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Cape Town Stories 10

At my parents house in Woodstock. There is a knock on the door which my mother goes to answer. A man, begging. She asks him to wait a moment, she has to return quickly to what she was doing, but she will send her husband to him in a minute. And so my father follows my mother’s orders and goes to meet the begging man at the door. He greets him, the begging man however shows no interest in my father; he is, he explains, waiting for the white woman’s husband. My father tells him that he is in fact the white woman’s husband. The begging man tells my father not to tell lies and repeats once more, that he is waiting for the white woman’s husband. And so my father replies, again, that he is precisely this man the beggar speaks of to which the beggar, growing impatient, replies that my father is crazy and that he cannot in fact be the white woman’s husband. My father repeats, this time in Xhosa, that the husband of the white woman that the begging man speaks of truly stands before him, but the begging man has already turned around and left. He has no patience to talk to crazy people he muttered as he walked away.

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