Saturday, February 5, 2011

Ostrich, Lines, Crocodile, Beach!!!

I know I need to work on more exciting titles, but I hate titles, so deal.

So the past few days have been pretty busy. Our house hosted its first ever braai (barbecue for those of you who don't know the local South African lingo) the other night. It had a rocky start, as some of my roommates bought cooking oil instead of lighter fluid and then we ended up pouring it on most of the charcoal. However, the German boys saved the day and with a lot of extra kindling and fanning we they managed to get the coals lit and burning.

It’s funny, when you’re an international student in a different country, you end up making friends with almost every other international student. Which would explain the 30+ people that showed up to our braai. Thank God we have such a big house. Rachel (roommate from Connecticut College) was so adorable, going around asking everyone if they needed a drink or something to eat. My job for the night was carrying my keys so I could unlock our security gate and let our guests into the yard.

I must say I completely rocked my job.

And bonus: We got to meet our South African neighbors. Well at least two of them. Haley (fellow U of Mer) and I were trying to figure out the style here in South Africa. We still can’t figure it out. There are a lot of the blonde surfer types, but then with weird twists like wearing a V-neck that looks like someone just cut a V in the front with scissors.
Or mullets.
We have seen way to many mullets for comfort.
But whatever, their accents totally make up for it.

Anyways, I’m sure you’re wondering where ostrich comes in. Apparently it’s very common to eat ostrich here, so of course we had to by some for the braai and try it.


Yeah, that’s about all I can say to describe that.

So after having our first successful braai under our belt, it was time to take on registration.

Never have I appreciated Wolverine Access so much.
Day 1: Pre-registration: This was the day we had to stand in line for about an hour just so they could check our passports, visas and make sure we paid our fees and then enter all of that into their system. That would be legitimate, if they didn’t already have all of this information in our handy-dandy personal files. But still, it’s only 1 hour wasted.

Day 2: Registration: Not cool UCT, not cool. You know how at home you pick out all of your classes online and then register for them and you’re done in 3 seconds? Yeah, that doesn’t happen here. Here you get a thick book of courses, and they’re courses offered for the entire year, so you have to make sure the course you want to take is even offered that semester. So the morning of registration, we walked up the mountain in 90 degree weather. We arrive and I’m literally sweating buckets (not my prettiest look let me tell you). We then have to fill out our courses by paper, and get them approved by an advisor. Not bad. We then have to walk half-way across middle campus to a computer lab to have our courses entered online. Also not bad. In that same computer lab we have to get our computer information and change our password. Still okay. Then we got walked down to a 4 hour long line to get our student ids. Yeah right. So when we were told there was a shorter line in lower campus, we braved the Jammie and found it. 3 hour line in the sun. Which prompted us to leave and eat lunch in a lovely shaded place with smoothies and decide to get our ids next week.

It probably doesn’t sound that bad, but we had to do all this with almost no direction. Some of my friends didn’t end up changing their passwords because no one told them about it. I only ended up changing mine because one of the computer techs literally grabbed my arm and told me I needed to do it. Also, even though we’re registered for our classes, we still don’t know where our classes are or when and where our tutorials (discussions) are. Apparently there are lists posted around campus with locations next week, so it looks like we’ll be having another nice hike up the mountain next week to find our classes. Not cool UCT. It really is true that in Africa nothing is rushed. Ever.

I think if they gave me a week in charge of UCT I could whip everyone into shape. You all know how spazzy and high-strung I am, I could get lines moving like no other!

Alright, so after having to deal with registration, we all deserved a treat. We decided to splurge on dinner and go to a tourist spot called Mama Africa. It was definitely worth the money, there was live local music (that was added to our bill, figures) and amazing food! And guess what??

I ate crocodile.
Suck that, Gustave!!!!

I’ve got to say it was quite empowering eating my worst fear. And quite delicious too. They served it with a peanut sauce which was equally delicious. My friend Kelsey and I saw a TV crew in the restaurant so she of course took a picture of it just in case it was something like the food network.

OH, and sidenote: Some girls saw Denzel Washington at the beach a couple of days ago. Apparently he’s shooting a movie here. I know many of you probably already saw this on my facebook, but it’s definitely worth sharing multiple times. We plan on stalking that beach this weekend.

Okay, and on to today. Today was beach day. We went to Muizenberg, which was amazing and beautiful!!!! If you’ve ever googled pictures of Cape Town, Muizenberg beach has probably popped up. It’s a really popular tourist destination because of all the multi-colored cabanas that are on the beach. Also it’s very popular for surfing, as we saw today with the 548729758420 surfers chilling in the water. Some friends and I have already decided to go back this next week (when it’s not as busy, so it’s harder for me to kill someone) and get a surfing lesson, which is a very important skill for a girl from Northern Michigan to have.

Many of you will probably be shocked by this statement, but today was the first time I have ever swam in the ocean.
You can gasp, most of my friends here did.

The only other times I’ve ever been to the ocean, it was wayyyy too cold to go swimming. So today was the day. The biggest thing I’m going to take away from it is that ocean water tastes gross. In the Great Lakes, if you swallow a bit of water, no biggie, it takes like water. Here, if you swallow a bit of water you immediately need to chug a bottle of fresh water just to battle severe dehydration.

Also, I went into the ocean with sunglasses on. My friend Kaushal warned me against it. He promised I would lose them, but I was all “No way, I’ll hold on to them, no big deal.”

The ocean is now in possession of my sunglasses.
My bad.

Ooooo, another random sidenote: Funny enough, My first 5 days in Cape Town, I didn’t fall, stub my toe, run into any pointy or hard objects or do anything my normal clumsy self would do. My roommates actually didn’t believe me when I told them I was really really clumsy.

Now they do.

The other night we all went out to a club called Tiger Tiger. I giggle each time I say the name, it’s just so hard to take seriously. Anyways, while there one of the OL’s bought all of us shots. By this time I was a tiny bit inebriated already (but I’m legal mom and dad, so it’s totally cool), so one moment I was holding the shot glass and the next I wasn’t. Ooops. I thought everything was good though because Tiny didn’t notice at all, but then one of my housemates Denise noticed her knee was bleeding. Yup, I dropped a shot glasses and a piece of broken glass jumped back up and cut Denise’s knee. Since then I’ve run into my bed post at least 8 times, although I haven’t fallen yet (knock on wood) which is quite a feat considering the mountain I have to walk up and down.

So that is an update of my life for the past few days. We’re still figuring out what we’re going to do next week, whether we want to travel the Garden Route, or just do a day tour of the Wine Lands. We do know that we want to take surfing lessons (and a housemate, Brett, who’s from California and surfs just told me he would totally teach me. Score), along with sandboarding, which apparently is like snowboarding down a sand dune, with no protection. We’ll see how that one works out.

But anyways, I know I’m not the best at posting pictures, so here’s a link to my friend Kelsey’s album. She said it’s set to public, so you should be able to look at the pictures. My favorite is of the baboon we saw sitting on a car at the Cape of Good Hope. I’d like to know how you’re exactly supposed to handle that situation.

Well I must go and get ready for the night. I love and miss you all!!!

P.S. We found an internet café just around the corner that I should be able to skype from, so skype dates are becoming more and more of a possibility in the near future!! YAY!

1 comment:

  1. Hahahahaa I miss you. That is all.
    Oh and also we just went to a club called Tiger Tiger last week! Woaaah! I also giggle at the name.