Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Selaam-Hakuna Matata

I'm finally back from one of the best trips i've taken so far! It's been 2 days since i've gotten home and I'm already bored, which isn't good, but i've got plenty of memories to last me a while. Selaam, Ethiopia, Hakuna Matata, South Africa.
"Selaam", i've done everything left to do since i've basically turned the country inside out since i was 5; now there isn't much to see that I haven't seen already! I had the chance to meet a lawyer who told me what I should do for the charity and then he started talking about things that went out my other ear. I left with a few accessories and came back with so much, that my suitcase was not close-able (so i resorted to sitting on it as I zipped it). I took an excessive amount of photos- for art of course. I went through 4 hail storms. My shoes had mud cakes one day as I slipped around while just trying to walk to the car from a construction site. I went to Hawassa and Longano... and Nazret AND Debre Libanos AND Shahshamene (which is rasta-ville) and I went up a mountain/rainforest to Aragash where I had a view of the canopies... it was beautiful until I was restricted from going any further into the jungle. I got a cold RIGHT before departure so as we took off, as we landed in Rome, as we took of from Rome, landed at home, I was suffering from a pain that I can easily compare to that of a wallaby being wrung to death before being fire roasted and skinned and stuffed in the Australian outbacks. I swear, my head was actually going to explode and my nose was being stabbed every now and then with a massive machete- no exaggeration. A day after landing, I was ok... I think.

South Africa:
"Hakuna Matata". Here's my story; I flew to Johannesburg from Ethiopia. We were detained in Joburg just because we breathed in Ethiopian air- and I am being very serious. We were told that we'd be deported but thanks to me, we fought for our right to go to Cape Town! I felt like the gladiator/warrior guy in '300'- victorious as I smirked and pushed aside that stupid security guard who was only good for eating food. South Africa's system is so corrupt... you know why? Money is your passport... the federals in SA are obsessed with money so for a hundred (give or take) dollars, we were free to catch the NEXT DAY'S FLIGHT to Cape Town. There wasn't a soul who wasn't involved with trying to free us from our holding area- aka, jail in Joberg. My great uncle was waiting for us in the Cape Town airport as he readied himself to hear our jail story which was due to the corrupt african mentality. We were greeted by the Table Mountains, which I never got a chance to climb because of the stupid clouds and wind... which really wouldn't have bothered me until they said they weren't allowing climbers/hikers because the wind could knock off anyone who tried. Soooo i spared my own life and enjoyed the view of the border between the Indian Ocean and the Atlantic Ocean at Cape Point, after visiting the Cape of Good Hope. I shouldn't fail to mention that a lot of the males I saw in Cape Town looked like Drake, the rapper! Anyways, we saw the Shanty Towns, Robben Island (where Nelson Mandela was jailed- and i visited his cell, which was actually that bad). The apartment me and my parents stayed at was right in front of the beach, which most people would call a luxury and i would call a nuance. Why? The people and the cars and the waves combined made it sound as if I were being ambushed every night before I fell asleep. While visiting Seal Island, i managed to bargain with this stubborn lady who let me purchase two wooden statues of Zulu Tribespeople with beaded decor for 45 Rand. I guess that's a good deal? But then this other guy who I bargained with for a beaded zulu bracelet gave me a hard time. I think I repeated myself at least 20 times until he finally let me buy it for... I forgot how low I bargained it down to but I was content in the end. THEN I tried to bargain this super nice lady's African jewelry down but my parents said I shouldn't... because she's originally from Ethiopia, of course! But I ended up paying for 80 R less because like I said, this lady who already gave me a lower price without me asking and let me pay with the money i had which was only 80 R less, was super nice. After all my bargaining troubles, I was definitely gonna wear everything I bought, every single freaking day. All in all, although I'm missing a lot of things about my visit to South Africa, like the tranquil safari, I know i'll be going back one day, because Cape Town is one of those places where you immediately feel like you're at home, even if the lady who gave us a baguette in the grocery store had a horrible attitude, Cape Town really is one of the best cities I've ever visited. (Oh and all that post- World Cup stuff really drove me crazy. I ended up getting a limited edition vuvuzela,waiting for me at my apartment from my great uncle, along with other things he decided to gift us with, most notably the Harvard scarf he was wearing that he randomly gave me because he THINKS I'm going there). Oh, mama Africa... what am I to do?

PS- I AM OBSESSED WITH THIS AFRIKAANS SOAP OPERA CALLED '7 DE LAAN'. Thank God for english subtitles because Afrikaans is a language I'll never want to learn.