Friday, November 27, 2009

When the dog bites, when the bee stings, when I'm feeling sad...

Five weeks ago today exactly I was in Austria as one of the journalists invited on the BMW EuroStyle 2009 tour. At about this time I was standing in one of the theatres in the Salzburg Festival grounds. We had eaten a splendid lunch of Wiener schnitzel and had visited the flat in which Mozart's widow had lived. A music professor had handed out whistles, triangles, wooden clackers, drums and an assortment of noise-generating implements and had, as he sat before a piano, had played conductor and guided us along in an unexpectedly charming mini symphony. It was glorious!
And so it was that, five Friday afternoons ago, I came to be standing in the arena where they filmed the end scenes of The Sound of Music - one of my all-time favourite movies when I was a kid. Right then an SMS message came through from home. "Are you going out to the family murder scene in Orange Farm?"

At that very moment it hit me how far away I was from my ordinary life in every sense possible. No, I was not rushing off to some blood-stained crime scene in Jozi. I was absorbing the delights of a different existence. As we walked on to join some of the festival staff in a room overlooking the Salzburg scene as we drank Champagne and ate Mozart chocolates I felt a sense of joy bubbling inside me.
Today was back to real life. I spent the morning at the Newlands Regional Court where a man was supposed to be sentenced for shooting a four-year-old child in the head. It was one of those unintentional accidents. His own son had been mugged and had his cellphone stolen, so he had gone running after the muggers. He fired at them, the bullet ricocheted into a creche and struck another man's son and killed him.
It seems not even four-year-olds at play school are safe in Joburg.
It chills my heart and makes me long to be where the hills are alive...

1 comment:

  1. At least for a little while you were away from it all.