biltong101

A Polish expat in South Africa. A humurous blog. Haha.

The last avo in Cape Town

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Cape Town experienced a local crisis that only recently has been resolved – the shortage of avocados. If a reader from outside SA is reading this post he or she is quite unlikely to have their heart miss a beat because of this but let me tell you that avocados are a serious matter in this African country.

South African eat avocados, or “avos”, with everything. They eat them on sandwiches with salt or lemon and pepper, they eat them on their own. They add them to salads and prepare guacamole. It’s even an ingredient on pizzas which certainly makes Mario Italiano (or whoever invented pizza) turn in his grave. Last but not least, avos are a very local (?) yet important sushi ingredient. No wonder, South Africans started to feel a little bit uneasy when around two months ago an avocado shortage started. The prices of the delicacy went up to the heights never experienced before. Additionally, customers in restaurants started  to be informed about the lack of avos and more than a few tears have been shed over “NO AVO” signs in windows. Even Woolworths, known as the place where middle class shop and where cravings are always met, was touched by the crisis and left an apology note for the shortcoming in their stores that you can see on the above picture.

I must admit that after coming to South Africa I wasn’t immediately taken by this butter-like fruit but with time I started to get used to it. I’m still incapable, and in truth simply unwilling, to eat it on its own. However, I learnt to appreciate it as an addition to certain dishes. One also can’t underestimate the health benefits of avocados. They’re a natural source of vitamins, contain potassium, heart-healthy acids, fibre and have numerous other health benefits that you can google in your own time if you’re still not convinced about the fact that it’s just good to eat them.

Avos, as everything else, have their disadvantages too. The most irritating one is the difficulty of managing to eat them when they’re just right. Usually when you buy a bag of avos they’re not ripe enough and you have to wait for them to mature. You don’t have much time to catch them when they’re perfect, though, as just a day after they reach ripeness they start to get mushy and brownish. The solution to this problem is buying “ready to eat” avocados, but then two pieces can be even twice as expensive as a bag of ten.

Naturally, the avo crisis is a first world problem that most South Africans couldn’t care less about. They experience daily problems such as general lack of essentials due to unemployment and resulting poverty, just to put things into perspective. Maybe it is a good lesson for the privileged to know that you can’t always get what you want.

The Aircon Wars

imageIn the land of Poles people rarely feel too hot. Yes, quite high temperatures do occur in summer but the latter is usually short-lived and after a month or two of moaning about the hotness the polski folk comes back to their regular complaining about coldness. In the RS and A heat t is just a part of everyday life. The country has a moderate climate if you compare it to other places on the continent but it’s still VERY warm. What it means for a typical office worker is that either you suffer due to the lack of air conditioning in your office or you suffer due to the presence of the abovementioned.

People disagree in shared working spaces all around the world and this is just how it is. The case of aircon isn’t any different. This is a reason why employers have to use strict regulations when it comes to this part of office functioning. Otherwise they have to deal with absolute chaos. The situation when a company hasn’t recognized the importance of having a policy in that respect and allows people free access to air conditioning regulators means Aircon Wars.

I’m a big supporter of freedom in general but I must say that what I’ve seen happening in a few working places in South Africa made me believe that sometimes imposing decisions on the employees is the only sustainable solution. The main source of conflict is of course the fact that some like it cold and some like hot (😉). What is more, some are vocal in expressing their preferences, while others just suffer in silence till they can’t take it anymore. This is just a perfect recipe for drama. Unsupervised aircon is switched on and then off, the windows are opened and then closed and worst of all, the temperature is adjusted. Everyone does whatever they want to and it obviously increases general unhappiness with the situation as no one has what they want for more than half an hour and have what they really don’t want for the rest of the time. All of that is not benefiting anyone long term and causes unnecessarily  tensions between otherwise amicable people.

The truce in the Aircon Wars cannot be reached as no one is trying to be nasty. It’s just a question of varying preferences. The people who are constantly hot can’t stop feeling that way (and yes they can take what they’re wearing off but how much can you take off in an office?), similarly people who are cold can do nothing about their preferences (and yes, they could put their jackets on, but would you really like to sit all day in the office in a jacket?). Making everyone happy is simply impossible.

