• A Noise In The Night.
How convenient – I have a book about a white guy living in Khayelitsha! That should be a good read I thought – give a bit of nitty gritty detail of township life … well, it turns out that the author isn’t much liked by the people at Baphumelele as his book mainly promotes the importance of alcohol and drugs in Khayelitsa. This is, despite first thoughts, not the case as the Xhosa people, being one of the dominant groups here, are a highly respectful and religious culture who frown upon drink and drug intake.
However, I continued to read on and take the book each page at a time. I then came across the part where the guy stated “The three gunshots had been my first, but perhaps for those who’d lived in these streets for years they were only three gunshots among countless others.” Hmm … that caught my attention! I was of course then on high alert for a few nights in case the prison-style bars on the windows weren’t deterrent enough and someone really just wanted to hurt me! Just as I was starting to relax and not jump at every door banging in the horrific wind, I was startled awake at about 10:30pm (yes early nights are rather the norm here!) by the room shaking and the most deafeningly loud engine sound about to come crashing through the roof!! Sitting bolt upright and allowing my eyes approximately 0.75 seconds to adjust to the light in the room, I realised that Khayelitsha must, inconveniently, be sat directly in the flight path of the most enormous, old, quadruple-engined aeroplane in the world! WOAH that was scary … and then I felt a little silly so I never mentioned that in the office …
It turns out that, after staying awake long enough on a few nights, it is in fact a regular noise and the ‘loud engine sound is not going to come crashing through the roof and I have not, despite thinking the ‘loud engine sound’ was worse than this, heard any gun shots … yet.