It’s been seven months since we last ran along the Sea Point promenade, enjoyed a Wembley hot dog (okay, a double hot dog for me), and surfed the Muizenberg waves. While a quick check on the weather shows that the Cape is pretty cold at the moment, we still plan on taking full advantage of the chance to escape the summer heat in Doha.
Our schedule’s pretty full, since we’re planning a trip to Joburg for a few days.
Shihaam and I thought it’d be good to show the kids a different part of South Africa, and we’re also looking forward to catching up with old friends from our time living in Jozi.
Whether Cape Town or Joburg, the truth is we just can’t wait to breathe in the fresh air of Mzansi. It seems we might be arriving to a storm, though, and one that has nothing to with the Cape winter, but rather President Cyril Ramaphosa’s TV address to the nation in which he announced that the ANC would look to change the Constitution to make clear the conditions under which land can be appropriated without compensation.
While the news has Twitter all aflutter, I’m just hoping there aren’t any land grabs while I’m in town - I’m planning to stay with family and there’s no way I’m paying Cape Town hotel prices.
Land expropriation may not be a concern in Qatar - except perhaps for some expats - but the country has experienced its own share of turbulence this week.
The Sunday Times in Britain ran a story stating that it had evidence of the Qatar World Cup 2022 bid team using a PR agency and former CIA operatives to disseminate fake propaganda about its main competitors in a breach of Fifa rules. Qatar rejected the allegations, saying all bid rules were adhered to.
But with the 2018 tournament having ended in Russia a couple of weeks ago, the focus on Qatar and the next Fifa World Cup will only increase, in the same way all eyes were on South Africa the minute the final whistle blew in Germany in 2006. My focus for the next few weeks, though, will be on enjoying quality time with family and friends back home.
Qatar Lessons will be on a break at the same time. But if you see a guy eating a hot dog while running on the promenade, wave. I promise I’ll wave back.
* Qatar Lessons will resume on August 31.
** Bawa, a former newspaper executive editor and magazine editor, is writing a weekly column about the life and experiences of a proud South African living as an expat in Qatar. Follow him on Twitter @ridwaanbawa
*** The views expressed here are not necessarily those of Independent Newspapers.