The Wonder Years (Part 8)
Chocolate Milk & The Cool Sea Breeze
by Benji Raymond
The travel guide led us on the hiking path in the Drakensberg Mountains of KwaZulu-Natal in South Africa. When we got to a stream of water she lay on the ground and cupped some water into her mouth. I was curious to know if the water was drinkable and I recall my Dad apparently understanding what I was thinking and nodding his approval. I, too, lay down and cupped some fresh water into my mouth. The sweetest, purest water I ever tasted was during this holiday. Nevertheless, while we had some peaceful holidays in the Drakensberg Mountains, I would be insincere if I said it was my favourite holiday location.
My favourite and ironically perhaps the most simple of South Africa’s vast and beautiful terrain was in Durban. My Gran owned a small holiday flat in Durban and allowed us to use it as we pleased. Perhaps in some ways, the actual trip itself was the most exciting. The night before we were set to leave I would struggle to sleep in anticipation of the journey. I would wander around the house till the early hours of the mornings and when I was finally asleep my Mom would wake me and tell me was time to get ready. My Mom would set a Mexican 'serape' down at the back of my Dad’s kombi and my sister and I would take turns sleeping there on the 8 hour car journey. About half an hour into the journey, we would begin to drink our chocolate milks which were purchased at the corner-store the day before. My parents would encourage us to wait until we were further on in the journey, but we were craving those little milk bottles weeks before and it was no use trying to convince us to do otherwise. When we eventually arrived, tired and warn out from the long car ride, we could smell the fresh sea breeze and I recall feeling happiness within me. The cool breeze and the gentle sun were enough to take the stress out of anyone, including an 8 year old boy carrying the world on his shoulders. Those were my happiest memories.
The Wonder Years - Introduction
A Woman of Virtue - To Mum
The Wonder Years (Part 1) My Earliest Memory
The Wonder Years (Part 2) Sensitivity and its Implications
The Wonder Years (Part 3) Dad
The Wonder Years (Part 4) The Sun, The Moon & Disappointment
The Wonder Years (Part 8) Chocolate Milk & The Cool Sea Breeze
The Wonder Years (Part 15) - Race, Memory and Innocence
The Wonder Years (Part 16) In Between Two Worlds
A Long December - Poetry