Yebo, Gogo! Guess who’s comin’ town? That’s right, boys and girls, it’s my very own Yankee Doodle MOM-O! Oh geez. South Africa better brace itself for this baseball loving, (lame) joke telling, heap-o-fun in a teeny tiny five foot package. Oh, sorry, little Mom, you’re actually five foot two (when you wear two inch heels). So what, you may ask, is on the itinerary while she’s here?
This is the kind of street art I thought only Bert from Mary Poppins does. But during a trip to Toronto I discovered that there are still a few dedicated artists who choose chalk and side walk to create their masterpieces. As much as I enjoyed watching the artist work, I enjoyed watching the reactions of other people even more. Businessmen in suits paused their cell phone conversations to take a look. Kids pulled their parents across the street to see. It seemed that no matter what type of rush they were in, everyone wanted a minute to the watch the transformation of a regular old piece of pavement into a work of art.
Travel blogs love to talk about the backpacking community. There’s this idea that all travelers are bound to one another by some cosmic energy; that their like-mindedness is the basis of a utopian society on the go. In many ways I agree. Mutual experience traveling – or even just a shared desire to travel – is an instant conversation starter. Put me in a room with anyone who’s been anywhere and I’m interested to know their story.
But this world of Travelers Without Borders is not wholly perfect. Just like in any community there is competition, misleading (intentional and unintentional) and jealousy. Jealousy is a big one.
I hesitate to call this a food post. After all this is not even remotely close to being a food blog. I may talk about trying new foods as a by-product of traveling, but it is a very low priority by-product. It’s really more something I say than do because it’s something you’re supposed to say in travel blogs. You see, I am not a Foodie. In fact, I am probably a Foodie’s worst nightmare. I know how to cook exactly nothing and have no interest in learning any more. While I enjoy nice food, it’s really the food I enjoy more than its adjective. “Nice” to me means anything satisfying at that particular moment. Given that I tend to only think of food when I am already past Hungry and heading towards Starving, “nice” translates to “instantaneous”. I may appreciate a gourmet French soufflé, but I enjoy McDonald’s just as much. I’d say on average I consume fast food burgers three to four times a week. Other meals consist of cereal, grilled cheese and your ever-popular liquid diet of alcohol. In culinary terms, I am a hot mess.
But lately something’s been happening. While it might not seem noteworthy to the casual observer, it is significant to me. I fear that I may be developing a slight case of culinary distinction. Slowly I am creating a hierarchy of consumables that is more sophisticated than just “Good” and “Bad.”
Here’s a nice start to your weekend. I took this picture yesterday from my apartment balcony. A maintenance worker from the building across the way was busy working on the roof. I watched as he finished up and put away his tools. Instead of moving on to the next thing, he made himself comfortable on the roof ledge, opened his book and started reading. With the ocean behind him and a blue-gray sky overhead it seemed the perfect place for a little break.
Let’s break for a moment from tips and tales of budget travel. Let’s leave the economical tent at home and forget to bring our own groceries on our next trip. Let’s imagine what it’s like to travel rich.
Fair enough, you’re not exactly poor. The fact that travel is even on your agenda shows that you’re not worried about where your next meal will come from, or how to pay the rent. But you’re probably not rich, either. Oh come on, don’t be offended by that. Let me ask you – do you budget for your trips? Do you save up to travel? If so, then you’re not rich; not the disgusting type of rich I’m talking about. Despite the economy, the environment and the social pressure to be middle class, there are still a few lucky bastards out there who are crazy, stupid rich. Before you condemn them to a politically correct prison, imagine that you were the villainous richy. Oh, and how quickly things change! Imagine that with your infinite piles of cold hard cash you could travel wherever and however you want. Where would you go? What would you do? And what sweet type of yacht would you go there in?
Here are a few of the places I would go (and maybe never leave).
Cape Town is a beautiful city. Its sparkly waters and even more sparkly people have made it the supermodel of Africa. Between million billion dollar luxury homes, trendy clubs and high end cocktails it’s a place that’s easy to have fun. But when the urge for a more chilled out weekend strikes, tuck the stilettos away and head out of town to camp in the Cederberg Mountains.
In the midst of your jabbering work day, it’s nice to be startled. The healthy green African bush contrasts so sharply with this perfectly preserved, burned flower that it startled JD and I on our most recent camping adventure. Once again South Africa keeps me on my toes, just as I thought I understood the Cederberg Mountains.
Here’s to a happy – and startling – weekend ahead!