September 14, 2012
There are plenty of reasons why I love living in a small town. I could tell you about the clean and clear air, the lack of vehicular traffic and attendant traffic madness, the ability to have on my dinner table a Tilapia that was swimming in The Nile less than an hour ago, or I could wax eloquent about the simple pleasures of chitchat with my neighbours as I walk my hounds, buying produce that is so fresh I sometimes find the earth in which it grew attached to its roots, and, devouring a burger that is in its’ freshness, succulence and size, cross my heart and hope to die, one of the best I have ever eaten. If you’re ever in my neck of the woods, drop by Ozzie’s and ask for the Ozzie burger. Delicious I tell you, absolutely fantastic.
In my small town I can wander the streets in ripped jeans and sapatu and fit right in. Standing in line at the bank, I like to muse how, a mere 80 km away at the head office, I would never think of showing up at my bank in anything less than the full corporate getup, failing which, the Friday/Saturday dress down scrubs. I have in the short space of 6 months turned into one of those people who only ever wear a suit at weddings and funerals. Oh yes, this almost-bohemian lifestyle suits me perfectly.
I grew up here, at the end of an era and the beginning of the current epoch. I walked up and down these tree lined avenues and streets, I learnt how to ride a bicycle down Mango Lane, so named by my childhood friends for the fruit trees lining it, I almost learnt how to swim in the Club pool, I first encountered lawn tennis, squash and golf at the same Club, and now plan on actually learning how to play all three at some point in the near future. I grew up here and now I’m back, back to love the childhood love I never knew I had and back to raise the family I always dreamed of having and back to lean over my fence and shoot the breeze with my neighbour and back to redeem the reputation of my hometown.
However, the single biggest reason why I love living in a small town is that … I belong. In my front yard, at the market, in the supermarket, at the bar/restaurants that my wife and I patronise, at the Rotary fellowship … I have such an inexpressible sense of belonging. Sure, not everyone at all these places is my bosom buddy but they sure put on a nice convincing act.