In Queue at Bara

The things that can become “normal” in this strange world sometimes hit your reality quite hard. Today I sat in Q at Baragwanath Hospital in Soweto, South Africa. Besides the now-very-often occurance of being the only white in the hospitals, today the stares went to a new level.

First, a lady walking through stopped and said that I shouldn’t have a baby “that” colour (the baby I had was of mixed color) and that she would take him. I told her this was my child and she couldn’t have him. I held on tight, fought for him and she eventually went away in an huff.

Then there was a sight that turned my stomach. It takes a lot to do that, but this was more than enough. A man so skin-and-bones that you thought he would break under his own frail weight was waiting in the corridor. Then he shifted himself and I saw an extremity that was gangrene, which is a difficult sight alone. But there was an organic growth coming out the bottom of his stub.

Outside the hospital I saw a man park his combie bus, get out and take off his rims. He proceeded to put them under his seat, leave and return within an half hour. He put back on the rims and took his passengers. Apparently beauty really does come before pain. I wonder how many stops he makes a day….

All in a day’s work.


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