19 December 2012

From Paris With Love

You have to admit, life is a little weird. I started this blog a little over a year ago with a blog about moving to Johannesburg and my feelings about living in the City of Gold. What followed was a series of blogs about my observations on South Africans, my encounters with racism and the terrible inequality that marks South African society. Now, one year later, here I am on the other side of the planet, this time I call Paris my new home.

You would think that living in Paris would be any writer’s wet dream? Inspiration falling from the gargoyles that line the ancient cathedrals on Parisian avenues, or perhaps being inspired by the countless fountains or courtyards filled with couples whispering sweet nothings to each other? In a way yes, I have had my head twisted around in a way it hasn’t been since I first moved to Algeria and came face to face with the Arab world. I have been opened up to another world, a whole new continent, a whole new people.

But at the end of the day, there is still that bothersome thing called life, to be precise, there is that bothersome thing called school. After my “delayed gap year”, I am back in University and the transition has been far from easy. To be honest: it has been harrowing. This is the part you imagine having to wake up early for twelve hour days, commuting seventy kilometres from where I live to the heart of Paris, an academic workload befitting one of Europe’s top varsities. I wish I could smile and say it has been nothing but peaches and roses but it hasn’t. But this is life, one can only grit one’s teeth and keep going at it until the time comes when it is second nature and you wonder what all the fuss was about.

But till that day comes, writing has to take a back seat. It is painful thing to do, a sacrifice as painful as any blood sacrifice the Jews had to take up to the Temple aeons ago. I am a writer in every sense of the word, images seem to be trapped in my head, I keep tapping interesting thoughts into my Blackberry (I now have such a long list, my next short story should be interesting if I ever get round to it). But if the pain begins to be overwhelming, all I have to do is look to my famous writer friend, Novuyo RosaTshuma, who was recently accepted by Wits University for a Masters in Creative Writing. This in the same year that she published her first novella to critical acclaim. Yes, the rain might be long in coming, but be sure it will come.

And as if to encourage me, the other day I happened to listen to Steve Jobs famous Stanford commencement address where he talked about being only able to connect the dot’s looking back. So while I wait for the dot’s to make some sort of discernible pattern, here’s a toast to life; its beauty, its vagaries, its absolute randomness and the incredible tragedy of being human.

The Eiffel Tower is really bigger than I would have thought!
Check out this photo stream on Paris, la nuit. It has beautiful photos!


  1. I know you are a genius boy and and you being a writer it is a question beyond any reasonable doubt. But come to think of it , you have been to the extreme North of Africa and ate couscous and dates with Arabs and then went to spend a year in the Southern part of the same continent with the Zulus , Xhosas and the rest of the Bantu people,only to be propelled in the heart of Europe and now you eat your lunch in front of the Louvre... what more can a writer dream of?

  2. True that my friend, what more can a writer dream of, it will all make sense one day.