I kill me.
Before I even start typing, I can tell you now… this is going to be a monster. I'm sorry if it gets boring or monotonous, but I need it… I need to rant. Spending five days away with my extended family has left me with a lot to say, especially as I was biting my tongue for most of it.
I don't people to believe that I don't love my family. Sometimes I might not feel like I do – especially after camping with them for four nights – but I do. So print this out if you must, use it as toilet reading material. Do with it what you will.
The families converged on Nelspruit in preparation for our trip to the Kruger Park. There was granny and her three daughters, and the three daughters' daughters – plus my brother and my uncle. I felt desperately sorry for our two men trying to play Alpha-male while braaiing in front of ten very strong, opinionated females ranging from 8-years-old to 75.
Then we met my 19-year-old cousin's boyfriend. He's 28. I don't have a problem with his age, besides the fact that he looks 16, but as I met him, the hairs on the back of my neck stood up and my brain just gave a simple, "Uh uh. I no like." I didn't know why. Maybe it was the fact that he looks like Crispin Glover at his creepiest. Or maybe it's because he does odd jobs at Nelspruit airport and I'm a city dwelling snob, thinking that he's clearing not big on ambition.
It definitely had a lot to do with the fact that my cousin and this guy could not stop touching each other. Anyone who knows me, knows I am not a fan of PDA (public displays of affection, for the uninitiated). It's as good as scratching nails down a black board. If I want to see people slobbering all over each other's necks, I can go to Manhunters to watch 15 year olds dry-humping on the dance floor, or if I'm really lucky, point and laugh at some of my 30 year old friends having a momentary lapse in clarity. Or I can watch etv porn. I do not need to watch it while I'm trying eat at the dinner table. Keep your tongue in your mouth, sex fiend. Don't get me wrong, my cousin and her boyfriend can shag themselves silly as far as I'm concerned. Pork each other until their little faces turn pink… just keep it to the bedroom.
Argh, and they called each other "My Babe"… the whole… fucking… time. They say it so much and so often, they've managed to make it into one syllable. I've tried, I can't do it.
"What do you want to drink, m'babe?"
"I dunno, m'babe, what do YOU want to drink?"
"I dunno, m'babe, I was thinking I would maybe have a beer, what do you think, m'babe?"
"I think I'll have a beer too, m'babe, but only if you're having one."
And so on and so forth. I spent a lot of time with my 8-year-old cousins, because they had more to add to the conversation. One even asked if the M'babes were mating like the buffalo we saw. That was awesome.
(You may or may not have noticed that I did not include M'babe when talking about how many males were with us. The man is wetter than a sea anemone and has less personality. Seriously, grow a back bone - only then will your balls be included in the census.)
I was sharing a tent with mom, Boet and aunt. Then Auntie mentioned that the M'babes would share a bed in our tent. My mother and I couldn't get the words out fast enough – "not while I'm there" from her, and "not a fucking chance" from me. And the family tension started. But the M'Babes slept in another tent, no doubt about that.
Alright, more on the M'Babes later. Now for some wildlife…. Our camp was situated right by the electric fence. My tent was literally 10m from the fence and as I said something cocky like, "do we even want to know what's out there?" I swung the torch up – and directly on to a hyena staring straight at me, not 20m from the fence. I almost pooed. Always good in a crisis, I dropped the torch and got the giggles, backpedaling up the hill to where the others were braaiing. When they went down to check my story, they discovered that the hyena I had spotted was actually the furthest one – there was another just on the other side of the fence that I hadn't seen. Almost as creepy as M'babe, but not quite.
Putting family tension aside, we all put on our brave faces and prepared ourselves for a day couped up in the sweltering heat of a crowded kombi. Another bone of contention from the M'Babes was that they were so wrapped up in each others' arms that neither could help unload, unpack or set up for each meal – but both were first in the queue to help themselves to food when it was ready. By the fourth meal steam was rising out of my eyeballs… I needed my tranquilisers.
I calmed myself down by documenting the process. I have a number of pictures with everyone setting up, and M'babe-1 picking a scab on his knee, while M'babe-2 flicked something out of her belly button. It's not for lack of asking them to help out – they completely ignored any request. Made eye contact and then looked away. Although, they do both work at an airport, so are over-qualified in giving people the lazy eye and then turning away. I eventually asked M'Babe if he had a back ailment that we should know about, which was possibly preventing him from any heavy lifting. He ignored that too.
And back to the wildlife – There was a hawk circling above us at lunch (technically a yellow-billed Kite). Boet found a small – and very dead – puff adder and decided to do his best impression of feeding the wildlife. With much enthusiasm he tried to fling the dead snake into path of the large bird as it circled closer and closer. Eventually the bird got close enough to actually snatch the prey of the ground before Boet could reach it to throw it in the air again… and boy did Bru beat a hasty retreat when he realised they were both racing for the same tasty treat.
Boet in mid-air trying to feed our pet hawk:
Day Three, four, five:
More of the lesser-spotted, commonly annoying M'Babe tits. More family tension as everyone tried their best not to be the catalyst to verbalise a WWIII type blow out.
I played five hours of "The Quiet Game" with my hyperactive 8-year-old cousin. That might have lead to some of my frustration, listening to the mating call of the M'Babes and not saying ANYTHING. Every time I tried to speak, I got a tap on my shoulder from 8-year-old cousin, chastising me with her finger on her lips. Talk about dedication. Five hours, people. I didn't talk for five hours. That's probably another reason why this post is so long.
I forgot it was my parent's 30th anniversary. Then, at work, I went to draw money and completely forgot my pin number. Blank. Complete blank. I had to borrow money from my boss for lunch.
I think my brain has atrophied, my babes.
On a final note - this is my favourite rest stop on the way to Nelspruit... Belfast to be exact. How many toeriste come out alive, do you think?