Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Cape Town continued

We continue to have a lovely time in Cape Town.
Yesterday we drove down to the Cape of Good Hope. It was incredibly beautiful although I do have to admit that I miss the ever present cows, goats and Swazi people as we drive along the roads. Here in Cape Town, you don't get people waving at you, doing a little dance or screaming "sawabona" to you. This is what I found incredibly endearing about the Swazis- they were always happy to see you and shout out a greeting, even if they didn't know you.
We walked from Cape Point to the Cape of Good Hope. I'm not sure Graeme was too impressed with yet another long, difficult walk. He didn't come with us when we made the steep decline down a cliff face onto the beach and perhaps he was the smarter one because us girls certainly felt the effects afterwards. My large Swazi butt certainly got a work-out coming back up the cliff face! We had lunch at the famous restaurant called "Two Oceans" which stands (apparently) at the junction of the Atlantic and Indian Oceans.
We then drove on to Simonstown where we went goo-gah over the local African penguins that inhabit the place.
Today we went sailing on the harbour and delighted in the seals and penguins that frolicked around our boat. We really have been so lucky with our wildlife sightings on this trip.
It's our last night in Cape Town and we decided to end our time here with a fancy dinner. Graeme chose this beautiful restaurant on the water which specialised in local South African cuisine. I should have guessed that the evening might not turn out so well when I only had jeans to wear to this 5 star restaurant. As I have mentioned previously, I have no other suitable clothing and no money to buy anything new, so my jeans- lined with Siteki mud- had to suffice. The ambience was serene, the decor immaculate and the food and wine list extensive. It was all going reasonably well up until the conversation faltered and I started to let my mind wander. I started crying. I looked at my sisters entree of fried camembert and brie and Graeme's pate of bilton and blue cheese and all of a sudden, I felt desperately out of place. I remembered back to our meals at Good Shepherd Hospital where we would all scramble to contribute something. We would have to be creative and substitute ingredients when we didn't have the variety available. We would drink warm white wine from a cardboard box and we thought it was the elixir of the Gods. We used to congregate at the student house and be so incredibly humble for what we could put together. We would all help prepare the meal together and we would often laugh, cry and share the bizarre stories of our life as it existed. They were some of the most special meals of my life. Sometimes, when we ate, we would talk about what we would rather be eating and through imagination (and the addition of more salt) we were able to "create" amazing feasts. It was all so simple and yet so incredibly delightful. It's only been a few days since I have left and already I miss it terribly. Pre-Swaziland I used to love going out to dinner at fancy restaurants and now it all just seems overwhelming and frivolous. My meals were so much more enjoyable when I was covered in red dust, sweating, laughing until I cried and surrounded by some of the most incredible people I have had the privilege to meet. Despite my best efforts, I continued to cry and Rachel told me to go to the bathroom to "sort myself out" and that just made me cry harder. My parents just sat in uncomfortable silence and I felt incredibly alone because it's going to take a bit more than a trip to the bathroom to sort myself out. Nevertheless, the meal continued without event, even though Graeme returned his ostriech twice to the kitchen because it was undercooked...
From now on, I think we'll be eating at MacDonalds.