Last month, I finally met my first Canadian who lives in Port Elizabeth, so this brought my total of known North Americans in the city up to five in total. It was exciting to say the least. She recognized the Blue Jays hat first of all, and then told went onto tell me that she was from Mississauga. Which allowed me to bluff my somewhat knowledge of Ontario due to my summer of working in Parry Sound, and of course staying with friends like Nibs, Doodle, and Iron Man while I was in the T-Dot itself.
South Africa has been nice lately, it rained for about the third time this past week in the time that I have been here. I am just wrapping things up for the most part, but to try and get a handle on what I have done to survive here I am going to provide numerous lists, because people love the lists.
Music that has epitomized my time here:
1. 2Pac – No one even comes close to providing a soundtrack to my daily life here whether it is at the Masakhane Gym or driving around to wherever we need to go. Always a great start to the day.
2. Rudimental – My reflection music for the most part on the weekends, it is upbeat and pretty great as well.
3. David Myles – Mellow, catchy, and upbeat. He is hard to beat when craving the East Coast of home, to the East Coast of South Africa.
4. Girl Talk – The best music I have to cook to, pasta, stir fry, and omelettes do not stand a chance with the whole album playing through.
5. Nine Inch Nails – Not much to explain here, some days will not be great, but listening to some NIN will make you look a bit more positively at your life, or get you jacked up enough to tear everything else down. Either or.
1. Sons of Anarchy – I had the idea of creating a biker gang with the guys at the gym, only thing missing was a mass import of Harleys and some sweet leather cuts.
2. Homeland – Mental illness, terrorism, and some edginess?! Hard not to like in my opinion.
3. Breaking Bad – Was never my favourite series, but the last season was fantastic. Crystal Meth is also quite common here, and destroys a lot of people, so there is some truth in fiction and reality.
1. Neil Gaiman – I’ve read American Gods, The Graveyard Book, and The Ocean at the End of the Lane since I have been here. All our thoroughly enjoyable, and are a nice offset to life.
2. Malcolm Gladwell – I’ve read Outliers and David & Goliath. Some of the easiest books that I have ever read. They just flow and are positive.
3. Louis Lamour – I read my first western. It was difficult at first, and predictable, but enjoyable nonetheless, especially as a collection of short stories.
1. Bed Bugs – I had a two week battle with these suckers, my feet were the ones to suffer the most. Doom! is the worst insect spray, always spend extra on Raid.
2. Spiders – I have a nice toonie sized scar on my wrist from being bit in my sleep. I did not die, so I am thinking that it was not deadly, and there was no nerve damage. Double win!
3. Flying Ants – The most useless things I have ever encountered, they do not bite, but just hover on sidewalks only. The concrete jungle is where they exist. They are worse than mosquitoes or black flies.
Things South Africa is doing well:
1. Feta – Nothing compares with the numerous types and options of feta here. Just adds to your day.
2. Avocado – Put it on everything.
3. Pizza – The best pizza I have ever had, especially if you throw the first two things on top. There is no donair sauce, but every pizza gets Parmesan, diced chillies, and garlic. Ballin’!
4. Breakfast prices – The equivalent to a $2 breakfast back home including a fried tomato, two eggs, two rashers of bacon, two pieces of toast, and fries. Always a well balanced way to start the day.
5. Destroying my clothes – I am down to fewer clothes than I had initially brought with me, and I expect the number to continue to dwindle until I arrive back in Canada.
The journey home:
1. Port Elizabeth, South Africa – The jump-off.
2. Johannesburg, South Africa – Bring the ruckus.
3. Addis Ababa, Ethiopia – You can call me Addis.
4. Rome, Italy – We are halfway there.
5. Toronto, Ontario – The time zones, they are a changin’. Good enough, it is Canada.
6. Halifax, Nova Scotia – The Maritimes welcome us back into her wonderful bosom, comparable to a White Snake concert.
Catch you on the flip side.