Sunday, January 25, 2009


So climbing Table Mountain was incredible… the hike was pretty strenuous and oppressively hot (the sun has not let up one bit since we’ve been here) but I really felt accomplished when we got to the top. The views, of course, were absolutely amazing. You can see the entire coastline from the top, as well as Robben Island, the whole city of Cape Town, and all of the mountains and hills in the area. This really is a beautiful area, and I still can’t believe I get to spend five months here. It was sensory overload to the extreme. What’s so amazing about this place is that it has everything: city, ocean, mountains all within miles of each other.

That night there was a party in one of the flats on our street. It was great because students from all over were there. I got to talk to people from Losotho, Bostwana, Mozambiqe, and different parts of South Africa. It is amazing how much national pride many of these people have; everyone one of them was raving about their country and begging us to visit. And the guy from Losotho was most enthusiastic, even though the guide books dedicated a page to it which highlighted a damn and a farm as the main attractions.

The next day a bunch of people when to Muizenberg, a surfer town about a twenty minute train ride away. The train is incredibly cheap (sometimes you don’t even have to pay) and goes all along the coast. It is supposed to be a bit sketchy though, so we were careful to leave before nightfall. The beach was beautiful as always, though not as nice as Camps Bay. It was my first time swimming in the Indian ocean, and the water was much warmer than the Atlantic side. After lunch we went on a search for a Paper Mache house that one of our guidebooks noted as a must see, even though the waiters at the restaurant had barely heard of it). After walking 15 minutes along the railroad tracks, we came across (were thought, anyway) a crappy looking house with no number on it. It didn’t even look like paper mache! It was still fun even though it was kind of a waste of time.

The train ride home was pretty interesting… it was a lot busier at 5ish and we had to wait forever for it to come. We met this pretty cool South Africa guy from Coffee Bay who was raving about the Garden Route, which is along the eastern coast of the country. I think a bunch of people are going to take a trip along the route next week, which should be incredible. When we finally got to our stop, we tried to leave with the rest of the people on the train, but the doors started closing literally within five seconds. So after a couple of us jumped off, the train started speeding up and five or so people with us had to jump off nearly at full speed, rolling and collapsing on the pavement. The looks of the other passengers on train were priceless as they watched our American shenanigans. Though hilarious, it definitely reminded me that we are in Africa. We went to Long Street again that night, which was fun but a little tiring.

Today a big group went to a Rugby game in Newlands at a stadium that fits about 50,000 people. The game was a friendly match between the Stormers (South Africa’s best team) and some British team. People are really into rugby here, and it was cool to see how into it the crowd was even though it was disgustingly hot and I was struggling the entire time to figure what the hell was going on.

So far, this really has not felt like school. We have an entire week off before UCT orientation, and then a week off after that. It’s like a vacation!

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