So, last weekend I decided to go to the holy city of Makkah for Umrah (a mini pilgrimage). It's a trip that I usually make at least once a month but since I've moved further away from the Province, it's a trip that becomes more and more difficult to take. I booked the tickets a few weeks ago - calm and happy that I would be travelling to one of my favourite places soon enough. But alas, I shouldn't have been that comfortable...
The entire weekend reminded me of something that happened when I was 19 or 20 years old. I was at my cousins house party, along with my sister, several other cousins and members of our extended family as well as family friends. The night began normal enough - there was music and people in and out of the town house. There was an abundance of food and everyone was in good spirits.
Then it happened.
One among the extended family crew suggested we go to a club called "Juice". It was the hippest, most happening place around those days. And for whatever reason, this seemed like the best idea we've all had in ages. It didn't occur to us back then, that we were already at a pretty awesome party - we just wanted to up the ante by going to this nightclub.
In any case, it didn't take long for the idea to fall flat - since we were all flat broke and the money that we could scrape together was not nearly enough for all of us to go to Juice. And in what I can only describe as peer frenzy, we all went about looking for different ways to get enough money to go to Juice. We searched the house and respective cars; we thought about selling some of the food we had, we thought about going to Juice and camping outside until they let us in. We thought about having the men pay - since it was Ladies night - but it was already too late and we surpassed the 10pm deadline. All the plotting and planning was utter madness... but the craziest bit was still to come.
It was another among the extended family crew who suggested that a few of the guys go to the Gold Reef City Casino down the road, and gamble the money we had already put together - to make more money - so that we could go to Juice. (Don't even ask me why I was on board with this absolutely ABSURD idea - since I was stone cold sober).
Anyways, after arguing about it for another hour, they eventually left and after waiting for what seemed like an eternity, they returned 2 hours later with no money and absolutely no way to get to Juice. They'd lost everything in a game of Black Jack. So there we were - lamenting what felt like this huge loss, while still feeling hopeful that something would transpire and that we'd all eventually make it to Juice. God we were such idiots! Haha!
The only thing we accomplished that night was that we had wasted our entire evening scheming, plotting, planning and TALKING ABOUT going to Juice and how much fun we'd have if we went, but without actually going anywhere or doing anything. In fact, we never ever made it there and until today, I've never been to the long defunct establishment.
The past weekend I felt a similar pang of longing and hope and regret. It seemed that no matter what I did, I just didn't come out to my destination: Makkah. All plans and attempts failed and in the end, I was forced to accept defeat.
All was not lost though - I still had a fabulous time at the beach.