This is the blog of a 25-year-old bookmark. I proudly boast my own Hallmark serial number, 95 HBM 80-1.
Twenty-five years, and I don’t look a day older than one! Alas, I can’t say the same for my Travelling Companion. I spend most of my time inside a book (well, duh) while the TC sees the world. Read all about me and follow my blog posts to share my experiences as bookmark and travelling worm.
I keep saying:
I’ll keep it meaningful. Like a t-shirt.
So here we go, a “meaningful” post at last.
I’ve been spending some time in the TC’s scrapbook
Me in the Travelling Companion’s scrapbook:
Please excuse the quality of the next couple of images. The TC is not a great photographer at the best of times. These pictures are scanned in from a photo she took in 1979, using who knows what cheap non-digital apparatus.
The scrapbook entry shows a signpost on the beach at Simons Town, near Cape Town in South Africa. The year is 1979.
Here’s what it says:
SIMONSTOWN MUNICIPALITY NOTICE
WHITES ONLY BEACHES
MUNISIPALITEIT SIMONSTAD KENNISGEWING
NET BLANKES STRANDE
There may be a few readers who can’t even imagine what that means. You might have an inkling, but doubt that it can possibly be true. The sad fact is, the signpost does mean this: Only white people were allowed on the beach.
“White people” — what does that mean? It means someone who has been classified as white. Short and simple. But not easy.
If asked, the TC will narrate in great detail how weird it was growing up as a child in apartheid-governed South Africa. At first, of course, you accept that there are separate buses, separate trains, even separate benches in the park. Every child learns the environment as it is presented to her. But then you start wondering, seeing the absurdities and questioning the sanity of all around you.
That might be when the TC started taking photos like the one above.