Friday, October 30, 2009

i HEART taiwan

I am returning to the country that has my heart. Probably. You have no idea how thrilled I am. No. I. Dea. I am giddy with joy. I'm going to start screaming for pure excitement in a second.

Thursday, October 29, 2009

Ravioli with Jamie

A while ago I mentioned that I use to scoff at the idea of buying a Jamie Oliver cookbook. The thing is that I don’t really like celebrity chefs, with the exception of Kylie Kwong, and generally find the whole lot rather full of themselves and somehow a little dull.

So naturally when Alexander started paging through Jamie Oliver books I rolled my eyes and wandered over to the ‘Gay and Lesbian’ section of Exclusive Books to see if they removed all the straight sex guide books for the G&L section to make room for more thematically correct books (I’m always disappointed).

A month or so ago he finally decided to buy’ Cook with Jamie- My Guide to Making You a Better Cook’ (because right now you are a shitty cook). I expected to never use the book, but much to my surprise I have prepared loads of recipes from the book and find myself just paging through it for general guidelines from time to time.

The thing is that, despite a somewhat annoying ‘YOU CAN DO IT!’ undertone, this book really makes you just want to cook everything from it. It is a combination of straightforward instructions, recipes written in a simple conversational style and fantastic photographs. This is the kind of book that even my sister might find useful, if she ever decides to open a cookbook. You kind of have to go out of your way to mess anything up from these pages, it is that simple.

I decided to give myself a bit of a challenge and make ravioli from scratch for dinner the other night. I have never attempted anything like this before. But he made it seem pretty straightforward and so I decided to give it a go.

His instructions for making the pasta dough was clear and simple, although it took plenty of effort in the kneading department and had me lay into it with my elbows at one point as my wrists and hands began to ache too much! After letting it rest for a while I started with the rolling-out part. Which was just as hard work as I did not have a pasta machine (like he did). So I set to work with a rolling pin and empty wine bottle. Alexander and I took turns rolling out balls of pasta into flat sheets. More aching hands and wrists followed. When the pasta seemed thin enough we placed the fillings in place, sealed it and cut out the individual ravioli circles. They looked adorable and I was proud of our hard work. Now it just had to hold together during the cooking process.

This was where things went a bit wrong. Instead of being able to boil my ravioli for only a few minutes I had to boil it a lot longer before it was cooked. Reason for this is that I did not roll it thin enough, I know, I am a wimp. In the process of cooking it longer some of the circles came apart, loosing its’ filling. Not all was lost though and in the end it came out mostly pretty and tasting fine.

Will I do it again? Yesterday I said hell no, today, maybe. If I had a pasta machine perhaps and also if I could lay my hands on the Tipo 00 flour he suggested which is supposed to be finer and might make kneading a bit easier.

For now, there are lots of other recipes in his book I’d gladly give a go.

* Thanks to Alexander for the pictures.
** I was originally going to post the recipe, but after all that work maybe not this time. Just go and buy the book if you’re curious!

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

I desire- a coffee maker

We have a really cute espresso maker, a french press and several Vietnamese coffee drips in our home. They all contribute to keeping us caffeinated and happy. It's a good selection which means we can have coffee in more ways than one. But I am starting to really-really miss having a good old fashioned drip coffee maker. I used to have ones in the past, but not since Bangkok have we had one. If we weren't moving early next year I'd get one now, but that seems like a waste.

I miss the whole ritual of the coffee maker. The filter paper that gets filled with ground coffee, filling the machine with cold water, flicking the switch and listening to the dripping sound of the water falling through the filter into the pot and the gargling noises it makes while preparing the coffee. And then I love how you can make a big pot and have a couple of cups in a row, working up a steady buzz. I remember working on sewing projects long ago this way, making a big pot late in the evening and working through the night, refilling my cup often, going on a complete caffeine high and dancing and sewing through the night.

It does not have to be anything fancy, just a simple black or white one would do. All I ask is that it has a glass pot so I can see the coffee level rising. Tired of your machine? I'll provide a good home until February!

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Potential travel routes

Looking at my blog title and 'About' bit and then looking at my blog content I discovered there is not a whole lot of traveling happening on it... yet. Well, it's a while before we will leave South Africa so there's my excuse. But I know it is not enough, so I will give you some potential itineraries and future plans we've been looking at.

#1- spend the next 2/3 years traveling around the world. Starting with a road trip along the SA coast and moving inland to Limpopo province to spend time with my family and be around for the birth of my brother's first kid. Head to the US and spend spring with X's family and in the States. Work in Canada for the summer and then head to Bogotta to visit a friend and live for a bit. Travel overland tthrough Ecuador, Peru and Chile to Argentina and settle in BA for half a year. Fly back to SA, visit friends and family. Head over to SE Asia and visit Malaysia and Thailand before flying to Taiwan for a stay. Fly back to US via Japan. This plan sounds the most fun to me and I still want to do it a lot, but since this one there have been others...

#2- This one is the same as the first, only we travel through Latin America faster nad stay in Taiwan for a year before going back to the US.

#3- I don't really like this one because it does not include Latin America, but has us go back to New Mexico after our summer in Canada, potentially for me to further my studies in education.

