Sunday, March 13, 2011

Wait, did I mention the pita and roasted red pepper hummus?

Title explanation: Guess how many times I mention food in this post? Hint: Too many to be proud of.

Hey all!

So since my last blog post my life has dramatically changed FOREVER.

Just kidding, but I thought it would be a nice lead in…

Anyway, to be truthful, last week was a really hard time for me. I hit what we call “the second apple” and I hit it hard. For those of you who don’t read Study Abroad manuals for fun let me explain this “second apple”.

Second Apple = the second stage in your abroad experience when you get really homesick and get annoyed with all the things that are different about Cape Town (or wherever you are) and want to start punching people for walking too slow (although the last part might just be me).

Many of you might know this already however, from the tearful phone calls made to you. I made more than I’m proud to admit. But I must say that I’m pulling out of this week quite spectacularly! And you all should feel delighted that there is no one in Cape Town like any of you, which is why I miss all of you so much. But after a few days of “What am I doing here? Why does everyone walk so slowly? Why aren’t my friends here? Why the hell doesn’t Cape Town sell Macaroni and Cheese? Seriously Africa, no Starbucks??” I was able to pull myself together and start enjoying my life here again.

Well except for the homework portion. I don’t think they should allow beautiful vacation spots like Cape Town to have schools. Because last weekend more time was spent at the beach than anywhere near the 100s of pages I was supposed to be reading and the presentation I was supposed to prepare for and the papers I was supposed to write. Which then led to almost no sleep Sunday through Wednesday as I prepared for a presentation and wrote two papers. I’d like to pretend that I learned from my mistake last week and started my homework before today, but then I would be lying to you. However, this week I don’t have a big paper due until Friday, so I have more time to waste.

Sidenote: Except for the fact that Thursday is St. Patrick’s Day, as in my roommate Denise’s favorite holiday. Therefore we will be spending that night at the only Irish pub we’ve found so far in Cape Town, Dubliners. YAY for green beer!!

Anyway, this week has been much better, especially after all my assignments were turned in on Wednesday. Wednesday night some friends and I climbed Lion’s Head, which is one of the mountains here, with bottles of wine and (amazing) pita and roasted red pepper humus to watch the sunset. The view from the top of Lion’s Head, and even the climb up was absolutely stunning. On one side you could see the sun setting over the ocean, while on the other side Cape Town was lit up like a Christmas tree. Of course, me being the smart person I am decided on Wednesday that I didn’t need to take my asthma medicine because I’ve been feeling completely fine for the last couple of weeks. Which inevitably led to me almost passing out halfway up the mountain. My roommates would laugh reading this as they hiked up Devil’s Peak, a super intense hike which terrifies me to even think about. But considering all the mountains we have in Alpena (read: none) this is probably my first mountain hike since I visited Colorado 10 years ago, and even then I’m pretty sure the only mountain climbing I did was on horseback. Anyway, I made it to the top and man was it worth it. If I wasn't so tired and half dead I would have burst into song, and there were so many options "Climb Every Mountain", "Ain't No Mountain High Enough", "She'll Be Coming Round the Mountain", but instead I just sat down took out the food and wine and finished off half a bottle of a friend's water. I took some pictures, but I couldn’t keep them from turning out blurry, so I’ll find some from friends and post them later.

After maybe 20 minutes at the top, we decided to head down. No biggie, right? I mean going down is always easier than going up. Except in the dark. With two flashlights (one of which only works every now and then) and “torch lights” in the form of a little light on the top of our cell phones.

Now I don’t need to remind you of my clumsiness, and therefore my terror of tripping and tumbling off the side of a cliff to my untimely death (I can’t die yet, I still haven’t pet a polar bear!). So while my friends were casually chatting and barely using the flashlights as they basically ran down the mountain, I was going down the mountain at a brisk 2 feet per hour mostly on my butt, because we all know how graceful I am on my feet. Yes, looking back this is a hilarious picture. At the time however, complete TERROR was coursing through my mind. But I will allow you to laugh since I (luckily) survived the treacherous climb down.

