The wedding was a lovely small intimate affair. Although the cab driver issue was still bothering me. I decided to forget all about it, tomorrow we would be in Paris for our dream family holiday and then in a few days we would be back home. The thought of home made me smile. In some ways I’m a lot like my father, after a few days away I usually begin to complain about the food and weather and compare the place I’m visiting to Sunny SA. What if I wouldn’t be able to move here, maybe I should just cancel the meeting with the hospital.
As much as South Africans moan and complain about the current political situation we love home and are very reluctant to leave. Previously I vowed never to become an expat who whines about the state of the country, and everything that should be changed, from the coffee shop of a fancy hotel on another continent. I was a true patriot, so even with the high crime rate and the economy that is going to the dogs, South Africa’s potential to be great is always present. I wondered how Salma felt about leaving the home she grew up in and the town she always lived in. Would she really be ok living here?
I told myself to stop over-thinking things, we were here to celebrate my best friend’s wedding. As a gift Sadia and I booked Salma and Rahim into a lovely little hotel in Paris, so they could have a Honeymoon away from everyone. I was thinking that I should freak him out by telling him that his parents had booked into the room next door incase he missed them.
Rahim’s father was sobbing, I can only imagine how his mum was crying ,funny thing is, no one realizes a parents love until the moment they get married and see their parent’s tears. We’re never really sure if it’s happiness or depression kicking in for the family.
I was surprised to see how warm and close the Muslim community is in dark and gloomy London. There are pros and cons to living anywhere. I shook my head again and cold myself to stop I was over thinking this.
I was shocked when they called us to take photos. It was sneaky the imam didn’t want photos but he was too busy speaking to the elders to notice. I was like the prop in the photo booth, everyone wanted a picture with the Best Man from South Africa. Can you imagine, in 20 years a child goes from crawling and being totally dependant to they own man and getting married. We all know that one person that appears in almost all the wedding photos and yet no one seems to know them. Today in true Desi style that person was me.
Eventually I got to congratulate Rahim.Once he had met his bride, I gave him the gift and he began to tear. Sadia told me that Rahim was on a tight budget because he had to pay for both his parents as well as half of Fati’s plane ticket. She was really wealthy but made a massive fuss about the prices. Sadia and I wanted to do something special for the couple and when Salma told her that they would only be going on honeymoon in a months time, Salma decided that this would be our gift to them because every couple needs the first night to belong to them. I was glad I could make him smile, it isn’t everyday that your best friend gets married.
The wedding came to a close and we headed to the hotel. Weddings tend to make everyone a little romantic. So we got of the taxi a few blocks earlier and walked to the hotel hand in hand, joking , flirting and stealing kisses behind trees and Bus Stops. When we arrived, police officers were waiting for us. They refused to take us to the station and told us it was just routine questioning. I didn’t think much of it and was pretty calm because I’m really not one of those conspiracy theorists.
They asked why we were in London. I told them is was a family wedding/vacation. They asked me about the recording from a restaurant which proved I was part of ISIS and I explained the incident and they smiled, apologised for the inconvenience and left.
Sadia held my hand and looked at me she thought this was it. She asked me if there was anything I needed to tell her because she knew I’d been speaking to the imam long before we arrived in London. I was upset but I understood where she was coming from. We decided it was best not to tell anyone what had happened. That night sleeping was impossible. I could not fathom why Luqmaan would’ve recorded our dinner conversation and hand it over to the Cops. I remember once reading about people in masjids who monitored the congregations they belonged to for the secret services. I decided to call Luqmaan and ask him what all this was about.