Monday, October 20, 2008

You Know You're in Africa When

  • The taxi runs out of fuel two blocks from your final destination, and it's not a big deal. (At least it wasn't the highway.)
  • The menu lists ostrich filet, springbok, and kudu steaks with chips.
  • The band plays 'Stand by Me', accompanied, fabulously, only by tribal drums.
  • It takes two months to receive confirmation of a hotel booking, and you're kind of okay with that.
  • Food described as spicy is actually slightly too spicy.
  • Planning a trip requires asking questions like, 'Is the ferry for the river border crossing actually big enough for a car?'
  • The country you're visiting has eleven official languages.
  • And the taxi driver can speak six of them.
  • People finally know what I'm talking about when I mention Mauritius.
  • The mosquitoes are positively nuclear. (Not nucular.)
  • People talk about driving over 340m high sand dunes without flinching.
  • Campers gripe about the pea-sized sand fleas, adders, and scorpions like we talk about black flies. It's the crocodiles and hippos you have to really worry about!
  • Everything can be braiied (barbequed.) Everything.
  • People own SUVs not for status, but for survival. Land Rovers aren't pretentious, they're practical!
  • Chocolate bars have the consistency of candles.
  • You're a 12-hour flight from Europe, but in the same time zone as Germany.
  • Local wine is divine, and the fruit juice is magical.
  • You can wake up and look out to the ocean, and then look the other way to Table Mountain.
  • People eat corn porridge for breakfast.
  • Tofu is exotic.
  • All of the east-flowing rivers in the continent are infested with little tiny snails that become parasitic worms that burrow into your skin and invade your bloodstream. Don't swim in them.
  • The people are beautiful, the beaches are to die for, and the air vibrates with exotic culture and energy.
  • History is horrific but there's always hope.

1 comment:

Jessica said...

Howdy Val! I think this may be the first comment I've left on your blog. I've been reading it from the beginning though.

Sigh. Africa. So amazing. Well, except for those snails. Yikes!

Ever since I read The Power of One, I've wanted to see Table Mountain. I've actually been to Africa (Morocco, for a day, while on a trip to Spain), but want to spend much more time there.

For now, I live vicariously through you.