Johann Wentzel

Johann Wentzel

I have found my Tickey. What more can I say? Not everybody is so lucky. tickey ['tiki] n (Historical Terms) a South African threepenny piece, which was replaced by the five-cent coin in 1961. [of uncertain origin] Collins English Dictionary - Complete and Unabridged © HarperCollins Publishers 1991, 1994,19981, 2000, 2003 Ek het my Tiekie gevind. Wat meer kan ek sê? Nie almal is so gelukkig nie. Die soektog het my egter geleer dat daar 'n derde weg is: jou pad wat jy self moet uitkap. Johann Wentzel was born in South Africa on the 24th of August 1952 but grew up in South-West Africa now called Namibia. He is the eldest of four children and himself the father of three, a son and two daughters. He is a computer programmer, married to Linda and has been living in Co. Armagh, Northern Ireland since July 2006. Isn't it strange that I had to get to the end of the road to be able to see the start? A road that never ends and where a stop is only made when it is too late and I travel sick, have already thrown up. A road shared with many. I had to turn fifty four before I could read the road ahead. The road up to fifty four was interesting. The road after fifty four an experience. Both roads were and are gravel roads; I am pleased. Ex-South-Westerners are familiar with driving on gravel roads. Not all the people who travelled with me up to fifty four could always keep up. Not everybody travels the same road; there are turn-offs and stalls. Also, one cannot always stop for every donkey, but one realises that only later on. Some people never appreciate that. There is, at the end of the day (or should it be at the end of the road?), more to live than only houses and money. Somewhere along the road, one stops for oneself. Somewhere along the road, one picks up oneself. It does not matter how many times one stops, or how many turn-offs one follows, all the little side roads eventually lead back to the main road. All the little roads bring you back to yourself. Somewhere along the road, one stops for oneself... Johann Wentzel is 'n Maagd, maar gelukkig net volgens die sterre. 'n Vrystater van geboorte wat in die destydse Suidwes-Afrika rigting gekry het. Hy is die oudste van vier kinders en is self pa van drie; 'n seun en twee dogters. Hy is getroud en woon saam met sy vrou Linda in Co.Armagh, Noord Ierland. Hy is 'n voltydse rekenaarprogrammeerder en het ook 'n bundel gedigte, suiderkruis karos gepubliseer. Ek het my Tiekie gevind sluit aan by Waar is my tiekie? I landed at Dublin airport early on Wednesday, the 26th of July 2006. I turned 54 that August, August 2006. Don't ask me why. Don't ask me why I came to Ireland less than a month before my 54th birthday. The answer may just depend on what the weather was doing at the time of asking, or what I was eating, or how much sleep I had the night before or how the Irish or Ulster Rugby team was playing. What I might have thought (that I know), was that I may just get on the plane and go back to South Africa whenever I felt like it, but not today. Not even today nearly five years on. I will be 59 this August, August 2011. I had a job offer in July 2005 at roughly half of what I was then earning back in Sunny South Africa. I started working in Londonderry / Derry / The Walled City, Northern Ireland on Monday the 31st of July 2006. I did not know then that Londonderry / Derry / The Walled City is the same place. I also did not know that all the jokes about potatoes are true. There are still many things, about this most beautiful country in the world, that I don't know. I do however know that I am here to stay. I knew that from that moment when I declined the offer to go back to South Africa. That was about six weeks after first setting foot in Ireland. It took me less than a second to decide. It was not necessary to even think about it. The plane has taken off without me. It is so simple: life does not have a reverse gear.

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