I am back on the road again. I had a great visit to the States. I was able to clear up the legal matters, refinance a rental property, get my downtown condo leased, saw the Texas Longhorns win in Nebraska, and best of all, see my wonderful niece, Rebecca, and her husband, Andrew, tie the knot in Las Vegas. He is a Marine, so please say a prayer for him as he is shipped out to eminent danger during this political unrest in the Middle East.
I recently arrived in Cape Town, South Africa. My route was through Atlanta, down to Johannesburg and then to Cape Town. A total of well over 24 hours travel time. The Atlanta to Jo-burg leg is over 15 hours air time. One of the longest flights in the world.
I have a groovy little flat on Queen Victoria Street in a great part of town. It is an efficiency on the 9th floor with a balcony overlooking part of the city and Table Mountain. The floors are parquet with ceramic tile floors in the bath and kitchen. In some ways it is very modern and cool (the furnishings are retro and the big white bed is wonderful), and in some ways it is not so cool. The plumbing is ancient (but I am lucky to have hot water 24 hours a day), it is rather loud, there is no heat or air con, and there is a bit of roach problem. But I love it!
I am getting to know the neighborhood a bit.
The streets are narrow and European with a mix of African everywhere. There are some lovely gardens right across the street from my building and the German Consulate is in my building. I am not sure if that is a good thing or rather dangerous. Oh, I also have a swimming pool! Although the high this time of year is about 20 Celsius, low 70’s. But inland is much warmer. After all, it is summer here!
I am going to meet a friend at the Victoria and Alfred Waterfront tomorrow. It is supposed to be a really beautiful area with lots of shops and restaurants for the tourists. Perhaps I can find a few Christmas presents there! I am also planning on taking a couple of day tours to feel comfortable with the terrain.
I mentioned to my cab driver from the airport that I was interested in doing some volunteer work with AIDS education. It just so happens that his wife works in social services. She is doing some research for me to see what I can do for them. I also stopped at St. George’s Cathedral at the end of my street. The have a soup kitchen that always need help. I think I may check that out soon. Although one of the ladies mentioned I might want to wear an armor suit there.
Yes, the crime is bad here. (crime stats). It is such a shame. I have a TV in my flat with 5 channels! 4 in English! I caught the news last night and there was a story about a priest who was murdered in his house 2 days ago all for the church collections that equaled perhaps about 2000 Rand (US$200). He was a priest that works in an orphanage working with kids to help literacy. They showed all the kids who loved him crying. Broke my heart.
That is it for now. The internet cafes here are about 10 times as much as they were in South America, so my updates may be a bit shorter. Just wanted to let everyone know I am doing great!
My address until 31 January 2003:
Flat 909 St. Martini Gardens
Queen Victoria Street
Cape Town 8001
I do have a pre-paid phone in my flat. I am not sure if I have downloaded the pre-paid vouchers correctly, but it is supposed to accept incoming calls. VERY expensive. Anyway, if you are calling from the States, here is the number:
Outside US code + South Africa code + Cape Town city code + local #
Keep me updated in your part of the world.