Wednesday, May 30, 2012

My 5 Cents

So it's been a pretty quiet week. On Monday eve I went and hung out at The Trucker's ... we were both still feeling pretty miserable :( And last night I went to a Lola Montez Champagne & Caviar Sensual Safari evening organised by @WhizBangLouLou. It was really interesting to chat & meet the owner in a nice cosy environment, and there was champagne & caviar so that was good ;)

Now, here's something I don't usually talk about on my blog (if you thought from the above paragraph it was going to be sex-toys you can breathe a sigh of relief. It's not). It's something else that I can't believe has been headlining in our country for approx 18 days (give or take) now. The Spear. Now I don't discuss politics here (aside from the fact that if you are old enough, I think you should vote regardless of your political opinion) but this one has been dragging on for a while now and since the City Press and now the Goodman Gallery are apparently removing the picture of the painting from their websites, I wanted to put it on mine. You know, because that's how the internet works. Information is out there. You can't remove something from every nook & cranny of the internet.

And although I couldn't care less about the painting or what it is of, I believe that people should be allowed to express themselves in any way that doesn't harm another. This certainly isn't physical abuse. And although I believe emotional abuse is a serious thing and not to be taken lightly, I don't think one random act or an opinion by a total stranger constitutes emotional harm. Yes, you might not like what someone says about you or what they think of you, but no one ever said everyone was going to like you or agree with you all the time and, this is the important bit here, they should be allowed not to and to have their differing opinion.

The best article I've read on this whole debacle was by Jonathan Jansen. I guess I could've understood if JZ had gone to the artist as an individual and said "Listen, dude, that painting, it was in poor taste and I am kinda offended and I'd appreciate if you didn't display it" ... but I guess that would only really work if he was an ordinary citizen. Because as someone like the president or a celebrity, you do rather become public property. I mean the painting would never have been made if the guy in it was Joe Soap off the street (because there'd be no context and I do believe that the painting is making a statement about JZ, and one that I think is actually appropriate considering his multiple wives & sexual scandals) ... but, sadly, I also imagine that if it had been Joe Soap, there would still be no court case defending that person's rights or dignity and no marching in protest by the masses. See, now that's a double standard and that's only a part of where I think we've gone wrong.

I am also curious about what would've happened if this painting had been held back and only released by the artist in years to come, after Zuma had died and was merely and ex-South African president. Would anyone have cared about his dignity then?

I have another question too. What would they have done if someone (any takers) arranged an online flash mob where everyone around the world could make their own Zuma-and-his-penis-picture and all uploaded it to the same place (or probably rather, multiple places). How would the masses have reacted then? Where would they march? What court would be able to control that?

I think that the offended public & JZ could happily have taken this up with just the City Press for their role in making a painting, that was quite content to be hidden away in a gallery, seen by maybe a few hundred people out of South Africa's 48 million (as per wikipedia stats), very public. Now that I would've been okay with. But to attack the artist and the gallery displaying it seems crazy to me. I suspect that even if it was a front page City Press article, but didn't have a picture of the painting this whole uproar wouldn't have happened either ...

The people seeing the bigger picture know that all this has done is make this the most famous painting in South Africa and put Brett Murray's name on the map (remember it because I am sure he'll be in future editions of Trivial Pursuit). No one is going to unsee the image now that it's been removed from 2 websites and a gallery and even defaced. A quick search on google and wikipedia will provide you with a copy. Nothing here has been gained.

Anyway, I think there are so many things wrong with the weeks-long arguing that has gone on around this painting so I just wanted to put it up here, on my little piece of the internet. To prove a point about how the internet works.

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

The Devotion of Suspect X by Keigo Higashino

Yasuko lives a quiet life, working in a Tokyo bento shop, a good mother to her only child. But when her ex-husband appears at her door without warning one day, her comfortable world is shattered. When Detective Kusanagi of the Tokyo Police tries to piece together the events of that day, he finds himself confronted by the most puzzling, mysterious circumstances he has ever investigated. Nothing quite makes sense, and it will take a genius to understand the genius behind this particular crime...One of the biggest-selling Japanese thrillers ever, and the inspiration for a cult film, The Devotion of Suspect X is now being discovered across the world. Its blend of a page-turning story, evocative Tokyo setting and utterly surprising ending make it a must-read for anyone interested in international fiction.

Okay so although this does fall into the murder/crime genre, I'd say it was an interesting choice for me ... I don't think I've read any Japanese fiction before. And it was good. It takes a little while as you stumble over the foreign names (I always take longer to remember who is who when the characters have foreign names that don't stick as easily in my head, perhaps it is a pronunciation thing?). And the story is a little slow going for a while there. But sheesh, I did not see the twist coming. I really quite liked it.

