I can't believe that after all this time, my first instinct is still to write out that stupid line!
Well gang, I have finally returned from my month of galavanting around the country digging for a German's research. It was really such an experience! We first went off to Darling, a small town half an hour north of Cape Town. It took us 21 hours to get there from Pretoria, a trip which should have taken 14 hours at the most. It took so long because of the fact that the vehicle we were using was completely messed up. There was something wrong with the battery and it was severly overdue for a service; about 6000km overdue.
Darling was really interesting for me because, as someone who has lived their whole life in a city, going to a small town was very strange. Firstly, the small town sense of humour is...odd to say the least. They seem to find small things hysterically funny. Secondly, they are incredibly generous and warm! If someone I had been staying with in Joburg wanted to hug me goodbye after knowing them for a week, I would be mildly freaked out and wonder what is going on inside their heads. But somehow, when the wife of the farmer whose farm we were staying on hugged us all goodbye, it was perfectly fine. Thirdly, small town folk are easily entertained.
A good example is what transpired one evening at the home of an orchid farmer who is a relative of the people who hosted us. This guy and the son of our hosts had organised a kind of welcome braai (barbeque for you who have no clue what I'm on about) for us at the house of the orchid farmer. The evening began fairly normally and we drank quite a lot of wine. We ended up eating very late and soon after feeding, we were joined by some other people from Darling. How they fitted into the general social equation completely eludes me.
Anyway, we all had some more to drink and got to know each other. One was a local resident and the other was a German who had come over here for work or something. The only thing that I really remeber about him was that the German who we were with was really not impressed with him. After some more drinks, our host, the orchid farmer, decided to put some music on. He asked us if we would mind his 1930's jazz and blues. We said we were happy with that and he proceeded to put on the music. The problem was, that it was not 1930's jazz and blues! It was Abba and Westlife and all kinds of horrid sounds! What made things so much worse was the fact that he then insisted on playing along to all of it on his piano! It was aweful!
Helen, Nicole and I were all in fits of giggles! All the others seemed to be thoroughly enjoying it all! They were all dancing, in a sort of dancing-in-someones-livingroom-is-silly-so-I'll-just-kind-of-sway-my-hips-like-a-complete-fruitbasket-instead kind of way. This certainly didn't help to bring the giggles under control. The German guy was particularly keen on the Beach Boys.
Eventually, we went home after signing the orchid guy's visitors book (yes, he has a visitors book...FOR HIS HOUSE!), and I had somehow developed hiccups and was rather tipsy. It was rather embarassing because the guy giving us a lift was convinced that I was going to throw up all over his car but I was fine. And trying to convince someone that you are not going to do the technicolour yawn in his car when you have hiccups isn't easy. Everytime you say something you pack up in fits of giggles because it's so funny that you hiccuped!
The morning after, the farmer's wife (the guy we were staying with, not the orchid guy) came and asked us if the orchid guy had played piano for us. When we responded in the affirmative, she rattled on about how it was so beautiful when he did that and how she loved to visit him just so that he could play for her...Hence the fact that they are all easily amused.
And I think that that is enough of a rant for today. I leave you with a photo of one of the holes that I dug in an attempt to find a molerat tunnel. It was big enough to bury someone in and, as it turned out, was a fruitless venture.