Rainbow diary - insides.pmd

Copyright John Malathronas, 2005 The right of John Malathronas to be identified as the author of this work has been asserted in accordance with sections 77 and 78 of the Copyright, Designs and Patents Act 1988.
Condition of Sale This book is sold subject to the condition that it shall not, by way of trade or otherwise, be lent, re-sold, hired out or otherwise circulated in any form of binding or cover other than that in which it is published and without a similar condition including this condition being imposed on the subsequent publisher.
Summersdale Publishers Ltd Printed and bound in Great Britain ISBN 1 84024 445 3 Rainbow Diary - insides.pmd 5/9/2005, 3:46 PM Steve Biko quote from ‘Black Consciousness and the Quest for a True Humanity' in Steve Biko: Black Consciousness in South Africa, edited by Millard Arnold (1979) reprinted courtesy of Random House Inc, 1540 Broadway, New York, NY 10036, USA.
Nelson Mandela quotes from his book Long Walk to Freedom (Abacus, 1994) reprinted courtesy of Little Brown and Co, 1271 Avenue of the Americas, New York, NY, 10020, USA.
Quote from Amnesty International Report 2003, AI Index POL 10/003/2003, section on Swaziland, courtesy of Amnesty International, 99–119 Rosebery Avenue, London, UK.
Every effort has been made to obtain the necessary permissions with reference to copyright material, both illustrative and quoted; should there be any omissions in this respect we apologise and shall be pleased to make the appropriate acknowledgements in any future edition.
Rainbow Diary - insides.pmd 5/9/2005, 3:46 PM

I would first like to thank the people who lent me their lifestories and made this book possible – although some of thenames have been changed, they should be able to recognisethemselves easily. Even if they are not mentioned in the book,there are many people who made my sojourn in South Africaso unforgettable; I want to single out Philip Uys, Peter Daysonand Irma Kruger. A big thank you also to Michael Boy andMartin McHale of Club 330 who were responsible for one ofmy best nights out ever.
This book started life as a website, and I am grateful to all those who followed its growth with encouragement, inparticular: Matthew Malthouse, Lyn David Thomas, LionelBarnett, Richard MacDonald, Andrew Hollo and NormanCoyne. I owe many thanks to Mark Hawthorne Richardson,T. J. de Klerk and Peter H. M. Brooks for their comments and corrections. I am also indebted to Dr Rupert Thompson'sassistance during my research in the Cambridge Universitylibrary.
Special thanks are due to the ever-patient Moira de Swardt who helped me with so many questions after I left South Africaand who has been an unwavering friend throughout; to ErrolUys who first saw a book where there was none; and toeveryone in Summersdale, especially my editors, JenniferBarclay and Carol Baker, both of whose spot-on suggestionsand professional advice have been invaluable.
Rainbow Diary - insides.pmd 5/9/2005, 3:46 PM Rainbow Diary - insides.pmd 5/9/2005, 3:46 PM To Víctor Rainbow Diary - insides.pmd 5/9/2005, 3:46 PM Rainbow Diary - insides.pmd 5/9/2005, 3:46 PM Rainbow Diary - insides.pmd 5/9/2005, 3:46 PM Rainbow Diary - insides.pmd 5/9/2005, 3:46 PM I don't consider myself a backpacker. I find the whole worldof backpackerdom a bit incestuous. You move from hostel tohostel meeting the same kind of people (anarcho-alternatives,stinky students or healthstrong hikers), you follow the samerules (‘Please take a beer and write your name in the book'; ‘Do notforce the lock on the pool table'; ‘We do not lend pens – in fact we do notlend anything'), and you are encouraged to stay away from thelocals. Backpacker hostels are a perfect breeding ground fortomorrow's megacoach family tourist: self-contained (sleep,cook, eat, drink and socialise under the same roof), self-important (‘You're only spending five weeks in South Africa? We'rehere for six months') and finally self-defeating – are you reallyvisiting a foreign country if you hang around with like-mindedyoung Westerners? So I don't consider myself a backpacker. Ihang around in the bars and the clubs of a new town, drinkwith the locals and make them tell me their stories. And ontop of that I am a dorm's nightmare. Put me in the lowerbunk and I'll knock my head on the top bed. Put me in thetop bunk, and I'll want to go to the toilet four times in thecourse of the night. Oh, and I drag dry hides, as the Zulu say.