Monday, May 28, 2012


Righto, well, I'm still sick. Not as sick as The Trucker tho. And I probably could've done with a day off work to spend in bed .... but having been on training for the last 4 days of last week, the office already thinks I've been off since I haven't been around to do my normal work.

So here I am. Anyway, the weekend was okay. I'm a bit blue this morning so excuse the lack of enthusiasm.

On Friday evening The Trucker & I headed to Schwabing for one of his friend's birthdays. I dunno why everyone loves the place. I find it decidedly average and don't know that I would ever go back if people didn't keep arranging things there. Guess it's all about the boy-sized schnitzels and beer. But it is nice enough I guess if you have a large group. Anyway, neither of us was feeling 100% and we left at about 21h30. I will say I was super grateful for the Gluhwein I was drinking :)

On Saturday we did some admin - I've decided I need to fence the bunnies off the non-grass bits of the garden for winter because they are chewing thru the plants at an alarming rate and the plants just can't keep up. Sadly this hasn't worked out very well because Coal & Lily have already managed to get themselves under the fence but then can't get out again and I have to chase them around till I can catch them. Which doesn't make them love me very much at all :(

We spent Saturday afternoon very quietly on the couch watching Get Him to the Greek. Apparently not knowing the Stroke the Furry Wall song was a gaping hole in my life experience ;) Pretty mindless entertainment, just what we needed!

On Saturday evening we headed thru to Pretoria to try out a Turkish restaurant called Ala Turka with @Toxic_Mouse & his girlf. Dreadful website: you have to click on (apparently not the food) menu to get to the rest of the navigation and the sound re-switches back on on every new page. It was pretty cool. I really enjoy getting a vast selection of meze to share. But then I had no space for mains (luckily I had only ordered another meze dish). The entertainment was okay, there were 2 Belly Dancers dancing with fire & swords. It's a bit difficult for them to navigate all the tables, I guess. And the bill was astronomical for a table for 4. Worth the experience, but I doubt we'll be trekking all the way back there again.

On Sunday we had a quick breakfast at home and then The Trucker went off to cricket (he shouldn't have) and I went shopping. I have decided to split my house stuffs into bite-sized chunks. At the moment on my list is my main bedroom so I was off hunting for light fittings. Went to a bazillion shops and couldn't find what I wanted - sigh. And then I went grocery shopping because I was in the mood to try out my old bread recipe which I haven't made in years (tis the season to dunk bread in soup, you know) and I planned to try out Mac n Cheese in my new slow-cooker.

We had a very lazy Sunday afternoon, The Trucker slept for most of it. We finished off the last ever episodes of House and ate my Mac n Cheese. Hmmm, it's not saucy like usual but the flavour was spot on. May require further experimentation.

Friday, May 25, 2012


Okay well there's a good reason for me only have to have put up holiday posts this week .... a) they were ready and b) I've been in training all week at work. So not much time for blogging. Although it does seem to have increased my twitter output ;)

Anyway, it's been a very average week. Leftover Prego Rolls for dinner with The Trucker on Monday evening, nice and relaxed. Tuesday evening at SCM. Dinner at Gourmet Garage with CollegeInstructor to thank him for bunny-sitting while I was in Namibia. I've discovered the trick to dinner at Gourmet Garage now. Because I consistently order the same thing: Chili Cheese Fries with a Peanut Butter Burger. And I polish of those oh so yummy fries before touching my burger and then can barely get half way and end up feeling positively stuffed. Not ideal for such delish food. So this time I asked for a 2nd plate when they brought my meal and as it arrive I cut the burger in half and split the fries down the middle and got a take-away immediately. Worked out perfectly. I enjoyed all the amazing flavours of my meal and didn't end up feeling too full at all. Just perfect. Best part was I got to enjoy all those flavours yet again at lunch on Thursday ;)

On Thursday evening I stayed home watching Series and The Trucker popped by for a quick visit before he headed off to Action Cricket. I've been feeling a little sick & snotty this week and although I did consider heading all the way to Wolves for Woodstock Mafia (a friend from my school day's brother is in the band) a quiet night in suited me far better. Oh well. Can't do everything all the time - haha.

This morning I'm feeling much worse :( Oh well. I guess I'll have to have a relaxing weekend then ;)

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

02 May: Luderitz to Kolmanskop to Keetmanshoop

We weren't up too early this morning, we didn't have far to go. We enjoyed a breakfast at the Guest House and then said goodbye to Luderitz and headed to Kolmanskop tour (which I'd booked in advance with Elena Travel Services).