The solution must be the end of the aircon democracy. The employer in a dictator-like way makes the choices about what the optimal temperature is and when should the aircon be switched on and/or the windows openened. This is the adult way, called compromise, which means no one is really happy but no one is entirely unhappy either. Alternatively, the negative energies that people were directing towards each other can be focused on the employer and we all know that nothing is a better team building exercise than communal moaning 😉

South Africa’s protesting against University fees

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The attached picture was taken just next to my house. For the next two weeks I still live in the proximity of the Hiddingh Campus of the University of Cape Town. What was and are the protests about? South Aftican students had enough of paying fees for tertiary education when a new raise in tuition was announced.

Well done guys! I must say that I’m surprised that a bigger movement towards a change like this only started now. To me higher education like education in general is a human right and should be for free. How otherwise are we suppose to help people who come from poorer backgrounds? Yes, there are grants and loans but not everyone qualifies for the former and the latter have to be paid back at some time point which with South African salaries isn’t such an easy task. People whose matric results are good enough to make it to the University should have an option to pursue their education.

If fees indeed fell it definitely wouldn’t solve all the educational problems here. Many bright students want make it to the university because the level of their education wasn’t high enough and their parents couldn’t afford private tuition. For others a thought of tertiary education is just alien as no one from their surrounding ever graduated from university and it just isn’t a path they would consider taking. Some people will just use the lack of fees as an opportunity to laze around and start few faculties but never graduate which is a big problem in Poland.

Having said all that, if the fees fall some people will actually get an opportunity to study which they otherwise wouldn’t have. I really believe it worth doing it for them. Keeping my fingers crossed for #feesmustfall. If they won’t manage this time, at least an important discussion has started and it will sooner or later bring changes.

On sushi in Cape Town. A personal story.

abeautifullife.co.zaWhen I was leaving Poland four years ago the sushi fashion was just starting. People occasionally would suggest going out to have pricey pieces of raw fish with rice but it wasn’t too embarrassing to say you didn’t like it (which usually actually meant you just didn’t know how to use chopsticks and was ashamed to try to learn the skill publicly).

The move to Cape Town was a source of many unexpected adjustments, one of which was getting used to eating sushi. It wasn’t a love at the first taste but my appreciation for it started to grow quite quickly until, when I developed gluten and lactose intolerance, I became a serial sushi eater.

Sushi in Cape Town is the best (although I think that use and abuse of avocado is a local thing). It’s relatively cheap, when compared with other middle class eating out options, and is actually quite healthy. There’s also a wide range of choice when it comes to sushi places, depending on ones budget and location. Plus, there’s one place I’ve found that’s worth traveling to (even by public transport).

Let’s start with it, and Capetonians probably know that I’m talking about Beluga. With half price sushi and cocktails till dinner time daily and all day on Sunday, the quite fancy restaurant is never empty. Sushi served there is also of much better quality than in most places. Plus, it’s conveniently located in Green Point. The only thing which is not to like is that sometimes, like in Societi Bistro and Bukhara, they like to pretend their fancier than they truly are and they made you wait for a “free” table why you can see that there’s plenty of them around.

If you feel like exploring, Sea Point is an actual sushi district. I don’t know how many restaurants of this sort there are in the area but I’m sure nearly as many as Roman Catholics in Poland*. Having stayed in SP for over a year I probably tried all of them. From my personal favorites I can recommend “The Asian Palace” with portions cheap and big enough for both dinner and breakfast (and they have abalones in tanks to watch), “Shin Tai” with small but good quality pieces and friendly service and (don’t judge me!) “Ocean Basket”. The latter is a franchise and yes, I’ve eaten better but they really have decent sushi for its price.

However, for me Sea Point, is a past memory and I don’t imagine myself sushing out there too often. I just recently moved to town (Gardens) and have not found the Place yet. “Pine Gardens” is a decent restaurant when it comes to food (Satan curse take aways) but you don’t want to spend an evening there as the decor of the place is as bad as recent jokes about Bill Cosby. The newly opened “Sushi Box” in Kloof Street is okay too but holy cow, it’s cold there in winter, and geez Louise, they don’t have an alcohol license. There’s also a place, I don’t recomend, called “Nuri Sushi Factory” which serves absolutely disgusting signature sushi (I admit I haven’t even tried the “normal” stuff but only the chef’s selection) with weird ingredients such as chives (positive), butter (I think) and chocolate (didn’t taste of it but looked liked it).

