Wednesday, March 30, 2011

The name Kanga-runar is...grammatically incorrect.

Ahhh so much to tell you, which makes sense since I haven’t posted in a while. While I blame the sickness that is currently plaguing me and keeping me up at 1:11am writing a blog post (along with the miniature lizard on my wall that I haven’t decided whether or not to touch in case it decides to attack), it’s probably due to my laziness and the fact I’d rather sleep/read/watch Arrested Development than blog.

But here I am, long overdue.

So what’s been new with me? Quite a lot, thanks for asking.

I am currently on “autumn break”. If you call it “spring break” the South African students in your Shakespeare seminar will make fun of you and start asking if you’ve ever been to Cancun and been on “Girls Gone Wild”. Of course I have, I mean, since Michigan is right next to Mexico. (Some actually believe this, but it’s not like I can make fun of them since if you ask me a Geography question, I am almost certain to get it wrong). It’s funny here how if you use the wrong phrase people get completely confused. For example, I had a test in my African Literature class the other day, and I was wondering if a specific book would be on the test. So I obviously asked my fabulous gay South African friend, Myles, (love love LOVE him) whether this book would be on the “exam on Tuesday”. He said “Of course”, which then led me to panic because I hadn’t even read the book yet thinking it wasn’t on this test and to send neurotic text messages to all of my American friends in the class checking and double checking Myles’ story. When a bunch of my American friends told me the book wasn’t going to be on the exam, I triumphantly went to brag to Myles about how he was wrong, because let’s face it, when it comes to Myles vs. Liz in a battle of who’s right about South African things, I have never won. So when I went to confront him about him finally being wrong, he simply looked at me like I was an idiot and said in his super chillaxed South African way, “Oh, you meant on the test on Tuesday. Of course it’s not on the test, but it is on the exam, you know, at the end of the year.”

South Africa =1 Liz = 0

Like seriously? Because I used the word “exam” instead of “test” I was forced into a panic for two days? Of course, I still hadn’t read the book and wasn’t planning on it, but still those were hours I could have spent watching “Kings” or “Friday Night Lights” or “Arrested Development”. Or spent with my friends…

So my “autumn break” has been going swimmingly. Well except for the fact that I’m sick, as in quite a bad cold sick. But I’ve mostly been trying to ignore my sickness (except for excessive sleeping) and have been going out and having fun with friends in spite of it.

At first I was really bummed I was just staying in Cape Town and wouldn’t be jetting off like a bunch of my friends to places like Zambia, Botswana, Zimbabwe, and Namibia to do cool things like white water raft and see Victoria Falls. But, considering 1). The sickness currently plaguing me, and 2). How much fun I’ve been having, I’m no longer sad. Also, as my parents and Lily constantly point out to me, I’m in Africa. I’m in Cape Town. This is a vacation.

There’s a great group of friends who are also staying in Cape Town for autumn break and we’ve been having a blast together. First of all, it’s nice just to be able to hang out on our own schedule without having school dominating our lives. On Friday night, we went to my friend Steph’s house for an autumn-(spring)-break-is-finally-here celebration dinner, in which it was her first time ever making lasagna. Definitely the most delicious lasagna I’ve ever tasted. Of course, my contribution to the dinner was pita and roasted-red pepper hummus (I think I might have mentioned how much I love that combination a few too many times in the blog post before this), and just to be spontaneous, I also bought an apple pie. I’ve made Steph and Cari promise to attempt to teach me how to cook yummy food, since they’re complete pros at it. The next dinner we have, I’ll start with reading the recipe to them, baby steps.

UPDATE: The lizard has now turned from facing downwards to being in a ball on my wall. I’m keeping a sharp eye on it. It will NOT attack unnoticed.

That night we went out to Zula bar and had a great time just dancing and acting like total idiots. It’s a little surprising how many times I’ve been told by people “Oh, you’re definitely American. Only Americans dance like that”. And yes, they might ben referring to my Tae-Bo-esque moves (which I think are doubly useful as 1). Great dance moves and, 2). It’s easy to “accidentally” punch creepy men with them).

