Tuesday, October 4, 2005

Man loses way, asks directions

Ok, my mom wrote and said, "Elinor Ann! You need to turn down the emotional content a little! It’s SO worrying! You’re making me SO nervous! I can’t STAND it!!”

Oh great, now SHE can’t sleep either. Oopsie!

That’s my mom. She loves to worry. So yeah, it’s NOT as bad as I make it sound, really. I just like to exaggerate. And take a little artistic license, you know. And I haven’t cried for days and days and days now ( really!) because it’s been fun here. Of course I did read in the paper the other day that crying is actually very GOOD for you. (Damn! Just when I’d given it up.) The two main positive developments are, first, I got my 24/7 internet connection (at last), and second, we spent a fantastic weekend away enjoying the wilds of Africa.

And we made it back! Last weekend we took our second trip to a game park, and oh, what a trip it was. THIS is why people love South Africa!

We left Friday morning. Graham and Belinda picked us up in a massive Mercedes people carrier (can’t call that one a mini-van) and we set off toward the northwest, and Botswana. Can you believe it? Botswana? Get out your geography textbooks.

We didn’t actually cross over the border, but the game park we went to, Madikwe, is right at the very edge of South Africa. You could throw a stone into another country from the fence! (Just like at the England/Wales border, or Indiana/Illinois... I know, I know... we’re all doing exotic things, aren’t we?)

Anyway, we had a lovely ride -- about 4 hours -- stopping for lunch at Wimpy (yes, they have Wimpy in South Africa too... and they’re just as ...”special”!) I had a fish filet, some strange french fries that really did taste like they were boiled in oil (but unfortunately perhaps a petroleum based product), and a brilliant antifreeze-green cream soda. Mmmmm. I probably should have stuck to a Haribo-based lunch instead! Maybe fewer artificial ingredients?

And we made another stop too, because we had to ask for directions. Somehow, Graham (who’s driven this route innumerable times with clients, guests, and so on) missed a turn, and so we stopped at a small store in the middle of nowhere to figure out where he went wrong.

And I had debated about bringing the video camera, but.... I didn’t. What the heck! Man, such a tragedy. I could have filmed one of those exceptionally rare moments -- a man stopping to ask for directions. That would have been even more popular than the Paris Hilton video! Could have made maybe a million bucks. But no. Oh well. As it turned out, he’d only driven us out of the way by about 2 km, but did we let him forget that? No WAY.

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