Wrapping up my 35th week of pregnancy here in lovely Johannesburg. I haven’t accomplished much besides settling in. It’s an incredible break from the hazards of Luanda (see last post). Everyone insists I need to rent a car and I’m slowly coming around. I’ve been determined to do as much as I can on foot since walking through my gorgeous leafy neighborhood is such a joy and I fear these luxuries will not be physically accessible to me for much longer. This girl is getting BIG.
I live about a mile from a huge shopping center and have been happy to get a little exercise all while running errands. There are books stores, clothing and home boutiques, groceries, loads of restaurants. And all reasonably priced!! They have two separate movie theaters-one for blockbusters and one for independents. Movies start as early as 9:30 am! I have a feeling that fulfilling my life long dream of being the solo viewer in a great big theater has an honest chance here.
The odd thing about this city (and the reason I will eventually need to rent a car) is that EVERYTHING is walled in. Whether it is the housing complexes, shopping centers or the downtown area of little neighborhoods. I imagine it’s left over from apartheid, but it is strange and disconcerting. I wonder how people maintain a sense of community here. I am careful to not become too relaxed and day-dreamy on my walks, even though the cleanliness and order (so different from Luanda!) encourage me to do otherwise. I save my day dreaming for the homestead.
I had a long overdue appointment at a salon this past Wednesday. Oh true love! What a luxury. They saw me coming and I’m ashamed to admit that I agreed to each and every little extra. Super deep conditioning? Well, sure, if you think I could benefit. Leg and foot massage added on to the pedi?? Ah, yeah- it’d be good for my circulation, plus I walked here, mind doing it for twice as long?? oooh, a special offer on crazy expensive shampoo and conditioner? You think it really makes a difference? yeah? throw it on my tab! When the bill came I sputtered and choked on my free (or was it?) cappuccino. I am so lucky that Snakes has a generosity and sense of humor about this stuff (or does he?)… Nevermind. My toenails are lilac and my hair is shampoo-commercial glossy-tossy.
On Monday I visited the birthing center where I’m planning to deliver. I was able to tour the rooms and meet with my midwives. It was like a plush hotel: king sized bed, giant whirlpool tub, a private courtyard with 6 foot jade plants in bloom, a spacious walk-in shower. They have a “theatre” on site- (which is a fancy way of saying “OR”) in case of emergency C-sections. It put my mind at ease and really brought home the gravity of this situation. We are having a baby!
*disclaimer: self-portraits always seem so desperate and creepy, and clearly I was having some challenges with the focus, but didn’t my hair turn out pretty? And get a load of that belly. Whew. That girl is not messin around. A piglet for sure.