I haven’t explored the sushi scene in Obs properly yet but I’ve found a place that has salmon roses specials often so it seems like a place to go for now when in the area – “Mr Lin’s”.

Surely on my Cape Town sushi odyssey there have been more places that I’ve encountered but they were either too insipid for me to remember OR I’d like to forget ever trying them (Supermarket sushi. It’s. Just. Wrong). I’m also open to suggestions you can put in the comment section below.

*according to the “official” stats – 90% of people from the country inhabited by 38,5m. Anyway, my point is 1) it’s a funny comparison and b) it means there are MANY sushi places in Sea Point.

minus one. on loadshedding.

ESKOM1Far, far away in a seemingly developed country the electricity supply is not taken for granted anymore. Not so long ago a parastatal body, named Eskom, started to fail to provide its customers with what they pay for. In a scheduled action the company is switching off electricity in a one area at the time for usually no longer than two hours. Why are they doing it? To prevent a national blackout as apparently the difference between supply and demand is small and the system is “tight” (capetowngov.za). What does it mean to typical electricity users? That we’re fucked. Yes, there are load shedding schedules but a) they are undpredicted cuts as well and b) trying to organise your life around  the electricity being available or not, in let’s remind ourselves 21st century, is quite annoying. In a typically relaxed South African manner, no real actions have been taken to solve the situation, apart from sacking of the responsible high officials (#keepingupappearances) and announcing an increase in the price of electricity. One doesn’t have to be a trained marketing specialist to know that there’s no better way to regain the customers’ trust than to increase prices of a bad service (#sarcasm)… One thing that is flourishing these days is electricity related humour which will soon become a separate genre as in “I like British humor and #SouthAfricanElectricityHumor” (I’m hashtaging just in case people will dig the idea. I doubt it, as it’s not that funny, but then again neither is Trevor Noah). Even my friends (their voice, their idea, their lyrics) and I (just my natural beauty) recorded a load shedding related video:

I chose laughing over crying every single time, Dear Reader, and I trust that you do too. Let’s hope that less water will go under the bridge of this post and the next one than between this one and the previous one.

seven. on Cape Town Food Market.

My trip to the market was not an easy one as I was suffering from a major hangover. Fortunately, I managed to force myself not to spend my day agonizing in bed and even though I wasn’t able to taste any of the served delicacies I enjoyed the market’s atmosphere.

Cape Town is pretty abundant when it comes to markets (I wish it was so in case of theatres). Each district seems to have one of their own (markets, not theatres, duh). They’re all lovely but one must notice that they don’t differ too much and are all overcrowded. This event was a once-off thing so I’d been expecting something more exciting than a typical Capetonian range of market products (which is: fresh juices, pizzas, biltong and vegetarian stuff).

The market took place in Woodstock which is an area of Cape Town that not everyone (ME) feels comfortable in. Three years ago when I arrived it was still considerably dodgy and even today I wouldn’t advise walks in certain areas and at certain times. However, I must admit, that reasonable efforts have been made to make the place more friendly. Woodstock undoubtedly has its unique industrial charm. I particularly enjoy the local pieces of arts – graffitis.

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Last but not least, my personal favourite:

GRAFFITI

I’m not going to go into details of what you do on the market. Bascially you go there to chill with your friends and/or family, to spend quality time away from your television set, outdoors in a vibey atmosphere AND you suport the local industry at the same time. Apart from the regular quick food for consumption in a standing position (there’s never enough sitting space) that event had egg sluts,

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a chicken feet dish that I didn’t dare to try out

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and eco friendly plant pots

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The post is quite average, I know, but so was the market and I like the pictures I took so I decided to share. In short, APPRECIATE.

 

 

seven thousand seven hundred and fifty-one. On Mzoli’s.

