I have never liked moving house.
Not for any deep existential or philosophical reasons. Nothing to do with roots, displacement and loss. No memories or sense of place or comfort. It’s a simple admin issue.
I’m a lazy cunt.
That said, now that I’m in my middle years (actually, in Zimbabwe 35 is middle-age AT BEST) I can look back on a few truly memorable moves.
The very first move I remember, I was no more than a tiny sprat. I barely remember our small house in Chegutu Township, except the fact that I seemed to be dusty all the time. I don’t know if that had more to do with the environment or myself, but I’d put all money on me being a rambunctious toddler.
Anywho, how my parents managed to get a mortgage and buy a house in the suburbs, both on teacher’s salaries, will forever be a mystery in today’s Zimbabwe. So now we were moving, literally, across the tracks, although Chegutu’s ‘burbs actually begin across a far more tangible and poignant barrier. Highway A5, commonly known as Harare Road.
Anyway, so here I was, tiny little boy, and we were moving to “town”. The first night in our new house was pretty special, because as with every move, just the basics go first. It was just me and my dad, in the master bedroom. Or as we called it, mubedroom (the others were muspeya and mevasikana). Bare mattress, random duvet cover. Dad made dinner and it felt almost like camping. The kind of adventure only a little kid would appreciate, though I’m sure my dad didn’t appreciate me pooping the bed.
Hey, I was a little kid. Shit happens. Don’t judge me.
So now that I’ve soiled one of my earliest childhood memories, another interesting move was when I left Victoria Falls in … oh … 1999? Interesting times, those. Twenty years old, with far more life and work experience, street-smarts and salary than was good for me, I decided Harare was the place for me.
I hired Swift to ship my meagre possessions to Harare. You know the basics – base and mattress (from OK of course), Sony 3 CD changer, with sub-woofer thank you very much (TV Sales & Hire) and various sundry items. With that done, I waved a thankful goodbye to Zimbabwe’s Sodom and gunned my yellow, automatic Toyota Cressida for the Victoria Falls-Bulawayo highway.
Now, being young, dumb and full of cum, I decided to partake of a few brown-bottled beverages in Bulawayo, and found myself partying late into the night. With nowhere to sleep, only fuel money left and the makings of one motherfucker of a hangover.
Too annoyed with myself to bother anyone, I simply parked the car at OMs Sports Club and slept it off. Yeah, I know – a tale of sleeping in the car should be more interesting than that, but that’s basically it. I was homeless for a night, and I consider myself pretty lucky for that. It’s all a learning experience, isn’t it?
Then there was the time I was renting a flat from Sam Levy’s company, a garden flat in Avondale. It was all fun and games, really, until ZANU’s Gono went apeshit and hyperinflation basically threw an entire country down a Blair toilet.
Everyone in the apartment complex received a letter, inviting them to “meetings” with Isaac Levy. Basically, the meeting was simple. The rent is tripled. When you walk out my office, you can either sign your new lease or your notice of 3 months to terminate the current one and vacate the premises. That was it.
I told that little midget to stick his flat where Helios never visits, and walked out with my head held high. Incidentally, I got a full house in Greystone Park within a couple of weeks. That’s also why I never go into Mecca.
Now here I am, packing and borrowing pickup trucks and trying to figure out why there are so many potted plants in one place. And let’s all remember that I’m the laziest of cunts, so any offers of labour are appreciated.
At least I can look forward to a housewarming braai in the near future.
Bring your own everything.