I know, I've been to Kolmanskop before (lookit me repeating places with this boy ;) ) but, it's one of my all-time favourite places in Namibia and The Trucker had never been. It wasn't an option in my mind. We joined the 9:30am tour around the town and then spent a while wandering on our own taking plenty of gorgeous photos! Last time I went it was on about Day 3 of my 5-week long tour, so I was a little sensitive of how many photos I was taking and having enough space left on my memory card. This time I went wild! It was great fun :)

We also made a turn at the Garub Wild Horses afterwards on the drive to Keetmanshoop. As I said, we missed it yesterday afternoon, but the place has changed completely from how I remember it 8 years ago! But this time there were loads of horses (last time there were literally only 2) all around with plenty of young. We even saw a jackal.

The rest of the drive to Keetmanshoop was pretty uneventful, and we managed to get to the Quivertree Forest Rest Camp just at 4pm, in time for the cheetah feeding. It seems like there are a lot of tame-ish cheetahs living on farms in Namibia, because I got to touch cheetahs the last time I was there too. By the time the feeding was done, The Trucker & I were seriously debating our interest in setting up the tent ... especially when the maddest accommodation I've ever seen was on offer! They have 8 igloo bungalows available.

With that decision made, we headed off to wander thru the actual Quiver Tree Forest while the sun set. Gorgeous. Perfect timing :) Now, I dunno that it really qualifies as a good and proper "forest", but there were more quiver trees than I'd seen in one place before. There were also more dassies than I'd ever seen before! And cute baby ones and a mad one right in the middle of a thorn tree munching away and another one rolling around in the sandy path. They weren't terribly bothered by us, honestly. They reminding me of the bunnies, but with no ears - haha.

We braaied for ourselves after our walk (we'd made a quick stop at the Spar in Keetmanshoop) and then headed to bed. Probably our latest night in a while - haha!

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

28 April - 01May: River Rafting on the Orange River to Luderitz

We were up early. I didn't brave a cold morning shower. We packed up our tents, had our cooler boxes filled with ice, grabbed some breakfast (egg & bacon rolls) and hauled our gear down the hill to our boats waiting for us at the water's edge.

Okay, so the first day was tough. I've probably never spent so much as even an hour rowing non-stop in my life. Today we went 18kms before stopping for lunch. Also, there felt like there were millions of other groups on the river with us. We past some, others past us. (We were a fairly small group at only 18 people). Thank goodness they get so much of the rowing out of the way while it's still a novelty. We didn't go thru any too hectic rapids today at all so our stuff stayed safely stowed in our boats. We stopped for lunch where they made us delish tuna-mayo sarmies (was pretty hungry by this point and that may have made these the most tasty tuna sarmies I've ever eaten!!). During lunch we also got to nappy-run the rapid we had stopped next to. This means we'd pulled up our boats and floated down the rapid in our life-jackets. Great fun! Thankfully the water was a very nice temperature for our whole trip - I was a little worried about the sleeping in tents next to a river and being drenched at this time of year, but it was perfect.

After lunch we paddled another 10km. When you hear that over the 4 day trip you travel for 68km down the river, and you realise you have already done 28 of them in day one, you know it gets easier from here :)

The bit that makes it not quite so easy tho is waking up stiff and sore (my hands were aching, I think I have a pretty good idea of what arthritis is going to be like now. I could hardly bend the fingers on one hand). I also found I had to adjust my grip on the paddle over the few days as parts of my hands that had never really been used before took strain - that connecting skin between my thumb & fore finger took serious strain after day one!

Anyway, we arrived at a lovely sand bank for our evening stop. We picked out our spots and set up our tents (although at least 8 people on our trip were camping under the stars - we were recommended not to do this by a friend of The Trucker's because of the bugs, and after our experience of freezing next to the Okavango River in Bots, we weren't taking any chances of getting too cold with this river-side sleeping). We swam across the river to "The South African side" (this was a regular joke/observation of our trip) and back. We relaxed, we snacked. We had a delish dinner - I forget specifically what and won't go into much more detail about our eating on the trip, but let me tell you, Felix Unite is organised. We were treated to things like french toast and banana bread baked on the fire for breakfast. They cooked gammon on the fire one evening for the following lunch. Needless to say we ate well and I think everyone was impressed, if not amazed, at what could be made alongside the river on a fire!

