* I guess the simplest, yet also the hardest, thing to get used to here in South Africa is you have to look right first when you cross the road. They drive on the left side of the road here, so look right or get run over. The other ‘odd’ thing is it s winter here. So I have pictures of late fall trees; yellow leaves and such.
* The other title of this post I had would have been ‘Orange Diplomacy’. I went climbing with a transplanted Oregonian (more later on that..) up north where it’s warmer (yea...). On the way back we dropped by a fruit stand and I bought a bag of oranges, about at least 30 of them, all softball size or larger. I got the bag for 10 rand, which is $1.25USD. Yes, that is one George bill and a George coin. So I’ve been walking around and giving them away to anyone who wanted one. One week later, I finally got rid of the last one. And yes, I did eat at least 1-2 oranges a day to help this process along. Great way to make friends and meet people.
* Climbing in South Africa is awesome. Most of the approaches are short and there are no lines for 5-star classic climbs. Even when it’s sunny at the crag and raining in Cape Town. Chris, the Oregonian, is here with his wife and kids. His wife is here on a Fullbright teaching exchange, he’s just chilling around and climbing. So we got a car for a few days and went up north and did some climbing in Montagu and Cederburg.
* Russian football was awesome! Go Russia! We went out to The Dubliner, a local Irish Pub, to watch the game between Russia and Netherlands. After we settled down, all these Dutch showed up in their Orange. So my buddy, Hanif, an Iranian from Sweden, decides we are cheering for Russia. We had some fun there until halftime, when we headed back to the hostel. We later regretted this decision as we weren’t there to rub the loss into the face of the Dutch. To my Dutch friends: I’m sorry.. I had to cheer for Russia... However... you HAVE to admit Russia played an AWESOME game, absolutely outstanding!!
* Robben Island is the place where the Apartheid government imprisoned their black political prisoners, most famous one being Nelson Mandela for 18 years. The tour was eye opening. I’ve never been to any European concentration camps so I don’t know what that would be like. At Robben Island, one thing you can get is a tour from a former inmate, and the stories.. wow! They showed how the dog kennels were larger then the prisoner cells. How the prisoners weren’t given a bed, just slept on a concrete floor. How even in prison they segregated the Asians, Colored (which in South Africa means mixed raced) and Blacks.
* The weather here has just been awful, rain every day. I've been up Table Mountain twice now and both times I've started out in clear blue sky and summited in the pouring rain. Most mornings I wake up late knowing that there will be rain in the morning and sunny in the afternoon. So it's been late mornings and late nights out. Cape Town has a blast none the less, and yes it's safe here. Very Safe.
Those are just some thoughts for now. May post more later.