IMG_3432Mzoli’s is a “restaurant” in a Cape Town township called Gugulethu (and a township is a district like the one that aliens inhabited in “District 9”). The reason why I put the word restaurant into inverted commas is that it’s not exactly one. You have to both order food and pick it up when it’s ready yourself, the service only takes care of cleaning. Therefore, the place has a vibe more similar to a bring’n’braii (or bring’n’barbecue or przynies’swoja’kiełbę’na’grilla) than to a typical eating venue.

The ones who fear the world township should learn that Mzoli’s is a rather famous tourist spot for people who want to experience “the real South Africa” so it is relatively safe to visit. It is situated on the outskirts of Gugulethu and easily accesible by car, public or private taxi. If you choose to use your own transport, fancy cars parked outside the venue will give you hope that we you’ll find your car untouched when you’re ready to head back. The place is better enjoyed in a company so don’t forget to bring a few friends with you and choose wisely. If you’re planning to have highly intellectual conversations with someone it’s just  not the place to do that as the loud music of all sorts forces people to shout what they’re trying to express.

Although it’s an all day experience (heading back before the sun sets is recommendable) you don’t have to bring too much cash with, a R100 note should be enough to enjoy the day. The three most important points on the agenda when at Mzoli’s are:

1) Boozing

The nearby shops provide limitless amounts of booze at the cheapest price in town. One doesn’t have to be prudent for getting drunk seems to be acceptable there and as long as you’re not agressive it shouldn’t get you into trouble. Depending on your personal preferences you may want to drink your beverages out of the bottle or to purchase a drinking vessel made of recycled glass (R10 each).

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You can have as many bottles of cider and beer as you want, however, getting a bottle of a stronger spirit may turn out to be a problem. One member of our crew decided to get a bottle of tequila for the table (I SWEAR IT WASN’T ME) and that’s what he came back with:

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The coffee liquer turned out to be a poor Tequila’s replacement, however, if you add it to beer it enhances its flavor.

Please be warned before you drink too much: the toilets at Mzoli’s are quite rural – toilet paper hangs outside and the door won’t lock, you also don’t want to sit your ass there (pol preferowana pozycja na Małysza) so I suggest you start with these deep knee bends today.

2) Eating

Whether you drank alcohol or decided to stay sober, the hunger will get you sooner or later and that’s exactly what Mzoli’s is waiting for. You can choose between a wide variety of meat (no photos taken from the fear of an iPhone snatch) – chops, sausages, stakes – whatever it is that you like can be yours, yet again at the best price you can get. There’s no vegetarian option so unless you  feel like indulging yourself in chakalaka (spicy, veggie relish) with pap or bread I’d suggest lunching somewhere else.

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3) Dancing

If you’re unsure of your dancing skills you may decide to just move some parts of your body to the rhythm or you may be drunk enough to join the joll (to joll – SA slang for to party). Either way you’ll have fun as even observing the madness around you improves one’s mood. Apart from the music from the speakers (all sorts), there are guys with traditional instruments walking around and playing some of their own tunes joining the surprisingly enchanting cacophony of the place. The guys we’ll demand a small retribution for their efforts, so have some coins prepared.

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Upon departure, which is advisable before the darkness falls, keep some coins at hand for (a) car attendant(s) who won’t let you go without paying him/her/them for keeping your car safe. Please, also remember, that you’ve visited an attraction rather than a real, township and that life inside the shack is probably not as much fun as a visit to Mzoli’s.

number of times. The Tourist Way part 3.

glowneIf spending time in a car, mindlessly staring at a monotonous landscape isn’t your idea of a day off I suggest you skip the tourist attraction on your itenerary called “Cape Agulhas”. The visit to the southern tip of Africa or the place where the two Oceans meet is a loss of time. Far away from everything, including my beloved Cape Town, the spot is not one of the biggest disappointments evah. My mom really wanted to go there and even though she was discouraged a number of times by various people who had the dubious pleasure of having visited the place she refused to change her mind. She ALWAYS wanted to see WHERE THE TWO OCEANS MEET, in short, we had to go.
We left Cape Town quite early the day following the Decision or the Acceptance of Unavaidoable and then we drove past nothing appreciating the local landscape

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and then we drove some more

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and some more

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until finally (after 3 hours) we reached our destination. The local museum is a must-see given that it’s the only thing there apart from the “Two Oceans” sign. You learn there that all stories about two oceans meeting, including the ones about the different colors mixing, are utter rubbish. Fortunately, my mom is an ardent reality denier so she wasn’t bleak at all about what was translated to her and still considered the trip to be a valuable passtime.