We had a group of 6 guys who were traveling together having not seen each other since varsity days however-many years before and they took it upon themselves every evening to build us the biggest bonfire they could. And let me tell you they were generally quite massive!

Unfortunately the days do blur a bit and I'm sorry I was too nervous to have my camera out while we were actually paddling. There are some spectacular views. It is a beautiful experience! Sometimes the scenery looked like a painting instead of real life!

On one of the days we went down the Sjambok Rapid ... which is the most hectic of the 4 day trip. No one in our group made it down upright ... except The Trucker & I! OMG was I ever thrilled with my boy at that moment. Don't misunderstand, you get wet on these rapids, soaked even, especially as the person in front as the waves crash over the boat. But I was still not enthralled with the idea of upending everything in our boat into the river and testing out the water-proof theory of their buckets - honestly everyone's stuff seemed absolutely fine, but I wasn't keen on taking the chance.

We reckoned it's because our boat was leaking so much for the entire trip we were experienced when it came to balancing to stay upright after taking on so much water from the waves in the rapid. Haha. That or we're just super skilled!

There were bits where we had almost no current and had to paddle for long stretches, there were bits where we hopped out of our boats and floated next to them, enjoying the current pulling us thru the water. One night we camped next to a closed Diamond Mine.

On Day 3 we only paddled till lunch and got the rest of the whole afternoon to relax and walk around. On the evening of day 3 we had a lovely fire and all sat around in a circle talking ... seemed a little sad that we only got to that on our last evening together. On Day 4 we only paddled for an hour or two before we reached the pull out point at Aussenkehr. This bit got a little tedious as there are many groups leaving the river and you have to queue and wait for buses to arrive back from the main camp. We were in a particular hurry because we had to drive to Luderitz before evening and we had decided to take the 200km shorter dirt road thru the Richtersveld and we had no idea how long that would take us.

We rushed thru lunch back at the campsite and our goodbyes ... we did buy the photo-booklet tho (R380 - not like we care about the booklet, I dunno why they don't just let you buy the card that gives you the only download details for a lesser rate?!). There were some *hysterical* photos in there (they are taken as you go thru the Sjambok Rapid). The Trucker maintains a calm and joyful smile thruout ... I look terrified tho - haha. Everyone else had some really nice photos of their bailouts too.

The drive to Luderitz was actually really nice and we had the added bonus of suddenly switching to Namibian time and gaining an hour (so our worry about arriving at destination before sunset was really unnecessary). The Richtersveld is quite spectacular to drive thru. We missed the turn-off for the Garub Wild Horses (will go on our drive past again tomorrow) and eventually I could point out Kolmanskop and before we knew it, we were in Luderitz.

We checked in at Kratzplatz Guest House and then went for a drive. We headed to Shark Island and enjoyed the sunset and then went for dinner at Ritzi's. I had some delish sole and The Trucker had the biggest piece of schnitzel I have *ever* seen.

Monday, May 21, 2012

Epic Anniversary Weekend

Wow, what a weekend. Seriously. It was one of those where I found myself reminding myself on Sunday afternoon that normal life is not a "low". You know, when you have such awesome high's ... sometimes even coming back to real life leaves you feeling down and sad for no explainable reason, except that you're not feeling quite as happy and fulfilled anymore. Does that make any sense to anyone? I can't properly explain ....

Let me rather explain the awesomeness that was my weekend so that I never forget :) So, a little while ago I said to The Trucker I had an idea for our anniversary. And he was all "But aren't I supposed to plan that?". Little did I know he also had something in mind. So usually we'd probably be trying to surprise each other, but this time we shared our ideas and compromised (surprises are so much better when they aren't likely to conflict with the other's plans ;) Haha). Anyway, he was thinking Spa Weekend and I was thinking Urban Weekend.

So on Friday night he booked us in for a Full Body Massage, a Fish Spa (which I have always wanted to try!) and dinner at Kai Thai. The downside of the Full Body Massage was we weren't in the same room together, which I think would've been nice. But I was glad it washed away the awful massage experience I had in China. It was very relaxing. Next up was the Fish Spa (we were supposed to do that first because of the oils put on you during the massage but they had another booking apparently, so they just re-washed our feet). OMG it was so weird. It felt like tiny little electrical pulses on your skin (which obviously it's not, don't worry). And it was quite ticklish in the beginning, but you get used to it. Definitely worth trying, but I won't need to do it again. Can't say I've noticed any benefits either, I think it's more a novelty than anything else.

