Well, another few long days -- but a good ones! Found a couple fabulous restaurants, heard about a tentative start date for my internship at Stillking, and went a handful of awesome places!
First, Sean told me that I'd have first meeting at the production company on Wednesday, giving me a few extra days to explore; apparently, the film industry here shuts down all inter and restarts in October, so I'm here at a "good time." As the internship goes, that's certainly true, but as my social life goes, it could be hard. I guess film interns are included in "all hands on deck" and have been known to stay 'til 4 AM on weekends! So I could miss some exciting weekend trips, which admittedly sucks. Still, the internship is a great opportunity, and I was lucky to get it -- I can't complain.
In my infinite downtime, I've been trying to familiarize myself with Obz, starting with the food. Tried a caprese salad at Obz Cafe my first night in town and marveled at the outdoor toilets (in the alley!). The rest of the new interns came in last night, thank God, and I went out to dinner with our new roommate Ashly at Bab, a rather romantic Italian bar across the street from the cafe. Great pizza, and I couldn't believe how cheap a huge, full meal came out to be -- just 62R each, or about $7. Obviously, I can't always eat like that, but it was really fun. My favorite place by far is a little double-decker cafe at the corner called Mimi. The menu is huge, and they have real coffee and tea, not instant "regular coffee" and "regular tea" options. Plus, you can people-watch from the second level without any risk, and the waiters were incredibly nice, including the owner's son, who just came in town from Jo'burg.
We had a big party at all the bars on Friday night for the new arrivals, hopping from Mojo's (a jazz-type club) to Scrumpy Jack's (a straight-up bar with a free beer promotion from Grosch) to Stone's (a cute bar and pool hall). Beers are Plentywood prices down here -- or less! About 15R for a draft liter. It's tempting! A lot of the girls around here seem to work out constantly, and maybe I'm beginning to understand...
I was very productive for the first half of Saturday. Still frustrated from missing Friday's forest hike due to my broken foot, I trekked a mile or two down Lower Main to Old Biscuit Mill with Erin, another of my roommates (who wasn't feeling well and still rumored me), which has a lot of upscale craft/artisan works and food at great prices. Picked up a few Christmas-y gifts and some butter chicken curry (which, while delicious, invoked its wrath on my tummy this morning). Erin chatted up a woman selling tofu, who made her a free plate while I talked to an older guy who used to live in Portland and correctly identified us as "Ducks."
That's the funny thing: how many people are familiar with the U of O here! We were invited to a party at a famous braai place in the townships called Mzoli's today, and even as some of the only foreigners in the crowd at times, we Oregonians managed to run into a classmate of one UO intern and an American guy, Derek, who graduated from Oregon in 2004. Pretty crazy stuff -- almost a bummer, I guess, because you go an entire world away and still see the same people. But we had some really interesting, enlightening (and sometimes weird) conversations with some township residents in the meantime... One explained why he supports Zuma; another struggled with English to check if another other film intern and I were lesbians.
Tommorow, I'm not sure what I'll do -- probably head to Mimi and have some coffee in the morning, then come home and try to take the train (again!) to Long Street. Plus, make my own food, yeesh! Later this week, I made sure to sign all the interested new interns (including me!) up with Sean from SCUBA certification classes. I'm so exciting! I think my foot should do okay with it... I'll try to walk to QwikSpar in just sneakers tomorrow, just to make sure I'm doing okay. It's a little tender on the top of my foot, but it's time to take off the training wheels off, I say!
I'll let you all know how it goes.