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So what happened next? We had a 15 minutes walk to the actual point where the two oceans do NOT meet and after few minutes spend in a queue we took pictures with the symbolic sign. The good thing is that the views around are not horrible, but then it’s South Africa  so you actually have to make a conscious effort to find uggly places.

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My mood did not improve when I saw a sign which truly displeased my arachnaphobia. I do know that spiders exist but I’m just way happier when they exist somewhere far away from me.

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The three hour long drive and a subsequent walk made us hungry so we decided to grab a bite. One of many disadvantages of our attraction of the day was that it isn’t prepared to host tourists AT ALL. Apart from the museum and a wooden path, which apparently is an improvement, there’s completely nothing that a foreigner could like. The nearest restaurant is 15 minutes away and as a monopolist it’s constantly full. The waiter offered us a waiting time of approximently 15 minutes which in South Africa means at least half an hour. We were a bit tight on schedule as an evening show was awaiting us, so we decided to visit a nearby fish and chips canteen for a quick meal.

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Although seemingly uninvinting, the canteen serves decent food. Its proximity to the Ocean (not sure which one) made us hope that the products would be fresh and whether they were such or not, months after the meal everyone is alive. The food was surprisingly tasty for its price and the service was quick. Poor English of the Afrikaans staff may be an obstacle but pointing to the items on the menu (in English) may turn out to be successful (superiority mode on: I wouldn’t know. I ordered in Afrikaans).

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After the meal we came back to the car and started our journey back to Cape Town. Another three hours of fascinating landscape later we arrived to “Richard’s Bistro” where a show was awaiting us. A personal friend of mine (my impersonal friends do less cool stuff) is a maitre d’ there and it’s always such a pleasure to see him on stage. I must say that seeing the Polish translation of the show’s summary was quite pleasant too.

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I would write more about the show if I could but to say anything about the plot is to spoil the surprise and the guests are asked upon departure not to do so. Let me just tell you that the performers are unusually vocally talented and the food served is delicious. To sum up, it was a very pleasurable and unfortgettable evening which even made me forget about the pointless 6 hour long drive earlier that day.

 

 

 

 

 

natural number. the Tourist Way part 2.

drzewoI wouldn’t have dared to call my adventure with introducing Cape Town to my mom and them* the Tourist Way if we hadn’t used the touristiest of the touristy, the Red Bus. It’s a pretty expensive means of transport (R150 pp p day) which aims at showing visitors what must be seen in Cape Town. The ticket is valid for a day and you can choose where you want to get off the bus and how long you want to stay in a given location. There’s a bus every 20 minutes or so which is very convenient. The tickets are valid only for a chosen line and there are two main ones: the red city tour and the blue peninsula tour. The red line has become a joke after the regular Capetonian public transport, My Citi Bus, started to operate properly. It’s much cheaper to use the latter and you aren’t limited by any time frame within which you have to complete your journey. The blue line, however, goes to three places (Kirstenbosch Gardens, Constantia wine estates and World of Birds) that are currently not easily or not at all accessible with My Citi so it’s worth a shot if you don’t have a car and don’t feel like renting one. I must say I was surprised by the high quality of service you get during your trip. The buses are punctual and there is a timeous recorded commentary of the surroundings, available in numerous languages. The red double-deckers with an open top additionally allow taking pictures of places with backs of heads of random people on the bottom.

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Unfortunately your favourite author didn’t manage to visit the wine estates in Constantia but will report to you about Kirstenbosch Gardens and the World of Birds.

red bus stopBlue Route, stop 20. Kirstenbosch Gardens.