Saturday I continued to nurse my sickness. You know all those great medicines we have in America, like Sudafed, Mucinex, Tylenol, Tylenol Cold, and Tylenol Cold Extra Strength? Yeah, none of those brands exists here. Apparently we really like our pharmaceuticals in America. My cab driver advised me last night that in order to get rid of my cold, I just need to take these tablets that are either drugs or medicine (I couldn’t gather which) and then put a ton of blankets on me and sleep. He said I would sweat, and sweat, and sweat and then in the morning, poof, I’d feel all better. You all know how big of a fan I am of sweating (not), so instead I decided to search high and low Saturday for some kind of recognizable medicine to make my cold disappear. After admitting defeat to the 3rd store I had tried, I decided to ask the pharmacist near my house if they have any over the counter medicine to battle colds. Of course the pharmacist looked at me like I was an idiot and said “Of course we do.”, in which she pulled out 9 different types of medication and told me I should take all of them. Yeah right. The two I chose 1). Seemed the most relevant to my sickness, and 2). Had the best names. Medicine number one Cold-b-gun (I think “gun” is pronounced “gone”). Medicine number two, Mucinux, but don’t get that confused with Mucinex because it definitely is not an off-brand. Even though they both do the same thing…

NOTE: The lizard has now turned from facing downwards to upwards on my wall. I’m keeping a sharp eye on it. It will NOT attack unnoticed.

Anyway, that night, after highly medicating myself, Cari, Steph, and I attempted to have a movie night where our movie of choice was (obviously) Aladdin. We ended up getting sleepy/talking too much though so we just skipped through to all of the songs, which are the best part anyways.

UPDATE: Lizard has now straightened out from a ball and is completely facing upwards on my wall now. Hoping it will soon scuttle back into large vent near ceiling.

Sunday we spent a lovely day at the beach, because believe it or not, it’s actually starting to get cold in Cape Town. They aren’t kidding when they call it “Autumn Break”, I noticed last week on campus that the leaves are starting to change color. Who knew the leaves changed colors in Africa too???? (I learn so much every day). It’s actually been pretty chilly here, at least in the low 60s, with rain. And none of the buildings have central heating (surprise!!) therefore prompting horror stories of people wearing coats (or in my case, multiple sweaters and my fleece) to class.

Except it was absolutely BEAUTIFUL Sunday.

UPDATE: Lizard is now turning sideways. I think it’s eyeing up my curtains. I don’t like the look of this…

Anyway, the beach was absolutely lovely. It was hot, but not too hot and I actually got some reading done for a paper that’s due next week. Of course, after reading about 10 pages, I felt way too productive, so we instead decided to play a card game Steph taught us, which I will refer to as Poop Head…although the first word is actually not poop. (You get the hint). GREAT great game. And very addicting, I’ll have to teach it to you all when I get home. Steph, I will spread the game throughout America!

UPDATE: The Lizard is now spread-eagle on my wall as if it’s about to lose its suction-skills. I sincerely hope not since I would then have to sleep on my (extremely comfortable) couch as it’s too difficult to keep tract of a (possibly evil) lizard when under my bed.

After the beach, Cari, Runar (friend from Norway), Rita (also a Michigander) and I went to Kirstenbosch Botanical Gardens. I had heard about these gardens from friends, but I wasn’t prepared for how beautiful they were. We brought a picnic and cards and listened to the Cape Town Symphony Orchestra play while the sun set and we admired the view of the mountains in the distance. After the concert finished, we went back to Runar and Rita’s place for a fun filled night of Poop Head (it really doesn’t sound as cool when censored) and a dorky but great camp game Cari learned, which is what the title of this blog is from.

Slight backstory: We decided Runar’s new nickname is Kanga-runar. You’ve got to admit, it’s a great nickname.

So so so pretty!!!

Also, Runar introduced Cari, Rita and I to WestLife, a boy band who was apparently more famous than the Backstreet Boys (not possible) worldwide. While, contrary to popular Norwegian belief, it didn’t make Cari and I lay in our beds screaming with joy, it was super catchy and would be very fun road trip music. Westlife will be added to my Liz-takes-Canada-this-fall/winter road trip playlist)

UPDATE: Now completely facing my curtains. VERY WORRIED.


Yesterday, Rita, Steph, and I went to the Two Oceans Cape Town Aquarium. This aquarium is supposed to be one of the best in the world, so I was a little surprised by its lack of dolphins and whales (although I guess it’s very unlikely for an aquarium to ever have a whale). But I absolutely loved it!!!! We got to see ALL the characters of Finding Nemo (well all the major characters, except maybe the people and pelican). I fit right in with the 3 and 4 year olds, as I ran from exhibit to exhibit squealing with excitement as I saw jellyfish, and sting rays, and penguins, and sharks, and a giant sea turtle!!!!!


UPDATE: Has stopped climbing and seems subdued. Can’t trust it though.

