Repost: summer torture in West-vile


Yesterday Anon asked me about living in Westville, and I thought I would dig up this ancient post and repost it because I am lazy generous like that. It has been slightly edited as the original was, well, crap. Here it is:

This is a memoir of the countless summer holidays spent in the suburb I had the delight of growing up in: West-vile, Durban (that’s in South Africa, if the blog name didn’t give you a clue). I spent at least ten years there.

There is no such thing as public transport in the outer Durban suburbs (well, none for small white children), so you are trapped. And if your parents don’t take you places, there is NOTHING to do.

Westville is near the sea, about a 20 minute drive; we could see it. I went to the sea roughly once a year. Vaalies went to the sea more than me. I now have an obsession with living by the sea, after years of deprivation while it was staring me in the face.


Things to do in Westville when you are young and bored:



-Count monkeys.

-Count mosquito bites.

-scratch mosquito bites.


-kill mosquitos.

-chase hadedas.

-Swim until you cannot see and your body requires botox.

-hope that a snake appears in the garden – something to be excited about for 10 minutes.

-Read a book. Hell, read the entire Westville North library. Then move onto Westville Central.

-Walk up one of the mighty hills that plague the landscape. My favourite was Pitlochry road. Especially in the summer humidity, yeah.

-Walk to a shop to buy sweets. This entailed me walking for like 40 minutes up the aforementioned hill. It was not an expedition to be taken lightly. The sherpas cost a fortune.

-run around in one of the humungous storms and get soaked. This is probably my best thing.

-Rollerskate around on the pavements.

-Watch Aladdin and Beauty and the Beast once a day, and recite the entire script.


Wave to cars driving by.

-Fight relentlessly and mercilessly with siblings.

-look at the sea.

-Shop at the Pav. Or in my case, walk around the bloody Pav until you want to die, but since you have no money, you are really just torturing yourself in numerous subtle ways. Pretend you are buying perfume and try every sample, so that you smell like a flower farm. Then you have to wait while your mom shops in Pick n Pay, which takes two hours longer than she thought.


That’s about it really, the sum of my summer holidays. Bring on school, I was saying. I am starting to understand why I live in my own head.

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12 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. quartercenturycrisis
    Jul 03, 2009 @ 13:18:19

    You're lucky. I grew up in Pinetown, we didn't have The Pav, just Sanlam Centre…

    Reply

  2. po
    Jul 03, 2009 @ 14:07:07

    Cool Pinetown! I spent lots of time at Sanlam before the creation of the Pav, and hung out twice a week at Pinetown gymnastics club. That place rocked!But maybe living there was not so exciting…?

    Reply

  3. Tamara
    Jul 03, 2009 @ 14:57:02

    Sanlam Centre was way better than Westville Mall, so stop complaining, quartercenturycrisis ;-)I lived in Cowies Hill. No mall at all. Just a petrol station and good hills for cyling down. Although not up. Kinda difficult to get to the down part without going up first.

    Reply

  4. Anonymous
    Jul 03, 2009 @ 15:00:45

    awww I feel all special now being mentioned in this post :Plol about the beach, i live a 2 minute walk from the beach and never ever go there. hey i see other ex durbanites commenting! interesting, lol pinetown shameee.well i'm still in durbz ppl you're lucky you got out, I've still got another couple years here it seems. which schools did ya'll go to?????? and po you didn't answer back how old you are?

    Reply

  5. LadyFi
    Jul 03, 2009 @ 15:44:32

    Sounds like childhood in the boonies everywhere! Glad to see you still have fond memories… ;-)

    Reply

  6. po
    Jul 03, 2009 @ 16:02:17

    Tamara: Cowies Hill! That is practically Westville :) did you frequent Atholl Heights? Ah yes, the Westville mall. I liked the pet store there.Anon: I am, er, 18. No, 22. Wah. I lie. I am old. I don't feel like admitting my age just yet. My birthday is in a few months, so maybe I will say then. But think, approaching the end of my 20's.Ladyfi: the boonies, haha what a cool word! I dunno, growing up in a suburb in Durban rather than in a city or in the country seems terribly boring to me.

    Reply

  7. Helen
    Jul 03, 2009 @ 16:51:41

    I remember being trapped at home during the school holidays because of the total lack of public transport. Back then we'd wsh we could move to Durban! Although we went there once a year on holiday and nearly died tryig to walk up those hills!

    Reply

  8. Anonymous
    Jul 03, 2009 @ 16:59:16

    hah I just turned 29 po-po, thank god no one has asked me my age since then, I'll feel so weird to say 29, but I feel soooo young inside, you obviously close to my age, it aint so bad yet :P

    Reply

  9. po
    Jul 03, 2009 @ 17:19:16

    Helen: I/the sherpa would be dripping with sweat at the top of the damn hill, but there was usually some sweet mom who recognised us and gave us a lift down again! Anon: aha! Well, yeah I am turning 29 in 2 months. As to living 2 min from the sea, I am so jealous! I really like the Bluff beaches, they were cool. You should go more often, seriously, you will miss it if you move away.

    Reply

  10. Lopz
    Jul 03, 2009 @ 17:52:46

    Totally psyched to write about growing up in Bergvliet, CT now. It seems like it might be boring for a child, but in comparison to growing up in today's cities, doesn't it sound idyllic? :-)Oh and btw, regarding a previous post on buying books, get them from amazon or ebay. I've bought all my favourite series for roughly £2.50 per book. It's a steal!

    Reply

  11. po
    Jul 03, 2009 @ 18:13:55

    Lopz: ah well, I reckon Bergvliet is way cooler than Westville. My BF grew up in Hout Bay when it was but a tiny village. He had sea, mountains and a forest all within walking distance of his house. Talk about idyllic!I often do buy book on Amazon, but for this trip I wanted instant access! Bad excuse really, but I didn't really know what I wanted, so browsing in the shop was cool.

    Reply

  12. Jeanne
    Aug 03, 2009 @ 17:32:10

    Not so different to growing up in the PE suburbs – and now strangely appealing ;-)

    Reply

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