van to head down the mountain to my aunts house. She has made delicious waffles and bought me a huge fruit salad. I hug her in gratitude, it’s so amazingly thoughtful and I truly appreciate it. I sit outside while my grandfather smokes, my uncle joins us, he’s lovely to chat to. Then my father storms out the house with enthusiastic energy after over consumption of ice cream. He tells me to come, we’re heading down the street to where Bobba’s Daughters Daughter lives. Quite literally five houses down the road. My cousin shows us the way. Cici lags behind but catches up mumbling something about coke.
We knock on the door. She opens it, alarmed to see five people. We hug her, I can’t recall meeting her but am advised that I never had the opportunity. She’s gorgeous and has a wonderful family. We chat with her for about half an hour, I want longer because she’s just so lovely. She promises to head up to my aunts house to see her Uncle, my grandfather.
I walk beside my father back to the house, chatting to him about my surprise at how close we were to family. Sure enough just a few minutes later she returns. My grandfather is so happy to see her after so long. They chat non stop, and when they do stop, I chat to her non stop.
Somehow the afternoon disappears before us and it’s time to leave before a very long journey the next day. We say goodbye to all. Tipsy after a few ciders I sit in the back of the car singing.
We arrive back to a Boer wedding at the hotel. The hotel bar is closed but there are two other bars as part of the complex. One is for women only and the other is male only. My father takes us to the male only and we see Witness. He knows our order already and looks great in his black t-shirt. I pay for the drinks and ask him for the t-shirt cost. I count out the money for the shirt off his own back. The Afrikaners at the bar stare at me in snobby disbelief. I then unfold a dollar note, a few Euro coins, pound coins and a five pound note out of my pocket for him. Doubling the cost of the garment. He kisses the notes and I tell him to times the five by eighteen. Witness undresses and I put the shirt straight on.
A man at the other end of the bar, who turns out to be father of the bride, shouts “oh don’t rub it in” about the exchange rate. The three pub going Snooks approach him to talk to him, he’s lathered and red in the face with wine and beer and whatever anyone is buying. We congratulate him and he is merry with love. He calls over his nephew, a game ranger from Botswana wearing khaki shorts, desert boots and a safari top. He’s perfect Boer breeding stock.
We quickly excuse ourselves around the corner and decompress about the day.
Wedding guests stagger past us. One has a mullet. Then the father of the bride approaches my sister and invites to her “sakkie sakkie Boer dance” with his family. I stand ready to start a bar fight. Completely unaware of this wholly inappropriate invite. He asks me if I’d like to long arm with him. That’s it. I’m ready to start. My father advises him “you best check with your wife first” realisation passes over the father of the brides face and he agrees and hurries off. Apparently it’s a Boer style of dancing. Almost cultural. I quickly instigate a bail and we leave for our rooms.
We bid goodnight and lock ourselves from the Boers. I use the bathroom and smell someone smoking in the dark bushes behind our room. I lock the door to the bathroom when I’m done and we place a chair infant of the main door. It’s only late the next day after arriving in our new destination that we find out that the police who visited that morning were there because of an inside burglary which had occurred in one of the family cottages during the night. The hotel guests lay sleeping while the room was cleared of passports, money and electronics. Had the family woken, chances are they would have been killed. It’s reported on the news and I’m infuriated with the dumb receptionist who chose not to inform us. I also wonder about the smoker outside the bathroom window.
The Sakkie Sakkie dancing continues until an immediate midnight curfew. It’s not until the next morning that we realise very few guests stayed the night at the hotel because the car park is near empty.