The coolest thing about doing activities with people who visit a place for the first time is that you adopt their attitude of curiosity and you learn to appreciate what you usually take for granted. Apparently, I had to go to Kirstenbosch with newbies and listen to their “oh my gods” and “wows” to pay enough attention to that beautiful place. The first time I went there was for a picnic, the second time to see a concert of a local band called “Mi Casa” (which has one song with different titles and words) and on both occasions I was busy with everything but simply looking around.

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The Red Bus drops you off next to a side entry so if you want to participate in a FREE guided tour you’ll have to go to the main one. Please double check and call the garden to confirm that the regular tour at 10 am happens on the day you’re planning your trip. Our didn’t happen regardless of a confirmation on a website and when we complained we received an “oh well, sorry about that” and a DIY leaflet in apology. Sentenced to a solitary visit we started our tour with a bonsai tree, a sculpture and an all-you-can-get-in-South-Africa-plants greenhouse. In order of appearance:

bonsai rzezbaKG szklarnia

In the very back of the greenhouse you can find the entry to the famous pot plantation:

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Just kidding. No idea where it actually leads but my mom believed that story when I told her so I decided to try it on you as well. Jokes aside, you’re probably asking yourself, like Roskopp, what else is there (in the Kirstenbosch Garden)? There is this big tree which is pretty:

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There are national South African flowers proteas:

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There is this plant which I’m not sure whether is corn and yet reminds me of the horror movie “Children of the Corn”:

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There are branches pretending to be fish and schizophrenic rocks convinced they’re skulls of dinosaurs:

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There’s a plant that allegedly heals cancer:

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There’s also a useful plants garden with descriptions of how certain plants can be used (e.g. as protective charms against evil spirits).

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When you’re tired with the overwhelming beauty and/or all your ailments are healed you may want to enjoy a meal and a cold beverage at the garden’s tea room restaurant. The venue has prices which aren’t too crazy, good food and fast service.

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A meal for three cost us slightly below 300R but I must say that the food was delicious.

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Healthy and full you may want to continue to the next stop which is Constantia wine farms. We decided to skip them as the variety of wine estates in Stellenbosch was on our itinerary for the following days.

red bus stop Blue Route stop 21. The World of Birds.

For starters, WoB is not a zoo but more of a lifelong hospital. The birds which are there are victims of accidents or stupidity of people who took them as pets, got bored and abandoned them. You can save your ecological breath – if not for the WoB the animals would be dead. Still, I had a difficult to brush off impression that they were sad and lifeless. There are all sorts of birds, including many hens and ducks, so it cannot be that I just happened to see the naturally miserable ones. Consequently (?), they weren’t willing to pose and I usually took a picture when they were busy cleaning themselves, eating or just being awkward.

co robia ptakiAryptaki bazant

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The highlight of that visit was the possibility to “interact” with monkeys and penguins feeding. Although you weren’t allowed to touch the animals it was still nice to see them outside the cages. Just like me, Dear Reader, you may feel confused that there were monkeys in the World of Birds and I’m afraid I can’t say anything to ease your puzzlement.

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Apart from odd animals, WoB has surprisingly many owls. It was interesting to observe them, given that my idea of the animals came mainly from “Winnie the Pooh”. The birds are the only truly interactive ones. My mom even managed to have a few pictures standing right next to them.

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The visit with the owls made it clear why there are so many hens in th WoB, namely, little chickens are killed and given as food to their bigger cousins. Please be warned that the following images may be considered drastic.

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I was less moved by the view of dead little ones that I would have expected to be. The ways of nature are as they are and you may think I’m a horrible person if I tell you that seeing that made me feel better about my decision of coming back to being a meat eater. Ek is nie ‘n vegetarier nie and to finish the today’s post I’ll share with you the only picture I took in the WoB that I actually like.

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So long, farewell auf wiedersehen, adieu!

*my mom and her boyfriend according to a South African figure of speech.

 

 

number of the Beast. the Tourist Way part 1.

The Tourist Way is something I’ve been always avoiding. My fear of the touristy has a long tradition as “touristy” equals usually overpriced and often fake. Instead of paying a lot to see how the place isn’t, I preferred to pay less to see how it really is. The tourism industry is undoubtedly taking advantage of the oblivious visitor, however, I’ve realized that what they show to their customers is often worth seeing and you can combine their ideas with the experience of an expat to have the best of both. My guinea pigs are my mom and her boyfriend who came to visit me for the first time.

