• 19Jan

    Holiday round up

    Happy New Year!!!

    We had a great Xmas and New Years holiday in Cape Town with our families. I can hardly believe it’s over already! The seven of us (Andy’s parents, my parents & my sis) rented a slightly-generic-but-fabulous house in a suburb of Cape Town called Bloubergstrand. We spent most of the time lounging around our swimming pool, shooting pool, and cooking in the fabulous, huge kitchen. It was relaxing and fun.

    xmas AM

    Christmas morning in the pool!

    We also managed to keep ourselves busy with various sightseeing adventures. The biggest feat, by far, being our rigorous climb up to the highest point of Table Mountain. It was grueling, but really fun, and quite beautiful.

    hike

    Less thank 1/2 way through, and we're already pooped! (not pictured: Jon)

    Early on we went to the highly recommended District 6 Museum, which is an impressive dedication to a sub-section of Cape Town best known for the forced removal of over 60,000 of its inhabitants during the 1970s by the apartheid regime. It was full of personal accounts of life and culture before apartheid,¬†what happened when District Six was deemed a whites-only area and demolished, and where the residents (mostly coloureds, but also Africans, whites, and Indians) were relocated to Cape Flats area. There was a great area w/ recipes written on dish towels that I especially liked–mostly cakes, and a few less delectable recipes, like smilies (sheep heads) and other things I’d be less inclined to reproduce.

    recipe

    Recipe for Apricot Chutney

    A couple days later we went back to the Kirstenbosch gardens for their Sunday summer concert series, which was … interesting, to say the least. The featured act that evening was Shaun Morgan, of the band Seether. I don’t know much about Seether other than they fit into a general ‘alt-rock’ catagory, which is not really my thing, but we all thought it would be fun. The garden was filled with grunge addicts from 15-50 with bleached, dyed-purple, shaved, or all-of-the-above heads; macabre-ly ironic T-shirts (like, “I Could Fucking Care Less”); and lots of black and safety pins. We felt odd to be there with our parents, but our minds were set to rest when South African native, Shaun Morgan took the stage to great applause and began singing one of his apparent hit songs, “Gasoline,” which opens with the charming line, “I wanna waste her monthly blood; Wanna get some on my love; Wanna get some gasoline; And burn the house down.” Charming, no? It was a strange show, but we had a blast.

    art shot

    Artsy shot of Shaun Morgan through binoculars.

    Another highlight was Robben Island. Unfortunately, Mom and India had to stay home to do flu (which my dad and I both got a few days later). We took a 1/2 hr boat ride out to the island, and were put on a tour bus. It could easily have been lame and touristy, but our tour guide for the first 1/2 was really fantastic. Very enthusiastic and full of titillating anecdotes (like: Robben Island became a leper colony in the 1800’s). He asked where everyone was from and had a story that pertained to everyone’s country of origin (British and Dutch traders began using Robben Island as a prison in the 1400’s). We then took a tour of the actual grounds and cells led by a former political prisoner, which was interesting, but made much more so by the fact that one of the tourists on our tour was himself a former political prisoner of Robben Island. He was one of the prisoners in the famous picture of the final boatload of political prisoners making its way into Cape Town harbour. He had not been to Robben Island since his release, and it was heartbreakingly powerful to see his deep and emotional reaction to the place and his memories there.

    Robben Island

    The last political prisoners to be released from the island.

    Other highlights: our trip to Khalelitsha to show our families Baphumelele:

    andy at Bap

    Babies at Bap

    wine tour

    Obligatory trip to the winelands!

    Bday lunch

    Mom's birthday lunch in CT

    And last, but not least, we finally managed to BRAAI HARD!!! The house we rented had an uber fancy braai pit, and we had Alex H. + family over on Xmas eve for a braai (topped off with Kristen’s killer cheesecake), and then a few more braais w/ various meats, shish-kabobs, and even marshmallows. Thank god we finally braaid, or we might have had to change the name of our blog! (Which, incidentally, makes less sense here since the worldwide release of “Live Free or Die Hard” was called “Die Hard 4.0″. I guess that whole American revolutionary speak doesn’t sell in Europe or something.

    braai

    Xmas eve braai. Yum.

    We’re back in Mount Frere now. More updates to come!

    ps-Update on our friend Oscar aka Santa Claus: He got into Wits University in Joburg. Congrats Oscar!

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