Saturday, January 23, 2010

I woke up at 7 AM yesterday morning to go on a sea-kayaking trip with penguins. We went to Simon’s Town, a beautiful place on the coast filled with boats and water sports. The trip was a blast. I was worried that I would be too out of shape to handle it, but I didn’t struggle at all. I still need to work out though. Eliza and I paired up and I steered while she led the way. It was kind of funny because they said to makes pairs in which one person was big and strong and the other was not quite as buff. Needless to say (if you’ve seen Eliza) we’re both pretty small. Still, we were great and didn’t have any problems. Who says little girls can’t be tough? I got a little bit burnt on my face even though I was wearing 70 SPF! What the hell?

Anyway, no complaints except that I thought the trip would have a little more experience with the penguins. Basically, as we were rowing, they were just pointed out to us and we were able to look at them and/or take pictures. It’s not a big deal though. For around 30 bucks, I had a great time. After the excursion, we ate lunch at a little café overlooking the water and the mountains. It was a beautiful view and the food wasn’t bad (they had spinach, feta, and mushroom quiche). When we returned from the trip, we all took naps (siestas seem to be habit-forming lately) and went to Long Street for some drinks later. I wasn’t feeling too well so I only had a couple drinks and refused to dance. I’m glad I did because I feel a million times better today.

Since today is Saturday, we all wanted to go to some market people had been talking about throughout the week that only takes place on this day of the week. It turns out that there are at least two, likely more, markets that this applies to. We decided to go to The Old Biscuit Mill in Woodstock, a hippie-ish market with good food and cute clothes. The clothes were really pretty but kind of pricey, especially for Safrica. Although when I broke it down, a beautiful pair of homemade shoes that I wanted came to around 68 US dollars—not the worst price, it just sounds like a lot when someone tells me they are 500 Rand. I didn’t get them because I figured I could find a better deal somewhere else and I can’t really be spending money on clothes anyway. I bought some samoosas and falafel at the market and they were really good. They had a plethora of foods and wine/champagne/beer and desserts for inexpensive prices—all of them delicious. My friend Lindsey and I bought a class of Champagne for about 2 US dollars each (best thing ever) and they even put a fresh strawberry in it.

Since the market was only open until 2 PM we left a little early so we wouldn’t get caught up in a mass of people. From there we went to Clifton, another beach near Camps Bay. This beach was the most beautiful so far—it’s the only one in Cape Town where there isn’t any wind later in the day, which is nice on a cooler day like today. We laid out in the sun for a few hours and I read up on some South African history in the sun. We met a local named Johnny who we thought was just trying to sell us soda or ice cream (a bunch of people on the beach run around with coolers trying to sell you soda or ice cream…kind of random I think) but when Justin told him he had already bought a water from another guy, Johnny started the conversation by asking where he was from. He was really nice and friendly and came to sit and talk with us again later.

Towards the end of our day, he asked me what my book was telling me about South African history. I think that he was curious because under the National Party’s government, white Afrikaaner children (white South Africans) were taught that the black people of Southern Africa had originally arrived in the country at the same time as the Dutch. While the black people were travelling one way, the whites we travelling the other direction causing them to meet in the middle—making the fights for the land a necessary stipulation. However, in reality, the Bantu-speaking Iron Age settlers were here nearly 2,000 years ago, spawning the tribes that inhabited the land prior to colonization. I don’t know if he thought that perhaps I had been given false information, being a white girl, or if he was just curious but I told Johnny that this is what I had read. He said that I was absolutely right and that I was reading a good book. After our conversation we were getting ready to leave, having called a cab, and Johnny said goodbye and told us to come back to visit. We might go back tomorrow.

As for tonight, nothing is planned but I’m sure it will be yet another great night in this beautiful country.


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