This means I snore heavily. Dorms inspire my adenoids.
Plus in South Africa I tasted luxury. I was forced by circumstances to stay in a four-star hotel in Durban and whatdid it cost me? Twenty quid. I expected to rough it in theKruger Park and I had a huge, superbly decorated three-manhut for myself. For the first time I started looking at the betterhotels in the Lonely Planet guide. Could I really afford to stay Rainbow Diary - insides.pmd 5/9/2005, 3:46 PM at the Edward Hotel in Port Elizabeth? I called. I could. I did.
Luxury is like a drug: if I hadn't missed the occasionalsociability of the backpacker's bus, who knows – I might havecrammed my credit card with bills from luxurious, yetinexpensive, hotels. The exchange rate rocks.
It is perhaps because luxury is like a drug that the problems plaguing South Africa were generated and have persisted tothis day. More than a hundred years ago, gold and diamondsstarted providing the elite of the country with a lifestyle whichhas to be lived in order for outsiders to comprehend why itwas defended so ruthlessly. And many a time, since the larger,disadvantaged population of South Africa lives outside thecities, it was easy to forget how this high standard of livingwas attained.
Crime is therefore a big problem, which will not surprise anyone who knows that sharp divisions in a society createstress. But it does seem to surprise white South Africans.
‘Perpetrators of crime act with impunity in the new South Africa,' they told me. One could argue, of course, thatperpetrators of crime have always been able to act withimpunity in South Africa, but a prologue is not the place forsuch arguments. It is, however, a place for creation myths.
It was Unkulunkulu, the ancestor of all ancestors, who broke off mankind from the reeds of the eastern swamps where theIndian Ocean meets the African continent. Unlike the versionin Genesis, a man emerged simultaneously with a woman, forhow could there have ever existed a male without his partner? Unkulunkulu sent off two animals to greet mankind. He first dispatched a chameleon to bestow immortality to humansby announcing ‘Let men not die!' Then, after granting thechameleon a good handicap, He sent a gecko with an oppositemessage of death. But the chameleon loitered on the way toeat the fruit of some bush; thus the gecko arrived first withthe dreaded curse that has befallen the human race: ‘Let mendie.' By the time the chameleon arrived, it was too late.
Rainbow Diary - insides.pmd 5/9/2005, 3:46 PM Although the gecko is merely feared as a harbinger of death, the chameleon has been squarely blamed for mankind'smortality. Even today black Africans will avoid touching achameleon and many a shepherd has killed one from a distanceby blowing smoke at its open mouth.
It seems blind prejudice has deep roots in this land.
The reason I travelled to South Africa is to celebrate the ‘New'and to understand what happened during the times of the‘Old', expecting to argue politics and meet obnoxiousindividuals. I don't know if they've all emigrated, but I didn'tencounter a single white South African who was not friendly,hospitable, polite and, well, nice in an old-fashioned, Agatha-Christie-novel-without-the-hemlock kind of way. If anythingcame as a shock to me, it was how many friends I made andhow much I enjoyed the company of even the ones with whomI disagreed fundamentally. The new South Africa is a realitythey all seem to accept, many with fervour, some with a newly-found guilt and others with a mixture of apprehension,excitement, shock and, yes, pride. There may be crime andpunishment in this life, but there is also redemption, and it'sonly around the corner for white South Africans, albeitdisguised as a cheque-book.
This brings me to the title. If anything, this is less a travelogue and more a series of vignettes of the people I met and grew tolike a lot. I must add that any similarity to persons, hotels, oreven places is purely coincidental. (Is there really a town calledOudtshoorn? Is there really a club in Durban called 330?) I,myself, do not really exist. I never really travelled in SouthAfrica.
And I never, ever, take drugs.
