Monday, April 19, 2010

T.I.A.?

South Africa never ceases to surprise me with random reminders that I'm in a different world than I started in. Not to be a broken record, but South Africa really is not your grandfather's Africa of bumpy buses and mzungu mzungu. Yesterday I was driving down the silky smooth highway at the speed limit of like 90 mph, in itself a pretty huge contrast to East Africa. Then cars started whooshing by one after another. I took a closer look at what kind of machine could possibly be that much faster than the wicked matchbox car we had rented: 16 Ferraris, one after the other. I guess they were going for a little Sunday morning cruise session. Don't you fellas know that if you rounded a corner and found a herd of goats in the road at those speeds, eh!

To continue with the theme of where the hell am I: On Saturday, seeing as I was in Stellenbosh, the wine heartland of Africa, I went on a bicycle wine tour with a couple friends. It was a nice day (which around here means a nice cloud cover and not deadly sunny) so we ate our delicious porridge, rented some bikes and set out for a sophisticated jaunt in the countryside. South Africa wine country is ridiculous, it's like a shopping mall of wineries packed one after the other. Turn down a country lane and you'll find easily 3 or 4 beautiful wineries, all eager to pour alchol down your face no matter how wobbly your bike is. South African wine is also pretty cheap, though not Africa cheap. It depends on where and when, but it seems to be about $3-4 for a series of generous tastings and $10-15 for a pretty good bottle of wine. Not bad. Aside from one small skinned elbow obtained under semi-mysterious circumstances, adequate dignity was maintained and we had a blast. Unfortunately I scuffed my top hat, but hey, TIA.

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