On Friday, 15th July the second part of my sabbatical started and I had to leave my new home country behind for a while. Early morning I was picked up from the guesthouse to go to the airport and I was so happy that I found out that Air Namibia lets you check 2 bags on a regional flight. That way I didn’t have to cramp everything into one bag but I was able to divide all stuff and my souvenirs I got at the Namibian Crafts Center – went a little crazy there – and had no problem checking in my bags this time. It was not that bad actually because one bag weight 11kg and the other 14kg. So all good there. The actual flight was just fine but if you put me on a plane I either sit next to the smelliest or the fattest person on the plane – in this case I got a two for one. Thank God it was just a short flight!
Arriving to South Africa and to Cape Town was a bit of a culture shock. It is totally different than Namibia and seemed so wealthy, modern and developed to me. It didn’t feel like being in Africa anymore. Also I was a little confused that the guy who picked me up and took me to the guesthouse was WHITE. What’s up with that?! I have to get used to the fact that I am not the only white person anymore. I felt so special in Mayana…
The guesthouse I am staying at is beautiful, very homey and cozy. It is right at the foot of Signal Hill and therefore offers great views of the waterfront, the bay and the stadium. Of course you got to pay for that view by walking up a million steps – good exercise though. The owners and staff are super friendly and helpful and they offer a great breakfast. If you come to Cape Town, make sure to stay at Bluegum Hill.
When arriving the weather was not the greatest – after all it is winter here – so I started to unpack and handed in my laundry which was basically all of my clothes. I was a little worried what they would think since after just hand washing them for 10 weeks – and according to Martha doing it all wrong – they were in need of a proper wash. The sun came out in the afternoon so I strolled down to the VA waterfront to do some shopping and went to the movies. Even though you get everything you need in Rundu and find stores and shops just like in any western country, it felt very strange to see a huge shopping mall and entertainment center again. But since I also was in need for some warmer clothes for camping, I joined the masses. Luckily H&M was introduced to Cape Town only eight months ago. Other than that I was surprised how little had changed since my last visit five years ago, how well I remembered everything and knew my way around.
Since I had been in Cape Town before and had done most of the sightseeing and attractions already I was able to take it easy before my brother would arrive in a weeks time. Basically I did all those things on which I missed out the last time. I did a little sight seeing, visited Robben Island, enjoyed the sunny weather and went to the Two Oceans Aquarium. Upon arrival I also inquired with the host what she would recommend to do that most tourists don’t have time to do. She suggested a cooking class in the Bo-Kaap quarter. It sounded lovely and she booked me in for Tuesday when the weather was supposed to be shitty anyways – which it was.
Bo-Kaap is traditionally a multicultural area and is well known for its brightly
colored houses. It is a former township, situated on the slopes of Signal Hill and the historical center of Cape Malay culture. And of course the cooking class was focusing on the Cape Malay cuisine and culture, too. Zainie, a Bo-Kaap local with strong community ties and a passion for preserving the Cape Malay culture, offers a short walking tour around the quarter which finishes at her home were she teaches the cooking class which ends with eating a mouthwatering meal. While preparing the meal together she taught us all about the culture, the spices, making everything from scratch and showed us a few nifty cooking tricks. It was a great experience and if you are interested in learning how to cook a yummy curry, make samoosas, fry rooties and prepare daaltjies I highly recommend you book the cooking class. It was also a very relaxing, face to face and interactive experience with a local. A rainy day well spent I have to say!
Since there was more bad weather to come, I was very happy to have booked a treat for myself: A SPA DAY! I was a little worried though to go because for one thing my feed looked horrible – walking around in sandals for 10 weeks left quite a mark and not just my funny tan lines…- and I just knew that the beautician would point that out. But oh well…my feet and hands were in desperate need. Unfortunately the beautician did not only commend on my cuticles or dried out skin but also how I suffered from “severe sunburn”. What?!? I love my TAN! She told me that my skin is very damaged from the sun and it was premature. I was very proud of myself that I resisted to by the expensive skincare products she offered – after all everyone in Mayana guessed that I was mid-twenties the most.
On my last day before my brother will join me in Cape Town I will have to start writing my final report about the Meho Center for MCP. I hope that the weather will pick up on his day of arrival since we are planning for some excursions around Cape Town before we’re off to do the touristy stuff in Namibia. Fingers crossed I don’t have any trouble reentering the country…I have been worrying about the border crossing every so often over the last few months.