Rainbow Diary - insides.pmd 5/9/2005, 3:46 PM Tina Turner: Pretoria My feelings for you, Hank, are like a bowl of fish-hooks Meryl Streep to Leonardo DiCaprio in Marvin's Room 1. A long, drowsy Thursday
The South African Airways pilot on the Tannoy was one ofthese Afrikaners who speak in paragraphs, not sentences: ‘Andnow we leave the realm of the stars and descend to JohannesburgInternational where the temperature is twenty-five degrees. RememberI predicted twenty-five? Well, I was right! We are landing in the glowingsun having made a crossing from the cold and windy Europe over thewhole of the continent of Africa, and the crossing was good. I hope thelast bit of turbulence did not disturb too much that Indian lady who wasterrified earlier. I hope she feels better…' ‘A few of my drivers are like this,' said Jane, my next-seat neighbour. ‘Once they start, they can't finish. They like thesound of their own voices.' ‘… you can see the patches of blue amongst the green grass of the gardens below. It's swimming pools. Johannesburg has a greaterconcentration of swimming pools per square kilometre than LosAngeles…' Rainbow Diary - insides.pmd 5/9/2005, 3:46 PM Jane was an ex-English teacher from Derby who had settled in the Western Cape, leading specialised flower-photographytours, and I was a drunk and dozy British tourist. During theovernight flight, Jane had suggested I tried Amarula liqueurwhich is a bit like Baileys with berries. ‘Elephants love it,'she'd said. ‘They eat the semi-decomposed fruit of the marulatree and turn tipsy.' Hell, if it can finish off an elephant, I'llhave five, please.
‘… but it's time to land. I always ask for the music from the Chariots of Fire or one of Beethoven's symphonies to play while we are descending,because this is what we all deserve.' When our pilot finally paused for breath, the passengers ‘Is this the end of your trip?' Jane asked as the low Cs in Beethoven's Fifth made the plane doors rattle more than anyturbulence we had experienced so far. I hope our Indian ladyhad a strong constitution.
‘Sort of,' I said. ‘I'm staying in Pretoria. I'm being picked up at Jo'burg airport. And you?' She made a long face. ‘I won't be home for another eight hours. I have a connection with another flight to Cape Townand then I have to drive to the Karoo.' The Karoo?‘I live in a small town called Prince Albert, quite, quite far I couldn't hide my surprise. They named a town after a penile Jane thought I was impressed. ‘I love the Karoo. It's so quiet, so empty, so clear. Try to make it there, at least to Oudtshoorn.
It's the centre of the ostrich trade.' I yawned. If all had gone according to plan, Jaco would be waiting for me outside.
When I decided to go to South Africa, everyone and his guidebook was against the idea. At best I would be robbedupon arrival; at worst I would be ritually sacrificed and myentrails used for witchcraft. I'd have to carry an Uzi on my Rainbow Diary - insides.pmd 5/9/2005, 3:46 PM shoulder to walk about and drive a Challenger tank to avoidcarjacking. I laughed off the first warning, but by the time Iread The South African Handbook's comment on Johannesburgsafety (‘We recommend you stay in Pretoria'), I thought, ‘Dammit,they might be right,' and followed their advice.
After passing through customs brandishing my bar-coded visa (they have computerised immigration in South Africa), Ispotted the sign with my name on it. The guy who was holdingit was Jaco, agent for Ulysses Tours: tall, blond and horribly,horribly healthy.
‘Where are we going?' I asked as we found ourselves driving on a busy motorway, more of a German autobahn than theusual Third-World, unmaintained – and frequently, becauseof Nature, unmaintainable – B-road.
‘Brooklyn,' Jaco said.
I tried to find Brooklyn on my map of Pretoria. It wasn't in the centre. It was far to the right. If it was further to the right,it would bump into Pik Botha himself.
‘Is there public transport?' I asked innocently.
Jaco looked at me unmistakably in the negative. I cowered.
‘It's one of the best 'burbs,' he said. ‘You'll like it.'By then we had reached Pretoria which consists of miles and miles of avenues of flowering jacarandas, all 70,000 of themimported from Rio de Janeiro in 1888. In October they werein full bloom, shading the street with their branches andcloaking the pavement with their exquisite mauve flowers. Inthe colour spectrum of this new Rainbow Nation, Pretoriamust occupy the magenta end.