After making it to level ground again (HALLELUIAH!) we decided to stop at Camps Bay because it looked so beautiful from the top of Lion’s Head. The beach completely deserted and absolutely gorgeous. However, not only was the water freezing, but it was pretty chilly (read 60 degrees-ish) so we didn’t stay long. After I got home 8 of the 10 (most housemates in the same room until today) people in my house were watching the Tottenham verses Milano soccer match so I decided to join. One of our former OLs was over and he and my roommates answered all my stupid questions, like “Why is he being so dramatic?” (It’s called diving and apparently it’s an art), “Which team is which color?”, “Who should win?”, “Why did they miss that goal?”, “Where are they playing?”, “What are the songs the fans are singing?” and the most obvious and important question “Who’s the cutest player on each team?” Overall, I think my knowledge of soccer grew exponentially. For example, even though the two teams tied, Tottenham technically won because they beat Milano when they played them in Spain. Yup, I bet most of you readers out there didn’t know that. Now all I have to do is learn to actually play soccer and I’ll basically be an expert.

This weekend was also a success. Thursday night a big group of friends and I went to Stardust, which is a restaurant/bar where the servers perform for you. While the food was a little pricy for the quality, the drinks were amazing, the company wonderful, and the performances were so great! Lily, you would have loved it as Michael Bublé’s songs were popular choices. And of course, we ended the night by making the DJ play all the Disney songs he had while we sang along.

Sidenote: He only had 1 Lion King song. Seriously? We’re in Africa!

Friday after class my friend Kelsey and I headed to the beach, because who knows how many beach days we have left here. It’s actually starting to get a little bit chilly, like in the 60s some days, although no worries, Wednesday it’s supposed to get up to a nice toasty 104 degrees. Hello sweat. While we were at the beach, a big group of students showed up who were obviously tourists. It was funny because since I’ve been here for just over a month, I no longer feel like a tourist, but I also don’t feel like I fit in. It was such déjà vu seeing how excited the students were and thinking that was me less than a month ago. Does this mean I’m actually starting to fit in?? I think until I stop wearing my Old Navy flip flops in public, the answer will always be a resounding “No!” And you’re crazy if you think I’m going to stop wearing those flip flops. Most. Comfortable. Shoes. EVER.

Friday night we had a braai for Cari (fellow Wolverine) because it was her 22nd birthday! While Cari’s whole house made great food, like mushrooms with melted cheese, Greek salad, Tri-fold, apple crisp and much more, I discovered that as long as I show up anywhere with Woolworth’s pita and roasted red pepper humus, the world loves me. The pita and humus almost makes up for the fact that South Africa doesn’t believe in Kraft Mac ‘n Cheese or Dino Chicken Nuggets (Sidenote: Kender, are there dino chicken nuggets in Spain? Please tell me they’re not only an American wonder) Therefore, none of my cooking skills learned this summer are coming into use. But you all should be proud to know that I have graduated from just buying frozen vegetables to buying a bag of fresh vegetables on Saturday, which I plan to make a stir fry with. Believe it mom! Before you know it I’ll be buying fresh meat too, and maybe even using recipes. Well…we’ll see about the recipe bit, I don’t want to get ahead of myself.

So that’s been my past few weeks. Sorry they haven’t been too exciting, I’m also a bit disappointed by the lack of safari animals hanging out in my backyard on a daily basis. But I am in Africa, which I surprisingly forget quite often. I’ll be walking home from class and see a mini-bus speed by with the door wide open and a guy hanging out by one hand yelling “Cape Town! Cape Town!” (as in that’s where the bus is headed) and then turn my head and see Table Mountain in the distance and remember, “Oh yeah, I’m in AFRICA!” I also admit that I’ve been a huge fail when it comes to taking pictures, so I’ll try to do better, scouts honor!

Anyway, I should probably get back to the homework I have left to do and stop procrastinating (Fun fact: The word “procrastinate” doesn’t exist in Swedish). I miss and love you all!!

Liz – Your tan for Michigan, but ghostly white for South African, friend.

Oh yeah, exciting sidenote: My friend Kelsey found a karaoke bar downtown. SO EXCITED!!!!!!!!!!!!!


  1. I'm so glad things are going better! Hurray!

  2. Omg karaoke!! I bet its not as awesome as our asian friends karaoke but it'll be fun :) when you get back we're doing that hardcore

    Also there is no such thing as talking about food too much

  3. A) SO excited to get a shout-out! haha
    B) I have not seen any dino chicken nuggets here! Or chicken nuggets at all...tragic! No mac and cheese either. But we do have Starbucks all over.
    C) You don't know how much this made me want some roasted red pepper hummus. There's no hummus here. But it's okay because my friends and I just eat cheese with our wine while WE watch the sun set. Our lives are pretty great, huh? :)
    D) I MISS YOU!!! And I'm glad you're doing better!
    E) Ditto to Sarah you can never have too much food talk