Monday, December 19, 2011

A Lifetime


I signed back into Bob’s and was greeted by Terry’s familiar face. “You have returned,” he exclaimed. Yup, I made it. I was back in downtown Cape Town for a last foray around the city, before heading to the suburbs and my aunt and uncle’s house. It was nice to step into a familiar place again and be welcomed by a known face.

“You’ve put on weight,” Terry continued. “It looks good.” His eyes dipped briefly to the most obvious spot that the aforementioned weight had landed. Yes, my thread-bare bra was now stretched to the max.

“Yeah right,” I thought, but could not deny it. My chubby cheeks and straining pants were a tell-tale sign that not everyone is starving in Africa. The many days and nights spent in the passenger seat of a travelling truck had taken their toll. Not to mention all the food that I had scarfed along route. In fact, before hitting the hostel, I had stopped for breakfast at Nino’s. I decided that I deserved to splurge on breakfast after surviving the questionable transportation I had endured over the last month. A R20 English breakfast was no match for this eating machine and my servers were thoroughly impressed. The only thing left was a mere croissant, which I slipped into my bag to save for later. The lady can eat folks!

I made a mental note to cut back on the carbs when I finally hit Canadian soil again. And yes, a little exercise might not hurt either, especially after watching the arm on the scale swing wildly back and forth under my tread. Even with my shoddy conversion of kilograms into pounds, I was shocked to note that I was the heaviest I had ever been in my life. No wonder all I wore was my stretchy peasant skirt! Could I really have ballooned up to 70 kg? It was definitely time for some exercise.

With that in mind, I stowed my pack and headed out to walk around the city. Over the days that followed, I wandered through art galleries, perused the Cape Town Museum in a downpour, did some last minute shopping on my limited budget and even managed to hook up with my cousin Greg to say hello. I desperately tried to cram in as much culture as I could in my remaining hours. 

Now that the days were numbered though, the hours flew by. I realized that I would not make it to the top of Table Mountain, nor out to wander around Robben Island. There was time enough to visit with relatives, and as that was the reason why I came to South Africa in the first place, I returned to the arms of my kin. Indeed, when I returned to Brackenfell, my father’s brother greeted me with all the warmth he possessed, as if we had known each other my whole life, versus the short few months that I had been on the African continent.

In the grand scheme of things though, I suppose that my life in Africa was a lifetime in and of itself. 

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