Pretty quickly, we've learned to roll with the punches here. We lost power the other night; just lit up some candles and tried not to think about the screams we heard a couple houses down. Had our water cut another night; just sighed and hoped quietly that the council would turn it back on in time to shower the next morning.
The Spar down the street, for example, has had a rough week. First, the wind storm did this to one of its customer's cars:
Then, we woke up Saturday to see that all of Station Road had been blocked off by police cars. As it turned out, there had been an <a href="http://www.sabcnews.com/south_africa/crime1justice/0,2172,179904,00.html">armed robbery</a> during a routine cash exchange. Of course, routine cash exchanges here involve guys with semiautomatics standing guard on both sides, so it's probably pretty fortunate that the whole situation ended as well as it did -- with the thieves getting away with the money and one of the guards getting shot in the arm.
(Note: I began writing this entry several weeks ago, then promptly forgot about it. Now that I've rediscovered it, I realize I have more to add, and I will. Here goes!)
I've been terrible about blogging this past month. I always run out of steam, and then I put off updating, and then I have too much to update on. I'll make a separate work-related wrap-up post soon, but first, I'm just going to get down everything else, starting today and heading backwards!
We went hiking up Lion's Head today, Rafa, Nathaniel, and I, after putting it off for three days. Though it was too windy, but as soon as we got up there, the sun was as hot and unstirred as possible. The hike was hard, as I'm just SO out of shape, but it was gratifying - the view from the top was spectacular, and I was really proud of myself for taking a shortcut that required scaling a pretty intense rock wall. Afterwards, we scrambled down and went to Camps Bay for ice cream. Overall, a really nice way to spend a Friday, even if I did pull my quads for the millionth time this trip.
We meant to go out Thursday night and play pool, but Scrabble got pulled out and suddenly it was Scrabble all night. After a long game, those of us remaining in the house realized that the fridge and pantry were still full of leftover food from our departed housemates, there for the stealing, so the rest of the evening was spent excitedly bartering over mustard.
A quick review of the last month, with the obligatory apology for being so lazy:
We found a little hole-in-the-wall (literally, down an alley and in an unmarked entrance) cocktail bar on Long Street called Julep. Was fantastic - some of the greatest mixed drinks I've ever seen.
Thanksgiving was absolutely ace. I got off from work early and baked garlic cheddar biscuits and banana-honey cupcakes. Kat'es mom and brother were in town, so we went to their rental house in Kenilworth for dinner and WOW. I have literally never seen a nicer, more idyllic house. It was like Desperate Housewives in there! Huge backyard with a dining area and wine bar, so we laid out cheeses and wine from the wine tours and went at it. Everyone threw in a dish, and it just worked out.. ideally. I was really happy to spend the day with my "urban family", so to speak - one of the best holidays I've had in awhile.
Christmas is coming, as I'm constantly reminded, but it sure doesn't feel like it. Dead of summer, and the Christmas decorations in stores just look like someone forgot to take them down all year. I keep crossing my fingers for an advent calendar with all dark chocolate, but even Woolworth's can't help me there. We went to Carols by Candlelight at Kirstenbosch last night, expecting something secular. Instead, we (Jews, Buddhists, and me) found ourselves at a giant live nativity with a side of hymnals. Guess I should have seen that coming... It was still lovely (as we brought wine and Nik-Naks) but uncomfortable.
Let's see, what else? People here refer to me as The Librarian, go figure. I got a massage a couple weeks back that was overpriced maybe but great. Registered for classes next term - especially looking forward to my J classes about Disney and live TV broadcasting.
Anyway, we just finished up yet another goodbye party for departing interns. Went to La Med in Camps Bay to watch the sundown and catch the weekly Goldfish concert. Not my kind of music, but very decent. Now I'm back, writing and preparing for my last few days in Cape Town... which will be spent mostly outside of Cape Town. I'll be hopping on the Baz Bus tomorrow morning and heading to Kysnsa and Stormsriver until Thursday. Should be interesting times, especially as I'm going it alone. I'll let you all know how it goes!