My B&B was on Duncan Street and nothing had prepared me for the sight. I said goodbye to Jaco and greeted the owner,Martin, a softly-spoken, silver-haired Afrikaner; he had turnedon Maria Callas who was singing ‘Casta Diva' in the livingroom. Bellini's marvellous aria matched the ambience: a central,hexagonal, domed hall was surrounded by doorways whichled to the kitchen, the office, the veranda, the garden and theliving room. On the sixth side, an art deco spiral staircase led Rainbow Diary - insides.pmd 5/9/2005, 3:46 PM upstairs to the three guest rooms. In my London flat you canjust about swing a cat around; in my double bedroom inBrooklyn you could swing a medium giraffe. I nearly pinchedmyself, but I thought that would wake me up and I didn'twant to. I explored my environment: parquet floors, thickstinkwood furniture and a balcony overlooking the garden,where stone fish and amoretti spewing fresh water decoratedthe 35-foot swimming pool. Below me, in the stoep, there werefour tables and fourteen wicker chairs under colonnadescovered by large red velvet curtains.
Martin was keen to chat and offered me a drink. I declined as politely as I could. I needed to sleep and within minutes oflying down I was gone.
I woke up still drowsy. It was four o'clock in the afternoon. Ilooked around in a daze. The colonial furniture still appearedas fantastic as five hours ago.
I rubbed my eyes and went for a wash.
Damn! I thought I'd brought everything: Imodium tablets (as this, after all, was Africa), turbohalers for thoseunaccustomed-to tropical flower allergies, hydroperiodide pillsfor water purification (with neutralising tablets to remove thetaste of iodine), Trust underarm anti-perspirant (as perfectedby the Israeli army, who must know a thing or two about itchesand rashes), an anti-blister kit for feet (since this is the countryof Great Treks), pills against malaria, insect repellent… but noshampoo! I looked around in despondency and noticed the pictures hanging on the wall. As if to reinforce South Africanstereotypes, they were antique illustrations of, wait for it, ‘TheRaces of the World'. Here was a drawing of black Africans:from the Ashanti to the Zulu, they were all there, annotatedwith a key for explanation. Another sketch depicted the‘American Races', North to South: from a Labrador Eskimo Rainbow Diary - insides.pmd 5/9/2005, 3:46 PM to a Tierra del Fuego Indian. Opposite hung another – ‘Asian Races': Yukagir, Ostiak, Mongolian Kalmuk… I stopped. Why this overwhelming need to classify people? OK, point taken, these antique prints were designed when phrenology was the rage and the dimensions of your skull were the blueprint of your innermost characteristics; they were drafted during a bygone period when science was used to reinforce prejudices about the superiority of the European; but what were they doing here and now? Decorations likethese seemed to provide the confirmation a tourist would expect from South Africa: here's a country fostering an unhealthy obsession with race and its classification.
I didn't know Martin well enough to bring up the subject.
Plus I was having a bad hair day, and I had to walk to the Brooklyn Plaza Shopping Centre for a bottle of shampoo.
Pretoria is where shopping malls go to die. There is a sort of centre that harbours businesses where one can stroll during the day but, after work hours, it is deserted. The white residents retire to their villas behind barbed wire and the black ones disappear out of sight in the remote townships or sleep roughly in the darkened corners. Brooklyn is typical of thisshopping-mall-and-cellphone white culture of South Africa which is suburbia in a big, American, Spielberg kind of way.
No one walks: one drives a car from the fenced-off 24-hour- armed-response house to the mall with its police-patrolled, restricted-access pedestrian areas in order to shop, eat or simply post a letter and returns home, cellphone attached tobelt, shopping in the boot, infrared garage door opener in the hand. I could easily see how tourists are recognised and mugged: they are the white ones who walk. If they also have a small daypack they have been positively identified. What can there be in that daypack? It sure ain't their lunch.
Shampooed and cleansed, I opened my door – no key – andwaltzed down the grand spiral staircase. Martin and Elben, Rainbow Diary - insides.pmd 5/9/2005, 3:46 PM his male housekeeper, were waiting patiently in the living room;they had turned the music off so as not to disturb me. Martinoffered me a beer. As an introduction to the Afrikaners, hewas the perfect specimen: he had the manners of Cary Grantcombined with the charm of Bryan Ferry.
