As modern South Africa mourns her father and leads the world through an unprecedented mega-media, uber-political and cheesy-flashy ride, and while Marie momentarily stays behind in the beautiful land of fynbos, I am now flying home to Harlem to tackle reality, trying not to forget that freedom is in the eye of the beholder.

When taxes eat up in excess of 40% of one’s income, when the over-achievement race turns relative victories into as many failures to gather more, when eight million people rave frantically around the clock to power a city so bright it is blinding, when noise becomes as tangible a presence as gravity itself, freedom, painfully achieved so long ago, becomes a theoretical concept buried deep down below practical matters.

One is free to remain in the race and elbow a stressful way towards a finish line that eternally remains equidistant from the present, just below the horizon, or one can choose to drop out, slow down, take a side path and a long breath, find a peaceful way and stop to smell the flowers. What will it be?

The subtitle to this post is not insane, nor is it random. It was invented after a funny, disconcerting mishap in the middle of whole the Mandela saga. For those who haven’t heard – if that is still possible – the official signer at the ceremony seems to have silently spoken gibberish, through the full swing of he called a schizophrenia attack. A lot has been written on that matter and I will not tap into it, but you might want to read this irreverent story just for fun.

Weekend Argus cover photo, December 8, 2013 – Copyright unknown

In the meantime, the picture above is reproduced from the Weekend Argus newspaper and it was the best I have seen in the last few days.

See you all on the other side of the pond. Pictures of flowers and ocean to come.