Do you pee at church?

I told the story yesterday of how someone peed on my car minutes before I walked into a church service. If you need to, read that sentence again. It went like this:

There was a special worship service being held at a local church, and I (along with my then significant other) had decided to go. I knew the music would be good, the sermon would be short and sweet, the vibe would be pumping, I’d see people I knew and it would be a great time all round.

As the day went, we ran a little behind and so arrived a little late at the service. We were wrapping up a conversation still sitting in the car when a white Corsa bakkie pulled up next to us on the passenger side (where I was seated). A man got out of the driver’s seat, and his wife got out the other side. While his wife was busy wrestling their toddler out of the back seat and gathering the myriad of baby accessories, the Mr decided it was a good time to relieve himself.

Checking that his wife was sufficiently preoccupied he sidled up to our car (unfortunately not noticing that we were still inside unaware of what was about to transpire), merrily unzipped his fly and begun peeing against our car tire. I can’t quite explain the feelings of dismay and shock and disbelief and amusement that overtook me. When we regained consciousness it didn’t take long for us to bang aggressively against the window to alert him of our predicament. 

Men, it is possible for flies to be zipped in about 0.00000003 seconds. Ladies, if your man is a free spirit, please ensure his pants are sewn shut when he is going to be in public.

As mortifying as the whole experience was (I’m not sure whether it was worse for us or for him), it made me consider again how important it is to be real. Too often we take pretense in our stride when in fact we’d be way better off with a bit of uphill climb being genuine. I can almost be certain that outside a church was not the only place this man fancied taking a wizz. I’m certainly not giving him any points for decency or decorum, but I do salute his consistency of behaviour if my hypothesis is correct.

Moral of the peeing-on-my-car-at-church story? Be real.

(I’m not saying go pee on things. Please, control yourselves.)

Cape Town, Day 5: on rocks and under umbrellas

Criteria for living in, or ever visiting (for even the briefest amount of time), Camps Bay:

  • be fancy
  • be rich
  • be sophisticated (or act it if you’re not)

This beach is beautiful: white sand and a sky that invented the colour blue in every shade:

Camps BayNumber one mission at any beach location is to find ice cream (duh!) so I strolled along until I stumbled upon a little place that had delicious (obviously) ice cream but also some other rather peculiar flavours. Clearly a marketing gimmick but still!

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Interesting events of the day:

  • mistaken for being a foreigner three times (I wish tourists got free stuff instead of being ripped off all the time, then it would have been useful)
  • hit on several times. (It would have been less painful just being hit.) It’s interesting to see the various angles chosen for approach… nevertheless, no suitors were found (or wanted).
  • did actually get hit by a crazy old lady who, I assumed from her demeanor, was drunk and probably actually crazy. Somewhere between singing, shouting, muttering to herself and pushing people around, she took a little time out:

crazy old lady

 

After making my way home, the evening was rather quiet – a movie and rotties (yum!) on the couch. This post is not very poetic, I realise, however, the events were entertaining enough. Here are some more gorgeous sights to keep you busy for a few moments more:

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When I arrived there was only one brave soul in the water so I reckoned I would brave it too. Sigh. Walk waist deep, lose footing, dunked into probably-close-to-ice-cube-temperature water. Evidence that I was in fact in the water:

IMG_1180Evidence that Cape Town is in fact windy and that brushes are useless (ie. my hair after a long day at the sea side):

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PS. Windy cities should have a sport called: Umbrella Chasing. It’s a real thing, and it seems fun with all the running and the shrieking and the sand and the chasing… bless.

 

 

Dancing interlude

She is yellow tank top

spaghetti braided hair

blue shorts     –     black cap

velvet brown skin

barefoot     –     flailing arms

rhythm hips

sandy toes

treasured wife

focused eyes     –     fluid walk

miss-the-water

proud mother

rainbow-spread smile

lily-lovely frame

Eiffel Tower sturdy

green laugh

heritage heart

She is dancing on the beach.

