Imagine leaving your home and traversing the world - how long do you think it would take you by plane? Now imagine leaving your home and going half-way around the globe - and it takes so long that you could have easily stopped for fish n chips, bratwurst, curry, and sushi and made it back home for BBQ. (Yes, that's referring to Britain, Germany, India, and Japan) I believe that explains my travels here to Cape Town, South Africa. Something around 38 hours of airports and airplanes gets old. When I did finally arrive in Cape Town, at 8am with a full day ahead of me, the beauty mystified me. The fly in was crazy, scenery I would of never imagined. I walked out of the airport to see all of Table Top Mountain, with a warm haze about it.
There I am, bags and all, just starring as I sit outside of the airports main corridor. Soon enough, I'm strolling through the city of Cape Town with a crazy driver telling me all he can about the city. After a little tour I finally arrived to my destination, No. 2 - This is home for the next few months.
It's a nice little place, a garage apartment, with 4 guys living here. I drop my stuff, quickly freshen up, an then flee the scene to get a quick tour of the area I'm staying. It's directly by the beach, so surfers are abound. Apparently this is surfer heaven, also shark territory, so it look like I'll be enjoying the beach from the sand banks. The sun is blistering hot, and these people are all crazy tan.
I meet a few people that are on the same volunteer program as me around the surf shop that is apparently a hang out for them, or should I say us? After a while I go to hang out on the beach, as it is still early in the day, and soak in some of the scenery. But, jet lagged as I am, I'm finally decided that I need to rest some. I hike home (apparently people walk everywhere here) and get somewhat lost along the way. I know the main things to look for though and eventually find my place, with just a little more exercise than expected.
I attempt reading and immediately pass out. Apparently my body is way more exhausted than what my brain wants to believe. After about an hour of rest a roommate arriving home wakes me up. Chun is his name, and we start talking about everything that comes to mind - you know all the generic introductory stuff. Then he invites me to go to the city, Cape Town, with him in just a bit to meet up with a group of people and head to a football match later that evening at Green Point Stadium. No brainer, hell yeah I want to go. First day here and I'm going to see a match at this iconic stadium from the World Cup, I think this will be a good first day!
We head into town after meeting up with a few other volunteers and ride the train for like 30 minutes to city center. These trains are crazy loud, squeak like crazy, and have people rustling from cabin to cabin periodically. I saw guys hanging out of the windows and doors for a smoke, and was taken aback quite a bit. It was pretty hilarious actually.
I'm taken off to the market to shop a phone, and then we go on to meet up with everybody at waterfront for some dinner. This meeting up means about a 3-mile walk - did I mention everybody walks here? For my first meal in Cape Town I had a delectable meal at the fine establishment known to many as McDonalds. Yes, I had a quarter pounder with cheese and it taste exactly like they do back home.
After hanging around a bit at waterfront, we strolled over to the stadium to catch the match. We took a few guesses at the outcome of the game once we were inside, and I was the furthest away from the correct outcome. Ajax, the home team, lost in an exciting fashion. The section we were in was insane, with fanatical fans. Vuvuzelas were abundant and my goodness were they loud. I couldn't talk to the people sitting next to me. Fans are hilarious, yelling obscenities to the refs in all of the different languages spoken here. I'm in an incredible atmosphere to say the least.
After that, there are 11 of is in the group and we are looking to catch a cab back home. One of the guys finally waves down a cab that could possibly contain us all, and it's merely a two row van. But we make it happen, to the drivers surprise, and we are on our way. The driver wasn't too happy I don't believe, as he probably didn't think we could fit, and when asked raised the price from the original deal struck. A few rambles and he was told to let us out or he was sticking to his deal, and he never stopped. It was funny to listen to, and I guess I'm learning how to deal with these people.
It's hot in that cab, no AC, he will barely roll the windows down, there's 11 of us stacked on each other, and all we know to do to pass time is play 20 questions. It's a funny bunch, so I'm cracking up in the mini bus. We finally make it him, barely, free the cab putts down the finally few streets. We honestly thought he was going to stall so many times, but fortunately enough we at least made it to our destination.
I'm about exhausted as can be, and I take a long-awaited shower and hit the sack in the top bunk of my bed. What an eventful first day in South Africa.