And then we had dinner. Which was nice enough. They're not my favourite Thai food spot. It was a fantastic start to the weekend :)

On Saturday we had a very lazy morning at home. The Trucker cooked up some bacon and I made french toast for breakfast and we lazed around watching TV and getting Namibia blog-posts ready. Just before 1pm we headed off to the Neighbourgoods Market. Ah, seriously, so vastly better than Market on Main. We browsed around, queued for a Balkan Burger, bought our favourite Everson's cider and then we tried things we'd never bought before (I think this is the trick to going back to these markets that never change, makes them a whole new experience) like Harissa sauce (we made prego rolls with it on Sunday evening), Honey Mead & a honeycomb and a plate of Dutch poffertjies. It was a fantastic way to spend an afternoon.

After that we headed off to the Maboneng Precinct to check into our hotel for the night. I'd booked us a night at the 12 Decades hotel :) Okay, let's get my gripes out of the way first:
1) the website. Online, on a PC, I couldn't find any listing of the decades and what the rooms looked like. But trying to find the same site on The Trucker's tablet was impossible. A completely different site came up when searching on mobile & PC ... and the mobile site is *much* better and more user friendly - although I couldn't find the nearby restaurants listing (which is what I had been looking for). Now that I've actually got the address from my blackberry search, here is the website I recommend using.
2) Reception & Parking. Okay, it was difficult enough for us to find the hotel entrance what with the street outside blocked off to cars because of a live music event (some reggae stuff which I can tell you clearly wasn't nearly as well attended as they were hoping for because most of the blockaded area was empty for the entire time we were around. So anyway, we park our car in some little side street and walk to the hotel entrance and reception. And then stand around. There is no one around. No one who looks like they know anything that could help us either. Eventually I phoned reception because I could see their phone had a call forward on and got thru to someone who said they were on their way. Now fair enough the receptionist seems to be the only person around to receive guests and show guests to their rooms, but then they really should leave a note or a sign or something. we must've waited more than 5 minutes before we knew what was going on. And then after showing us our room, she told us we could move our car to Bay 58 in the hotel parkade. Do you think any of the 3 security guards was letting us in?! Nope. Apparently you need a sticker and we hadn't been given one. So I had to take the security guard with me to the receptionist while The Trucker waited with the car. Although she told us more than one she'd phoned to tell them to let us in. Surely you think they'd know how their security works already?

But yes, other than that we had a wonderful stay there. I do think it's a bit pricey for just a room. But our room was absolutely massive and had a full kitchenette which we didn't use. We stayed in 1986 "Catwalk Customs" Designed by Black Coffee. Because I hadn't found this site before booking, I figured I'd leave it up to chance. I think if I ever ended up staying there again I'd ask to stay in 1996.

After settling into our room, we headed to the Carlton Centre to go look at Joburg from the Top of Africa. Neither of us had been before and it was pretty cool. You can't spend too long there tho. And I kinda figured we'd be able to have awesome sundowners or something there (we did buy a coke while we wandered). But it closes at 5pm (a little naive I think). I think it'd be amazing to go up there at night and see the lights! It's probably better to go around midday when the sun is above you and not blinding one side of the building. Still, it's fascinating to see Joburg from so high. At a mere R15 entrance, I highly recommend this :)

Then we headed back to the hotel to relax, watch some TV and read our books before dinner. We didn't really know what to do for dinner so took a wander around some of the nearby spots and ended up at Chalkboard Cafe for a pizza. It was really delish pizza! And while we were there we decided why not go to the 9pm showing of Otelo Burning at The Bioscope. I'd heard about it on 702 and was keen to see it. We did try hanging out in the Cafe till it started but the bad reggae got a bit much and we ended up going up to the room to wait.

We both thoroughly enjoyed the movie. I was a little nervous once I saw it was subtitled but luckily The Trucker loves South African films. Pity about the terribly uncomfy broken chairs - obviously everyone else there knew to avoid the back row. But aside from that,  I loved the whole experience and would definitely go back!

On Sunday morning, to complete our weekend we headed to my favourite, Salvation Cafe for breakfast. Yum! After that it was home & grocery shopping while The Trucker played cricket. This is when I started to come off my fluffy cloud of love and happiness back down to normal and real life and feel the Sunday Blues kick in ... we spent Sunday evening eating home made Prego Rolls (so good but quite spicy!) and watching Little Shop of Horrors. I'd never seen it before and The Trucker had only seen it as a kid. It was such a yawn. Pretty funny in places, but we fast forwarded thru all thru annoying sing-song bits. And where did they find that awful over-the-top actress? Shoowee. I wouldn't even recommend this as a stroll down memory lane!