Cape Town, Day 3 & 4: on sickness and the streets

It’s almost inevitable going on holiday and getting sick, so Day 3 saw me flat on my back for 24 hours on this lovely couch. Other than that, there’s nothing to report. Hooray.

Sick on the couchDay 4 was glorious! I may have walked a little far a little too soon post-illness but in hindsight I don’t care – totally worth it! I made a cat friend as I walked out the door…

Cat friend… then got going as I was determined to get to Origin Roasting, and what a better way than to walk the streets. Street art says a lot about a city:

Street art IMG_1062 IMG_1063 IMG_1064 IMG_1067 IMG_1068 IMG_1070 IMG_1074On the way, a man and his wife have stored some resemblance of a home under a bridge opposite hugely oversized Good Hope Centre as if by being in its path as the sun goes down they’ll be shadowed from the hardship they’ll wake to tomorrow.

At some point I landed up in the middle of a taxi rank and had no idea how I got there. No, I didn’t take a photo. After two and a half hours of walking I reached my destination after my map promised me a quick 3,5 km walk. As if! Granted I may have got a little lost in the middle of my stroll, but still! I have a directional problem, sigh. It looked something like this:

walkingI finally got there though and my taste buds were not disappointed. I’d expected more from the ambiance but maybe I will blame my wild imagination for that. I ordered their Honduras bean AeroPress and chocolate chip cookie – YUM!

Origin Roasting IMG_1100 IMG_1103Although my legs were dead and my slops nearly worn through, I knew I was close to Truth Coffee so I plugged some jams into my ears and head off in a relatively lost-and-found direction.

Truth coffee

It’s safe to say I saw and experienced a fair number of fascinating things:

  • Free wine
  • A blind guitarist
  • A guy screamed in my face
  • Saw the most gorgeous and the most awful ginger hair
  • Night market on Hope Street to end the day:

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Cape Town is best. The end.

Cape Town, Day 2: on pick-up lines and walking at 45 degrees

He can’t have been more than 15 with hair that imitated the waves (long enough to qualify as a coastal kid) and Fizzpop red lips.

young surfer boy

“Heeey… can I by any chance have your BBM pin?” (fumbling with his phone)

“Sorry, I don’t have a Blackberry.” (look him dead in the eye. I don’t. I’m serious.)

“Maybe your Watsapp number then?” (um… bold much?)

“Unfortunately not.”

“Argh! Come on.” (turning on his heel genuinely annoyed)
He had walked up to me confidently and waited for me to look up after writing this list, Things that washed in from the ocean:
  • a full packet of chips,
  • a feather,

to which I will now add:

  • young body-boarder who should have at least attempted a pick up line. I mean, what am I? A telephone directory?

Nevertheless, his approach did wonders for my self esteem.

My Day 2 mission was: BEACH. Any kind (like there’s more than one kind of beach), and to swim in every one I get to. I had to use the bus again, and I managed to get from place to place without asking too many directions – here are some cool things I saw on the way:

The Old Castle Brewery

Train tracks

Lagoon Beach was first, and fabulous (minus the teenager) and FREEZING. Wowza. I have never said, “I can’t feel my legs,” so many times in such a short space of time. I then walked over to Milnerton Beach to re-induce frostbite in the water and then sat for a while enjoying my book and the sun. (A side note to parents: it is ok to let your kids swim in the ocean when they squeal to the water shouting, “Mommy, mommy! The water is relaxed!”)

Beach

IMG_0958I then missioned over to Blouberg Beach (no, not by foot) for the last cold coma (I did wonder why no one else but the kite surfers were in the water). Two very contrasting hang-out spots on my way to and from the beach – Stones (where no one will be partying anytime soon) and Pakalolo (I know! I cracked up at the name for ages too):

Stones PakaloloOnce I got over laughing at the name, I went inside. Sunshine coming in, a cold one in hand, Nelson Mandela’s memorial on the TV and jazz tunes through the stereo. Um, yes! They had some legit decor in there – definitely a place I would visit again.

