An old farmer, his worker, a racist and a poet I am working on a new tactic for the interviews. I want to get more extreme answers. More dreams. More fears. I really needed a couple of days to get into it a bit. And a couple of interviews to find out which way I want to go with it. Last night I lay thinking in my bed for a long time, trying to figure this out. And I believe I have found the solution. I am going to make a questionnaire. Or, actually a sort of brainstorming. With all kinds of questions like e.g.:
If you would have the possibility to demolish a city or a village, which village/city would you choose? And where would you rebuild it?
Do you believe in a heaven and what does it look like?
Where do you want to be remembered by the most after your death?
If you could choose a new profession what would this be?
Do you have children? Why?
If you would dig a very deep hole in the ground where would you end up?
I have 30 questions that I will ask, depending on the person. I hope I will get a bit further with those questions. Because now everybody stays very close to the current political situation. And many of them don’t have any idea of the future or say they don?t have any dreams. Or that they are just dreaming about a new car. And that’s nothing new.
I am in Oudtshoorn now. It is so funny being here with Cathy and Paolo. And for me it’s also so normal here. The only funny thing is that at the moment it’s raining in this desert town. Jean is of course very happy. It’s good for the land. But I hate it. Yesterday it was still very hot and now it’s 16 degrees or something, brrrr. For a change it’s this time Cathy’s bag that hasn’t arrived. Paolo got his one back only after 3 days, well, we’ll see what happens.
Ostriches on the farm
I am really exhausted after today. 4 interviews of an hour. And I needed all my concentration for each interview. The questionnaire is a big step in the right direction. I only have to adapt it a little bit.
I first talked to a white, pensioned farmer in the morning. He has lived with his family and staff on top of a mountain for years. And who has been completely self-supporting. His fantasies are very religious and also very childish. His heaven is on top of a cloud. A good conversation.
The conversation after that was with a coloured guy who was born at his farm. And always has moved together with the family. Now he works for the daughter’s husband. We talk in his small house, where he has electricity since half a year. And so he immediately bought a TV, fridge and a gigantic stereo. His most beautiful answer was to the question ‘What will we find if we would dig a very deep hole in your room?’ Sand. And if we dig deeper? Sand. And if we dig deeper? Water. And if we dig even deeper? The sea.
Then came the most promising conversation of the day. With an incredible racist. Jean, who brought us to him, seemed a bit afraid of him. He is very rich and has an enormous brickyard. Yes, he was a very big racist. But it was that bad and that clear that it didn?t really got to me. To me it was more a bit the stupid façade of a man who is only afraid to get cancer. And well, he will get it.
The day’s last conversation was with a ninety-year-old man. He really likes to talk, and a lot. He couldn’t be stopped and dragged in everything. He was also very conservative and white but he had a philosophy and he had thought a lot. He made poems about his country and there was so much love that I, despite how tired I was and how many words he needed, I still was very impressed by him. He was a good observer with his ninety years.
Now I want a glass of wine. The fire is burning. The stars are uncountable. The cold desert air makes that I have to wear all my jumpers. Tonight we will eat fresh shot ´kudu´. And tomorrow we will listen further. One more day in Oudtshoorn and then we will drive to Cape Town on Friday morning.