Settling in

Well, better late than never. Settling in has been a bit hectic, as is said around here, and I’ve been quite busy. So, here is a quick summary of what I have done over the last week and a half:

I arrived on a Wednesday, picked up a rental car at the airport and drove out to Stellenbosch. Yes, I drove on the left. No, I didn’t hit anything. That night I had dinner at a local pizza chain called Col’Cacchio with Archie, who is one of the guys I taught with last year at Hector Peterson High School. OK now I rather miss my cat …
The next day I woke up for breakfast then went back to sleep as I was actually quite jetlagged. Then I practiced driving – first around Stellenbosch then over to Franschoek, and towards Paarl although I headed back instead of driving to Paarl. So that was my big adventure for the day!

Friday I had coffee with Nomkita in the morning at the Neelsie (she is another person I taught with last year, and the Neelsie is the student center at Stellenbosch University). Then I was again scandalized by the sweatshirt prices at the Maties shop and didn’t buy anything. This time, at least. Next, I went to a couple of wineries which, if memory serves, were Rustenberg (where I walked around the gardens), Simonsig (where I had a fabulous if expensive lunch), and finally Tokara because I needed to buy some olive oil. Then, I went for a quick run (about 40 minutes maybe) and went out to meet Sne at Bohemia. After that, a house party! That was quite fun but I was still quite jetlagged, so I went to sleep pretty early.

Saturday morning I went to Rust en Vrede winery which could easily compete with Napa Valley for both quality and snobbery, then headed into Cape Town. This was a little intimidating as it was my first time driving in the city. But, I found where I was going ok, and my garage space is literally right next to the elevator. Randomly assigned rock star parking, how do you like that? The apartment is ok – the view is nice although the foreground is a bit blocked by another part of the building so you can’t see Lion’s Head very well. But Table Mountain really is something – I rearranged the bed in the living room specifically so that I would wake up to see it every morning (when there is not fog, that is, as I discovered a few days later!). I think the quality is just OK – I know for a fact that I could get a much nicer place for not too much more money on my own, so in a way I can’t wait for World Cup to be over so I can move on, but it’s also nice to have roommates. Only one of them, Katie, was in the same day I was. The other one, Thao, arrived on Wednesday I think. They are sharing a room and I have a single, which is nice. However, in keeping with SA, there is only one shower. I have a tub (real useful, right??).

That night I went out to dinner at Rafiki’s in Tamboerskloof with Jeff, who is my manager at heart, until he leaves at the end of the month. After that we will see what happens. We did not discuss work so much as life in SA, and the financial crisis. Jeff is certainly well read, and very interesting to talk to!

The next day a bunch of us gathered together to use our free ticket on the tourist bus. This was mainly useful as it took us to Camp’s Bay where we hung out on the beach for a while then had lunch. I had kob, which is a kind of fish. It was very tasty, although as I found out later, overfished. That evening Katie and I went out to dinner (rather, I went out and she accompanied me for a few beers). All in all, a pretty low-key day.

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