The day ended with a calm walk home past some legit street art,  I went out with my cousin later to a mind-blowing cell group meeting, (Wowza. Life-changing.) and a red velvet cupcake. Mmm.

IMG_0992 IMG_0998 IMG_1011I didn’t catch the sunset on Day 2, so here is one from the day before:

IMG_0902PS. Cape Town is super windy. I was stupid to even attempt wearing a hat when I had to walk with my body at 45 degree most of the day. I see now why Woodstock is sometimes referred to as Wind Sock. Sigh.

Cape Town, Day 1: of accents and Madiba

I love Cape Town. I love the Cape-colored accent. I love too, that in this gorgeous country, that statement is not racist.

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I touched down at Cape Town international airport just after three pm today greeted by a gust of wind. I needed to make my way to the Waterfront so I dashed to get myself sorted with a nifty little MyCiti bus card. Being a travel noob (and don’t even get me started on my sense of direction… Well, it’s not really any sense at all) I stop to ask a million people a million things, finally spotting the bus terminal which is right in front of the entrance (dork!) I squeal up to the counter, they wave to stop the bus pulling off and I make it on just in time.

On my brief journey I managed to ask all of five people what station they were going to and if I was on the right bus and are they sure. All of that being completely unnecessary when a kind elderly gentleman told me there were maps on the ceilings. I felt five years old and blind.

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Some of the first things I did when I arrived at the Waterfront:
• smelled fish (not because I went and found a fish to smell either…)
• got lost
• ate delicious ice cream – a mixture of Nutella, and Cookies & Cream
• paid tribute to Madiba

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I’m not sure if it was the city’s overall mourning or my feelings of being overwhelmed that I was in Cape Town that had me suddenly very emotional. (It being a public place we all know that displays of any out-of-the-ordinary emotion is not acceptable, ie, sadness, happiness, more than a normal barely-human amount.) I stood in a place where thousands of feet would pass through to give Madiba time out of their day.

Young South Africans, a mother with her two children, me.

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As I wrote the few words I could squeeze out of the pen, without squeezing too much out of my eyes, my ears were met with the gentle humming of two violins just outside the tent stringing the melody of “Oh Come Let Us Adore Him” and I was sure in that moment they played for Mandela. A father, a leader, a fighter that poured into the lives of others, and will continue to pour into the lives of others, far more than his years alive. The wealth of wisdom and grace and strength cannot be measured in one lifetime.

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I have had a moment now to sit and reflect even on this sneeze-of-a-time here and my feet and heart are itching to scratch deeper than surface into what this city holds. For starters, a picnic on the beach tonight, and I’m sure a myriad of things I can’t even imagine.

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Hourglasses measured in light years of sand

I’m beginning to understand what people mean when they say the word “tired.” It’s not the let-me-lie-down-for-a-quick-nap tired; it’s not even the kind of coma-could-give-me-rest tired. It’s the kind of tired that makes mountains want to crumble into themselves. The kind of tired that makes men want to hang their heads for the rest of their lives. The rest of their lives. Rest of lives. Rest. Lives

Is rest crucial for living? Because I’m sure the people who say “I’m tired” hardly even know they’re alive, but they keep going. They keep trying.

I’ve become uncertain of moonshine because although it gives the illusion of light I can’t actually see where I’m going. I’ve even become uncertain even of myself these days. Some people call me “sunshine” and I don’t know if I should keep believing it because I don’t feel like I have any light to shine when I wake in the dark and question if I’ll beat the sun to its duty or if it’ll be on the frontline instead of me. I always hope I’m the last one chosen.

It takes eight minutes for light to reach the earth from the sun, that means that the sun could explode and in the eight minutes it takes for me to convince myself that they day is worth getting up for… by the time I plant my feet on the ground we’ll finally know it’s the end and I’ll wish it were the beginning and maybe it is, in worship I don’t understand or in hour glasses measured in light years of sand.

But where I would have stood, it’s over.

And I would never have to wake up again. That’s the kind of tired I’m starting to understand.