Friday, May 18, 2012

Wonderful Week

Wowee what a week it has been! On Monday evening I can't even remember what I did (I know, I probably shouldn't wait so long to write these posts, but I'm sure if it was something significant I'd remember). Oh yes, I stayed in, I ate left over pizza and watched Series. And The Trucker came over later in the evening. See, a pretty stock-standard week-night.

On Tuesday I had offered to host SCM Dinner. I've been wanting to since I moved in since I never had proper house warmings and now I'm not doing proper birthday parties either. I'm just "entertaining at home". So yes, I had some of the SCM-ers over, The Trucker even joined us. And it was awesome :) I made my Ostrich Chili Soup, The Trucker had managed to get my Moroccan Light up & hanging and connected to the electricity in time and it was an awesome, fabulous & fun evening :)

And there were gifts. We did my birthday SCM on Tuesday evening. I got a 4.5L Slow Cooker (which I'd asked for and am so excited to use!) and a recipe book of Slow Cooker recipes. AND Best. Gift. Ever. They made me a little recipe book on a photo stand with pics of everyone and recipes from our SCM Slow Cooker meals :) I love it. Super duper happy all round :)

On Wednesday evening The Trucker was in the mood to cook so I went round to his house and he made us fillet with red wine sauce, gem squash and potatoes the way he likes them. He even made dessert from scratch: Sago. It was all super delish :) He can really cook well, this boy! I love when he gets in a cooking mood - haha.

And we watched This Means War. Which I don't think was what either of us suspected since it is a Romantic Comedy! It was still pretty entertaining tho.

And then on Thursday I took a day off work. Was not feeling great in the morning (The Trucker used his down pillow!) and things at work have been quiet lately. So he & I went for a late breakfast which was lovely (to sleep late and have a surprise weekday breakfast, even with a pounding headache!), unfortunately the actual food wasn't worth mentioning. I have ordered omlettes twice in the last month (unusual for me), and have been disappointed both times.

More importantly tho, Thursday was our one year anniversary. Yep, it's a year since I arrived back from China and he surprised me at the airport! It's been a fantastic year and I am wildly in love with this boy <3 We have an epic weekend planned to celebrate :)

But he did come over again last night (can't remember when last I saw him every night in the week, not including holidays) for dinner and we had a relaxing evening watching series.

It has been a lovely week and I am so so so looking forward to this weekend's plans!

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

27 April: Kuruman to Augrabies Falls to Noordoewer

We were up early and on our way before 8. Unfortunately the local Kuruman Wimpy doesn't seem to open at that time so it was off to a Maxi's for some breakfast toasted sarmies (ham, cheese & tomato ... spot on!). And then right into our first stop-go that was literally at the Petrol Station exit as we left the town. #sigh

We managed to hit about 5 or 6 of these on the road to Upington, but other than that it was smooth sailing. We laughed at the turn-off to Deben. And we took a 25km detour by missing a turn-off (we had the gps on and everything, who knows how that happened!).

And then we arrived in Upington for lunch. Well, more for a refuel and to buy lunch for our intended lunch-time stop-off at the Augrabies Falls. Wow. Upington: what a total waste of time. We drive around trying to hunt down some ready-made sarmies. Not a Woolies Food, a Kauai (okay so that might've been too much of a stretch), a Sandwich Baron ... nothing. We left annoyed and hopeful because the GPS said there was a restaurant at the Augrabies Falls. Fingers crossed it wasn't too dodgy because it was our last hope.

It was spot on. We enjoyed giant footlong sandwiches which neither of us could finish. And then we got to wander down to the Falls viewpoints. Some are unfortunately closed for repairs after last year's flooding (it must be quite spectacular to see when it gets so high! Lovely stuff.

And then we headed North to the Border. But, we couldn't resist a quick photo stop in Pofadder! Haha.

The drive gets quite last-man-on-earth for a while there ... no cellphone signal, barely any other cars on the road, nothing for miles. And then, just before Springbok, we came across an accident that had just happened. Was pretty hectic. A guy (who luckily survived but had a pretty bad head wound), his bakkie (totalled) and his trailer (everything he was transporting was strewn across the road) ... we don't know what happened, but we called the emergency number and luckily they were there super fast, being so close to Springbok (like 20km outside). I was impressed at how many people stopped to help ... at least the first 5 cars who came across the accident. Poor guy. His whole life was flung far and wide on that roadside - they had to search for his wallet in the debri.