After the aquarium, we had a lovely dinner on the Waterfront, which is a super touristy part of Cape Town but so pretty!!! The weather got pretty cruddy though, so we didn’t get to walk around as much as we wanted, so I definitely want to go back soon! Oooo, and guess what??? (EXCITING) When we got out of the aquarium we saw seals sunbathing on the docks. They are HUGE!!!! And so adorable. And while I really wanted to hug/scare them so I could see them waddle of the docks and swim away, the signs screaming “DO NOT PET SEALS. THEY BITE” deterred me. So instead I just starred and made the embarrassing cooing noises people make at babies at them.

Today was a pretty chill day, I went with Cari, and her friend to dinner on Long Street and then we saw her friend’s comedy show. Okay, I won’t lie, part of the reason I decided to go was because the club the comedy show was at is called “The Purple Turtle”, and what exactly is cooler than my favorite color mixed with an animal that’s on my top 100 list of cute animals? Sadly though, the club only disappointed. First of all, the performance area inside was covered with red curtains. Really? You name a club “The Purple Turtle” and you don’t decorate the inside in purple? Bad life choice. Secondly, while it was cold outside, the club had about 50 different fans on, making it almost impossible to sit anywhere without freezing. And lastly, the host of the comedy show decided it would be a good idea to wear a microphone and shout, which did not help the headache I was already nursing.

But you haven’t even heard the most exciting part yet.
Guess what I’m doing Thursday night at 8:00pm????

Seeing Cirque du Soleil!!!!!!

It’s their first time EVER in South Africa and some friends and I got decent tickets for just over $30. To say I’m SOOOOOO excited would be a vast understatement. So Thursday night I’ll get to see for myself, what my friends and I could only describe as “stretchy, blue, bendy people”.

Okay, so the lizard hasn’t moved in about 20 minutes, so my new plan of action is to go to bed and pretend like it wasn’t there and hope it has found a new home outside of my room by morning.

As always, I love and miss you all. And if ANY of you would like to visit me (hint hint) I would be more than happy to show you around the lovely Cape Town and South Africa!!!!!

UPDATE: Experienced a moment of temporary braveness and tried to touch lizard on wall, thinking I could just pick it up and take it outside. Lizard let go of wall and jumped to floor, causing me to scream. Lizard now on the floor by bed and Liz is a stupid idiot as at least before I could see where the lizard was at.

Lizard = 1
Liz =0

After watching the lizard for another sleepless 20 minutes, I discovered how the lizard got into my room. Apparently there is a lizard-sized crack between the floor and the molding. Will be using my duct tape for the second time in Africa tomorrow morning.

UPDATE ON UPDATE: Green duct tape now covers the crack between my floor and the molding. I hope the landlord likes the added color!


  1. Hahaha Liz you would freak out about having a lizard in your room. Think of it this way--at least it wasn´t a bat!

    And that´s not Nemo. Nemo is orange. That fish is black. Honestly.

  2. Grilled cheesus. I just had a comment in outline form and my phone deleted it.

    Not all clown fish are Nemo. Stop sterotyping them.
    If Westlife is Irish and the lead singer died from autoerotic asphyxiation last year and their first American album is in my basement, then no. I've never heard of them either.
    Cirque du Soleil. I'm jelly, real jelly.
    Your dance moves aren't Ammurikan. They're awesome. And sometimes scary.
    Test and exam are synonyms. I'm with you on that one.
    South Africa never gets cold. Stop crapping on all my dreams.
    I support the Liz Takes Canada spin off. I've been mapquesting/researching Toronto lately. Land of my forefathers.
    Are you sure you weren't on GGW? You'll do anything for some free beads. (I kid, I kid.) (Also: I sat next to the camera crew in a restaurant once. Should I have given them your number?)

    That is all.
    I lurve you.

  3. Okay first of all Kenny, that IS Nemo. He just had some work done.

    And good point about the bat, although who googled ways to get rid of a bat on her phone while at her internship far far (45 minutes) away? Yeah, that would be me.

    Now on to Alison:
    Let me have my meet-Nemo dream, okay?? I don't
    care what you two haters say, that was Nemo!
    I want to hear this Westlife album!!!
    I think us two having a dance off in Cape Town would be the best thing ever, since I've learned only my best moves from you.
    My friend lives in Toronto and she's going to show us around!!!! Plus, I figure I should visit it since it's next-door.
    And yes, you should have given them my number, connections are connections!

    I lurve you both!!!