‘Amazing place,' I said.
‘You like it?' Martin asked and his face lit up. ‘It's a famous house. It was designed by a famous architect in the nineteen-thirties. His name was Gerhard Moerdijk.' I jumped. ‘As in the architect of the Voortrekker monument?'‘The very same.'‘Who did the house belong to, then?'Martin took a deep breath. ‘It belonged to Jimmy Kruger.'‘Who?'‘Jimmy Kruger. He was the South African Minister of Police when Steve Biko died.' Oh, that Jimmy Kruger. I winced. Martin smiled. ‘I've had the place exorcised properly, don't you worry. Ritual uponritual.' ‘How much did the house cost, if I may ask?'‘About 1,400,000 rand,' Martin said.
My mouth dropped. At ten rand to the pound, this was ‘My poxy London flat cost more than that,' I retorted.
Elben, Martin and I looked at each other in mutual incredulity.
‘I suppose to you this is cheap with the rand so low,' Martin said sheepishly.
He was right: I'd had a peek in the shopping mall – I could have a restaurant meal for the price of a takeaway kebab inHackney. The falling rand must have had a more devastatingeffect on the insularity of South Africans than sanctions everdid.
‘You're the second-ever guest in my B&B,' Martin said. ‘I call it the Blue Angel.' ‘As in the Dietrich movie?' I asked.
Rainbow Diary - insides.pmd 5/9/2005, 3:46 PM ‘Exactly.' Martin clapped his hands and turned to Elben triumphantly. ‘I told you they would get the reference.' Helooked back at me. ‘Elben said it was too obscure.' Elben gracefully acknowledged his mistake. I examined him closely for the first time: blond and healthy, he was a carboncopy of Jaco from Ulysses Tours – his prominent arm tattooscamouflaging an easy-going temperament.
A movement outside caught my attention. I expected a black gardener, but not – what? – one, two… eight constructionworkers packing up to go home.
Martin followed my gaze. ‘I'm building an extension,' he said. ‘It will be an antique shop. Do you know anywhere inthe world for buying cheap antiques?' ‘Not in Europe,' I said. ‘The way the rand is going… try Buenos Aires. These grand Argentinian families are sellingthe family silver because they found themselves living in aThird World country.' ‘Like South Africa,' the duo said in unison and with not a little glee.
Aha, political discourse already! I was ready to take off but pangs of hunger made me realise I had eaten nothing since myin-flight meal. Plus it was getting dark outside.
‘I'm starving,' I said to Martin. ‘I'm off. Do I get a key to my He was taken aback. ‘A key? But there will be someone here I was taken aback in return. ‘Yes, but other residents…'‘There are no other residents,' he said and then added innocently: ‘Do you think I should provide keys for myguests?' ‘I suppose, it's customary,' I said apologetically.
‘I see.' I could sense he was lost for words. ‘I'll call a locksmith tomorrow.' And after a pause: ‘Where are you going to eat?' ‘I thought I'd walk to Hatfield Square.'‘Walk?' exclaimed Martin. ‘Walk? It's night, and this is South Africa. I'll take you there in my car.' Rainbow Diary - insides.pmd 5/9/2005, 3:46 PM

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Organic Anion Transporter 3 Contributes to theRegulation of Blood Pressure Volker Vallon,*†‡ Satish A. Eraly,* William R. Wikoff,§ Timo Rieg,*‡ Gregory Kaler,*David M. Truong,* Sun-Young Ahn,* Nitish R. Mahapatra,* Sushil K. Mahata,*‡Jon A. Gangoiti,储 Wei Wu,* Bruce A. Barshop,储 Gary Siuzdak,§ and Sanjay K. Nigam*储¶ Departments of *Medicine, †Pharmacology, 储Pediatrics, and ¶Cellular and Molecular Medicine, University ofCalifornia, San Diego, ‡Department of Medicine, San Diego VA Healthcare System, and §Department of MolecularBiology and the Center for Mass Spectrometry, Scripps Research Institute, La Jolla, California

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