We got to the Vioolsdrift border after dark, along with a car who'd also stopped to help at the accident and queued in a very long queue to get out of South Africa. Thankfully they opened the Departures side to process us too. Guess that's why it's a 24hour border post. And then we were over in Nam doing the border crossing there. And then we were off. We got to the Felix Unite Camp at about 8pm and everyone in our crew were already there - oops.

We had a quick dinner and pitched our tent and re-packed all our stuff into 4 buckets for our trip. *Excited*

Monday, May 14, 2012

Flower & Fun Filled

Shoo. Another awesome weekend :) This one was pretty busy (as always!). On Friday I headed straight to Cedar Square from work to meet The Trucker for the 5pm show of The Avengers.

Shoo, okay so we watched it in 3D which wouldn't have been my first choice. I still don't like it, I don't like the glasses, I don't like that it costs so much more (and the glasses are extra!), I don't like that I find things blur when they're moving too fast in 3D. But we didn't have a choice, Cedar Square only had the 3D version. I wonder what the stats are on who pick the 2D vs. the 3D option ... my preference would honestly be to scrap 3D entirely. I can't believe they are making TVs that do 3D too. Oh well. As has rather become my mantra at work: I am not the target market (I never seem to be?).

The movie itself was really good fun tho :) I was very pleased to see that Robert Downey was back to his Iron Man 1 goodness :) And even the annoying Scarlett Johansson didn't ruin it for me (although they could've just used a cardboard cut-out for her role instead, she was really only there to star as a sexy silhouette :P) (they really need to invent an eye-roll smiley!). Also, I loved the evil under-sea-dinosaur-skeleton-type bad guys - too awesome :)

And then we grabbed some sushi for dinner and were home before 9pm. Which was pretty perfect as I had to be up almost as early as a week-day morning on Saturday.

I headed out early to get to Multiflora by 7:30am for a tour with Past Experiences. It was actually really cool! There is a whole industry going on there. From pre-packaged flower delivery by the farmers to the giant freezers to the many many many flower trolleys to the bizarre auction room (we got to watch from a window - it's a silent auction and it is quite fascinating, must take a while to get the hang of being a flower buyer!!) to the very long conveyor belt of bought flowers. What a great insight into an industry I'd never given much thought to before!

And afterwards @tfrayne and I went wandering in the mall, bought some flowers (I got 15 sunflowers for R60, which I thought was pretty good, and then some pot plants ... seems I just prefer those - haha) and had some breakfast at the Cafe Dulce there. I had a really nice breakfast with hash-browns (instead of toast) with poached eggs, avo & haloumi!

After that I headed home, The Trucker had organised someone to come and sort out my outdoor lighting (that I've been trying to get done since December!) but he never showed up or answered his phone so The Trucker ended up doing it ... he'd already bought the bits. We didn't get very far before we had to head off to @Toxic_Mouse's 30th tho. It was an awesome and epic afternoon that lasted well into the evening with delish Ribs and plenty of alcohol (mostly Tipo Tinto Rhum & Sparberry). Let me just say it is not as much fun as you think being the sober-driver girlfriend - haha at least they were entertaining but I was exhausted by the time we left! Shoowee, the rest of the boys suffered on Sunday, I gather. The Trucker, despite probably consuming his body weight in alcohol (okay, that is a *huge* exaggeration) woke up perfectly fine, just a little dehydrated. The boy amazes me. He should definitely have suffered at least a little, but nope. At least he is still just as lovely when he is drunk (and this is the drunkest I've ever seen him!), not angry or argumentative, just mellow and fun.

So I cleaned the Bunny Hutch on Sunday morning while he slept and then we went out to breakfast at Doppio Zero and picked up a few more lighting supplies from Builders before The Trucker had to head off to cricket. I got some more shopping done and went home and got all sorts of things done (sadly none of those things were Namibia Posts .... oops) and then The Trucker came over and worked on the lighting a little more ... till we ran into problems with me not owning a ladder and a minor complication of not having an easy way to attach the lighting to the power #sigh But still, can you believe this boy, how amazing is he? <3

We made home-topped pizzas (the bases were from woolies) for dinner (so good!!) and watched Thor (since it was the one pre-Avengers movie we hadn't seen yet). What a yawn. Seriously. If it didn't lead up to the Avengers, I'd seriously be questioning why they bothered to make it.

Friday, May 11, 2012

Thinking Ahead

Righto, so I suppose this week kinda deserves a "real" post ... Monday's are easy ones because I've always done something over the weekend, but if the week is quiet, there is generally not that much to say the rest of the week.