Since I live in Sea Point quite an obvious choice for the first attraction was Waterfront.

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Even though it’s the name of the whole area, it’s most commonly used for the shopping mall. The latter is rather upmarket and you should be aware of the fact that most of the African souvenirs you can buy there are way overpriced. Locals enjoy Waterfront’s multiplex cinema and more alternative cinema nouveau, which screens what in Europe would still be considered mainstream films. There’s also a pub with its signature beers “Mitchell’s” which invites us to swallow its pride (I remain unsure whether the pun was intended).

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For 50 rand you can get sample amounts of their 6 beers and a beer related souvenir. Once your favourite taste has been chosen you can continue drinking it for about 30 rand per pint which works out a bit more expensive than drinking regular beer. If drinking makes you hungry you can eat fatty food at Mitchell’s or choose between a wide variety of overpriced and not always good restaurants. If you’re opting for a cheaper option I suggest food court or craft market. The latter offers mostly snacks downstairs so if you have a good appetite I suggest you walk up to eat  African, Mexican, Indian or Chinese food (priced between 35 and 50 rand per meal). As I was introducing it to tourists I chose a typically African meal: meat, pap (a type of corn) and veggies served that go with a spoon instead of a knife and fork.

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Food and booze is always fun, however, my favorite part of the day was a visit to the “Two Oceans Aquarium”. Priced at a 100 rand is money well invested. They have quite a few, pretty underwater creatures like this one:

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Or her even prettier collegue:

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Certain fish have a dubious sense of humour and play hide and seek with the visitors:

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Some choose the safety of social conformism:

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Others prefer to protest against the mainstream culture:

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There are also quite a few sharks and I took a picture of one so that you can see that they actually have stupid face expressions:

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The Queen of all underwater creatures, the abalone, can also be found and admired:

abalon

When visiting the aquarium one can also notice that there’s a lot of colour pink in some tanks but I assure my more conservative Polish readers that it’s NATURAL and that it isn’t a part of promotion of the homosexual lifestyle, so you can take your children with.

wiecej hompropagandykolorowe korale homopropagandaukwiallllllllllkoralowceukwial niebiesko

For people concerned with their image, the aquarium provides inspriational quotes that you may want to share with your friends as your facebook status:

madrosc madroscdwa

The memory of the above, however, became but a faint memory the moment I saw the name:

wielki krab

Giant Spider Crabs (pol. Srogie Kraby) are Japanese and huge. They can reach up to of 1m height and 4m width (or at least so the Aquarium claims). According to the legend the crabs are transmogrified Samurai warriors who were unwilling to surrender when their Emperor was defeated and killed themselves by jumping to the sea*. The crabs are also believed to be feeding on corpses of dead sailors which may or may not be true, as apparently they’re omnivorous. The biggest specimen is referred to as Crabzilla and can be found in a museum in Netherlands**. Ladies and Gentlemen have a look at the Giant Spider Crabs:

srogie kraby 2. zemsta krabow

I must confess that I was fascinated. I’m not sure whether you know that about me but I’m a huge fan of monster movies. The resemblance between the Giant Spider Crab in front of my eyes and the one I saw in the Attack of Giant Crabs (1957) was striking (I’ll totally make a movie about zombie giant spider crabs one day, I can’t believe that the idea hasn’t been used yet):

srogi krab attack of the crab monster 1957

The first part of Cape Town the tourist way is coming to an end. In a farewell gift let me share with you three pictures I took in the area that I either liked but don’t know how to comment on or they’re self-explanatory:

do polowy pelna lepiej  bezdomnyjesusman

* for more about the legend and origins of the crabs visit http://arthropoda.wordpress.com/2010/01/26/samurai-crabs-transmogrified-japanese-warriors-the-product-of-artificial-selection-or-pareidolia/

** to learn more about Crabzilla http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-1299992/Meet-Crabzilla-giant-Japanese-spider-crab.html