Please let us come home…

Last week was my best friend's 50th birthday – although obviously she's much, much (13 months) older than me. And I missed it. I was an entire continent away, feeling sad and sulky that I couldn't be at her socially-distanced outdoors braai in Benoni, that I wasn't quaffing – or delicately sipping, if the government is reading this – South African pink bubbly, and mainlining on mini koeksisters with close family and friends. My mum was there, my sisters were there, my other besties were there, but I was not. I haven't seen any of them since January. I yearn...
Last week was my best friend's 50th birthday – although obviously she's much, much (13 months) older than me.

And I missed it.

I was an entire continent away, feeling sad and sulky that I couldn't be at her socially-distanced outdoors braai in Benoni, that I wasn't quaffing – or delicately sipping, if the government is reading this – South African pink bubbly, and mainlining on mini koeksisters with close family and friends.

My mum was there, my sisters were there, my other besties were there, but I was not. I haven't seen any of them since January.

I yearn to hug – sorry, bump elbows – with them, after a mandatory two-week quarantine period, of course, or even after paying for a Covid-19 test, and frankly this is really starting to suck.

I ache to see my mum, and am desperate to be in my dad's space so that I can start to come to terms with his loss.

Then there is my poor son, who in January got engaged to his South African girlfriend on the rocks at Bloubergstrand at sunset, Table Mountain silhouetted behind them, and the world was rosy pink.

He hasn't seen his fiancée since.

She was due to fly to Ireland in April, but that was cancelled for obvious reasons, and he was going back to South Africa afterwards so that they could plan their wedding and build their new life together, but instead he is 29 and living bleakly with his parents.

I'm only glad I didn't buy a hat. We are, but two, but there are many like us.

So when, oh, when are the powers-that-be going to allow international flights back in? When are they going to let us come and spend our lovely euros/ dollars/yen pounds in the restaurants and shops?

My little Cape house needs loads of work, and it's standing empty and forlorn.

I've donated to my village's feeding scheme, but I cannot physically go there to give even a little bit of employment to a community desperately in need of it, to an area reliant on tourism where they are hurting badly.

When can we help support the flailing economy of my homeland? We're wearing our masks, sanitising, coughing into our elbows – we know the rules.

Please let us come on holiday. Please let us come home.

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