READ THIS FIRST…..

http://www.mahala.co.za/music/darkness-on-the-edge-of-town/

I’ll be back later.  Promise.  I know…it’s been a while 😦

Ok here goes. Everything Stef said is 100%. I love SA. All of its seemingly contradictory cultural contrasts are sure to challenge those in other boxes with severe cognitive dissonance.

I want to explain what the “Boerewors’ Curtain” is. For the simplest part, the ‘curtain’, think “Iron Curtain”…a poli/socio/cultural veil, drawn willingly and opened at will by those with privilege on the other side. Now the ‘oerwoers’ part:

A boerewors, most literally, is a sausage. The name comes from the Afrikaans words boer (“farmer”) and wors (“sausage”), and is pronounced [ˈbuːrəvors] in Afrikaans, with a trilled /r/. I haven’t met a red-meat eating South African that doesn’t tear up a boerewors off the braai (with the exception of Muslims, when the boerwors are not Halaal).

OK, so back to the curtain. There’s the urban dictionary reference, and I’ll also cite this loooong article which I know will be worth the read if I get thru it. It is essentially a barrier separating the Afrikaans-speaking middle income suburban neighborhoods from everyone else. Fill in your own cultural context…the curtain exists somewhere near you. You can feel when you cross it, whether it’s cross bridges and tunnels in NYC, or out to good old Metairie. You know. And add the sociopolitical context of still racist, post racial states…you definitely know.

For more cultural context and a diversion, also chek this post from Africa Is  A Country.

Now back to BLK (JKS). The show was great, an awesome experience for sure. In the middle of nowhere, past a showroom filled with the cutest of airplanes I fell in love with – probably on acct of my bday twin, Amelia Earhart – 1000 people show up. Then there’s us, the guests who showed up unnanounced and unplanned for in a minivan, teleported cross the curtain as if in a Wonkamobile, then we tumbled into Smirnoff’s red rabbit hole. Stef likened it to a Commie theme…funny considering, it could have been the iron curtain we crossed indeed, if only visually.

The night was replete with good sound and enough libation to ignore the occasional “WTF are ya’ll doing here??!!” looks. In fact, it was as if the curtain was never opened. Our folk were in their own pocket of space, seeing each other. Only the booms, clicks and twangs of Tiesto’s trance transcended the barrier on all accounts.

There were the occasional runins that indicated the heightened sense of sensitivity. (1) on our entry into VIP without knowing we needed another braelet – which mgmt forgot to give at first – a random patron exiting told my friend “she musn’t try to get in where she doesn’t belong.”. Wrong thing to say – today, to a Black south african, on the othr side of the curtain. He got a pinch.

(2) A beatdown…I don’t know on what account, but we went to the car to drop off something and I saw a man being kicked, repeatedly, on the dirt…Menace to Society style….out of the corner of my eye. We passed and ignored, but not before noticing it was the white boy on the ground, and our brothers doing the kicking. Note: I doubt we would have passed if the opposite were the case.

But all in all the trip down was great. I crawled out slowly, getting back to my car in Melville as the sun was rising over Jozi, sunny side up. Went for tea by SABC on the way home and crashed 3deep on a couch with 2 others on chairs at the homie’s house.

I was all the way out at 10:30am, when I crawled into my bed.

This once, I didn’t draw my curtains.

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