This week has been fairly quiet. Not that I haven't been busy, just quiet on blog-worthy events, if that makes sense? On Monday I had a quiet evening at home. On Tuesday I went to SCM Dinner, which was interestingly quiet with only 3 of us there. On Wednesday The Trucker came over for dinner and we vegged on the couch and last night I went to @zoosev for Book Club and The Trucker came over after (actually he was at my house way before I got home - haha).

See, busy but quiet. The Namibia Posts are going to be slow coming, I can see. I haven't even written them yet ... it's so much easier when all you're doing is copying out the already-written text. And then I have to go thru the millions of photos we both took too. But I'll get there :) I'm aiming for at least one a week at this point ;) Then hopefully I'll be done before we head off to Vietnam ... which is the hopeful holiday plan for later in the year. We must start investigating. The Trucker is really keen to go all Top Gear style and buy a bike/scooter or two and ride/train our way around. I'm game ... although my experience lies far more with the organised tour sort of holiday.

Anyhoo, so yes, we think it's funny that hopefully 2012 will turn out to be The Year of Nam' & 'Nam - hahahahaha.

Thursday, May 10, 2012

26 April: Johannesburg to Kuruman

So on my birthday, I left work early and headed home. The Trucker came to pick me up and we were off. Well, not quite. We had to make a few stops, like to fill up with petrol and then we realised we'd packed not a single item of cutlery or crockery for our 2 night of off-river camping. A quick turn back to his place and we really were off. Unfortunately this set us back a little and we hit the afternoon traffic leaving Joburg.

The drive wasn't too bad. Although how the N14 can be called a National Road is beyond both of us. It is a single lane the entire way and it is impossibly tedious. Another entertaining point was the detour due to 2 sink holes in roads (one of them in the detour of the first, creating a detour to the detour!).

Anyway, we arrived in Kuruman in the dark at about 8pm. We checked into Oude Werf Lodge and headed off to find a quick bite. Which ended up being a shared Debonairs pizza due to lack of inspiration ... and I'm not very fond of eating after 8:30 at night, if I haven't eaten by then, I'll rather just skip eating till morning. But it was my birthday after all. And the pizza was tasty and hot and dripping cheese (yum!). I got to open my gift (noise-cancelling headphones, just what I wanted for the office!! YAY) and then we enjoyed a bath in the absolutely massive bathroom before bed.

Lots more driving tomorrow! Yawn.

Wednesday, May 09, 2012

Bones of Betrayal by Jefferson Bass

Things have taken a dangerous turn at the Body Farm. Dr Bill Brockton and his graduate assistant, Miranda, have been called to a death scene. A body has been found in a frozen swimming pool. The dead man is found to have been a renowned engineer, responsible for the Manhattan Project, which produced the atomic bombs of 1945. And he's been poisoned by a radiation source. Now Brockton, Miranda and the ME who carried out the autopsy are in grave danger ...Suffering radiation sickness and worrying for his friends, Brockton delves into the town's gruesome past to discover the dark secrets and lies that have lead to this engineer's murder and to find out who else the killer has in their sights.

It took me a little while to get into this but in the end I thoroughly enjoyed it :)  Jefferson Bass is definitely becoming one of my Go-To Authors ...

* This book is part of the Body Farm series: Carved in Bone (2006), Flesh and Bone (2007), The Devil's Bones (2008), Bones of Betrayal (2009), The Bone Thief (2010), The Bone Yard (2011)

Monday, May 07, 2012

Back from Nam

I'm back! Awe :( Always sad to be seeing the tail of a holiday ... somehow the relaxation and whatnot disappears so quickly as you get back into the swing of work and traffic and groceries ... you know, real life :P

But I did have a truly lovely trip :) River Rafting is something I'd highly recommend! I can't believe it took so long for me to finally do it! But I'm glad I did, cause I really went with the right person <3 The Trucker is an amazing partner for these sorts of things.

We also had a really nice trip thru a little of Namibia (proper-ish holiday posts to follow, well that is the intention ;) ) with not as much driving each day as we were worried we'd have. So that was a super bonus :)

We got home at about 8pm on Saturday evening ... we'd left it open, with no accommodation booked for Saturday evening, in case we wanted to drive straight home or spend more time at Kgalagadi and didn't know what time we'd head off in the morning. It was a good call.

And I was glad for yesterday spent just chilling at home and readjusting to real life. The Trucker made us breakfast in the morning then we went off and did our own thing (I went to spend some birthday money & do some gardening, he got the pajero washed! It was as bad as after the Makgadikgadi dust).

And then we relaxed at home doing our own thing and eating Tuna Salad for dinner while watching some Game of Thrones s2.

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