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Sudafricano Mexicano

Arno Kemp

Kitbag over my shoulder I walked the dusty footpath, chewing on a chiclé. The sun shines brightly, the birds sing their cheery canciones all around, and the air is fresher than champagne, the sky a relaxing blue. Almost like in the bushveld back home. Aaah … how my heart gallops like a young steed over this bushveld melancholy! But here, now, all I can hear is Spanish as I walk with my students, learning the unpronounceable names of indigenous trees and flowers, them laughing at my versions.

The sun falls on my bare back and rolls down my calves; my Scottish girl walks in front of me, her sun-kissed legs sexy and supple. She rolls the r in my name when she calls me, and a cool ocean fills me with delight.

Gracias, Mexico! Like Alanis Morissette, I too want to say, “Thank you providence, thank you consequence, thank you silence …”

In the late morning my Scottish beauty and I sit in the Spanish class. We study together, make eyes at each other from behind our grammar books. She smiles at me and blushes slightly. We write love notes and hide it in each other’s books.

My Scottish lass and I ride around the old town over cobbled little streets, on our happy bicycles. We stop at little markets where we by buy fresh, giant pineapples and juicy mangoes, which we let stream over our laughing mouths. We talk to little señoras and they wink at how pretty my Scottish girl is as we eat gorditas in their cool, kitchen-like cocinas.

My Scottish girlfriend smiles at me, tells me that I’m sexy. She says she wants to be with me, probably forever. Her painfully beautiful blue-bell eyes laugh in their frame of blond-brown hair. She puts her cool hand on mine, footsies me under the señora’s kitchen table. My ill-faithed heart dud-dud-duds in my excited chest, my eyes steal her pink lips and I fly over seven oceans in a matter of seconds.

In the warm night air we walk hand in hand as we pass cantinas and fairy-lit palm trees, while mariachis sing just for us, smiling at my pretty princess from under their sombreros. I pull some pink bougainvillaea flowers from a tree and put it my lass’s hair. She laughs and puts a kiss on one of my cheeks, her hand on the other.

We talk about our lives, our love, our pain. Sometimes she brushes away a tear of remembrance; sometimes a teardrop escapes from the excitement of the present. We lie in the shade of a big old tree on the grass; stare at its branches as they dance with the sun.

On cooler winter evenings, my Scottish girlfriend wears her shawl, and her cheeks are even pinker then. Her smile is then even warmer, her eyes an even deeper blue. Bluer than the first time when I drowned in them, and almost died.

I knew then already …

It was a new country, a new life, a blissful experience. My Scottish girl. My heart full-faithed again, the fountain of hope spurting icy water over green, green grass, the sun around the neck of every hill, where it shines brightly: just for my Scottish girl and me.

LitNet: 7 Maart 2006

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