Friday, April 04, 2008

Good Times with Hanzie


Now that I have a day off, I'm taking the time to FINALLY catch up on this thing. So, back to South Africa, where I spent five glorious days with one of my best friends from college, Hans (who now also goes by his middle name, Yurie). To make a long story short, Hans was working on "The Gilmore Girls" at the WB. He was in-between some of his paperwork, when our lovely government officials decided to invade his Silverlake home in the middle of the night (a la Terry Gilliam's 1985 Orwellian-noir "Brazil"), throwing him into a detention center without warning or recourse. Cut to the present, where he is back in South Africa, accepting his fate with a smile. He is not nearly as upset about the way he was treated as many of us are. We always joked about marrying so that he could stay in the States. Who knows. Maybe now we'll marry so that I can move to S. Africa.

He was living in a suburb outside of the main citybowl area called "pinelands" when I stayed with him, though I just got word that he has since moved into a flat at the base of Table Mountain. For only having spent 5 days there, I feel that I got to experience and see quite a bit. I already mentioned the underlying social dynamic and the socioeconomic divide -- so here is a recap of some of the fun stuff we did. 

We took a drive up the coast to this quaint little fishing village on the first day. On the way back, we ran into some drunk german soliders, one of which was L Ron Hubbard's doppelganger. We also stopped at this beach that was covered in penguins. It would be even better if the penguins were an unanticipated feature ... but there were penguin signs leading us there. On day two, we drove around this gorgeous national park, stopping at the Cape of Good Hope -- which is the southern most tip of the African continent. The high winds make the water rather choppy in this area, so the "good hope" goes back to the days of sailors needing some luck on their side to actually land there. Too bad you have to dive with a dry suit around those parts, since there are an abundance of shipwrecks to explore. 

We spent the third day wine tasting ... with this gay, Wizard of Oz themed tour company run by bears. It was just us and these two boys from the midwest -- who no joke, had met at a Renaissance faire (I believe an added "e" is appropriate when describing a fair of the renaissance kind). They kept telling us about the upcoming gay pride event, and how the gay village would soon shut down their streets for a parade. So when Hans and I arrived on Saturday night and pulled right up to the bar, we quickly put our weho expectations in check. Though Cape Town totes itself as the "pink city," gay pride was nothing more than a single tent and barricade. 
Another highlight was sunning on his favorite nude beach -- which is usually something I quite enjoy, except for this time, I had a gawker of the male kind that was annoying me (to say the least). 

On a final note, I was particularly enamored with the human parking meters that South Africa seems to employ. You never know how much to give them, and whether or not they're going to steal your car or protect it. As Hans would say, that's the "Africa" in South Africa.

1 comment:

luckyface said...

I also throw my support behind "Faire"...

From wikipedia:

Chicago journalist Neil Steinberg said (of the Bristol Renaissance Faire), "If theme parks, with their pasteboard main streets, reek of a bland, safe, homogenized, whitebread America, the Renaissance Faire is at the other end of the social spectrum, a whiff of the occult, a flash of danger and a hint of the erotic. Here, they let you throw axes. Here are more beer and bosoms than you'll find in all of Disney World."