I once went to Chile, expecting to be greeted by a llama in a poncho. In its place I found a very modern Santiago, no llamas, few ponchos. This was after having been delayed at immigration as the officials there believed Iceland to be a made up country. Turned out that Chile had recently experienced a bout of illegal immigrants attempting to enter the country with false passports from make believe places. Luckily for me the misunderstanding was cleared up, very much so thanks to Google. Another eleven hour no smoking flights back to the States would have really made my day.
Yet again I am in a place that does not cease to surprise and amaze me. The misconceptions I took along are now laughable.
I am in South Africa, a place so well described by Michael and Stanley that I cannot even hope to add anything to their colorful and descriptive narrative. Instead I am going to mention a few of my touristic and unknowledgeable observations. Sort of a South Africa guide by an idiot.
In South Africa one needs not worry about snakes if not wandering around in grass or foliage. Except for the lazy snake. The lazy snake is big and fat and does not scuttle away when you approach. It just lies there, in parking lots and on walkways – too slothful to move. In the dark it is easy to step on the lazy snake by mistake and then it bites. And it hurts.
South Africa is home to the most beautiful trees you can imagine.
They have wild penguins here. A bird one usually associates with ice and snow. Not lively green and endless foliage. Here is a picture of me very surprised to see a penguin. Note that the angle of the photo is the result of some odd inclination of my husband to lean the camera to about 45 degrees. I do not have the heart to tell him this is not artistic. Simply strange.
A road sign reading “Robot Ahead” does not warrant the excited anticipation that it gives rise to. A robot is a traffic light.
Baboons have learned that a refrigerator is where it is at. Given any opportunity, they will break in and raid it. Once done they will wreck everything else. Here is a baboon stopping traffic. If you would like audio with the image get someone to scream loudly in your ear in a shrill female voice (mine): "Óli! Shut the window. Shut the window!" We had just passed a sign saying that baboons are dangerous. Then get a man in a more relaxed, yet serious voice (Stan) to say calmly: "Óli, you should shut the window now." Then you imitate a window closing.
The craftsmanship of the handicraft for sale is extremely good. As my husband is obsessed with the notion that we have everything, he filled our suitcases with stuff as we were not going to buy anything. Little did he know. I am going to throw away our clothes to make space.
Prices here are the lowest I have seen a very long time and the quality of the food is exemplary, as is that of the wine. Reading a menu makes you want to laugh. I can only hope I have the correct exchange rate. If not the last laugh will not be mine.
|Stan and I outside of a winery - we are very matching sizes for a photograph (as long as I stand in the front)|
On Friday we go to the bush, courtesy of Michael and Stanley. We are not guaranteed to see any of the big five. Does not matter. A single lazy snake will be enough to make us happy. Even if we only see trees. South Africa is a wonderland.
Yrsa - Wednesday