#4- This one too I like, same as the first with a bit of a visit in Bogotta before going back to Taiwan for a year and then back to the US.

As I type other routes are being discussed. Which one will we choose?

Royale Dinner

One place I consistently missed in Cape Town after leaving in 2006 was Royale Eatery, a seriously fun restaurant on Long street. Royale’s main claim to fame is there impressive range of burgers, mostly of the gourmet variety. From hearty meat burgers to 100% vegan ones, there is something for just about everyone. Besides burgers they also have an impressive pizza and pasta menu, fantastic salads, wicked shakes and innovative cocktails. But it is the burgers that keep me going back.

I usually made a point of ordering something else from the menu on every visit, never to be disappointed by my selection. Their burgers are universally well-prepared and good fun. That was until July of this year. We went there with Alexander’s family and I decided to try the very simple ‘Miss Piggy’. Beef patty, bacon and guacamole. One bite and I was sold. It was by far the best burger I’ve ever had there, and I’ve had plenty to compare it too. The beef burger was grilled to perfection, the bacon crunchy and the guacamole provided a rich and smooth accompaniment. I was sold.

We went back a week later and I ordered exactly the same. Recently we went there for a small celebration and I tried the ‘Hawaiian Miss Piggy’, served with a slice of pineapple. It was good but not great.

So when we went there with some friends this past Saturday for our second burger fix of the week, I did not even look at the menu. I knew what I was getting.

And it did not disappoint. The ‘Miss Piggy’ is the perfect burger, I think it would stand up to Tim’s standards of a great burger. I believe we’ll go back there a couple more times before leaving Cape Town, and whereas I will gladly change my drink of choice every time, my teeth will only be sunk into one kind of burger.

Monday, October 26, 2009

This is making me a whole lot of angry.

This image makes me feel a lot of things, uncomfortable, sad, confused, scared and sick, but mostly it just makes me feel incredibly angry. WTF? I was reading Dlisted this afternoon when this image of 9-year old Noah Cyrus popped up. You can read his take on it and see more scary images here and here.

We live in a world which condemns child molesters and where child pornography is a big no-no. But then it is okay for people to dress there pre-teenage kids like Moulin Rouge hookers for Halloween? I am so not okay with this. This freaks me out. If you look at some of the other images you'll see that her teeth are not even properly grown out, she's at that awkward phase where they look too big for her head, yet she looks about ready to be dropped off on some street corner to turn tricks for the evening.

This is not the first time she's appeared looking like a prozzy in public, search for images on google and you'll find plenty of uncomfortable imagery to get sick from.

And if you think I am just being crude and overexagerating, please try to enlighten me. You will fail though and if you have kids I am reporting you to child services. Because let's face it, somewhere a couple of pedophiles are just loving this

Sunday, October 25, 2009

Sunday breakfast- lavender pancakes

Just chopped up some fresh lavender and added it to the mix. Simple. Satisfying. Sunday.

Friday, October 23, 2009

Take me back to your house: New England A-frame

The October/November issue of ReadyMade is filling me with the kind of envy generally reserved for kindergarten playgrounds. Things could get dirty. In this issue they feature several ‘small space’ homes that have been cleverly furnished and decorated without sacrificing space.

All of them are tres adorable and makes me wish I had a shipping container or wine barrel to turn into a nest of our own. Look at these two:

The one on the left is the 300 sq feet of Susan Surface, an architecture student and smart planner; her small apartment seems uncluttered, intimate and very hip. The other one belongs to Hartman Keble, a designer and general contractor who set up a container close to his favorite surf spot near Seattle. Despite it being miniscule, through clever design elements like a fold-down table and bed it seems pretty roomy. And it comes with a cute mustachioed surfer. I think I have a crush.

The highlight of this issue though is the A-frame home of graphic designer and art director Julia Brabec. Take me back to your house!

She bought it a couple of years ago when moving to New Hampshire. The 1960s house sits on a wooded property giving all-round views of tall birches (I think?) changing color with the seasons. The moment she saw it she knew it was right for her.

After some renovations she set about decorating. Her chic flea market finds and a neutral color palette with flashes of bold red, sea-foam green and cool blue. Midcentury-modern pieces look perfect in her house like the armchair and coffee table below, along with sweet decorative items like the birdy paperweight and the A-frame birdhouse.

And who would not want to wake up to this view and under such beautiful bedding? And love the lampshade. Envy!

* The images were scanned from the October/November issue of ReadyMade.
** For more pictures of Hartman Keble's place visit his Sadly no pics of the mustachioed surfer there.
*** This entry is part of the ‘Take me back to your house’ series

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Entertaining with burgers

We are on a bit of a burger-consuming spree at the moment. Probably bad for the waist and general health, but great for my wellbeing. Good Burger=Happy Bordeaux. Last week we went out for them twice. Once at Royale and then again at some place the name of which I have completely forgotten. It starts with a B. This coming Saturday we are going back to Royale with some friends and when we decided to invite a friend over for dinner last night I decided on burgers for dinner. Told you we were on a spree.

We started the evening by enjoying the refreshing popular cup, a retro drink Alexander mixed earlier in the day for our picnic lunch.

For dinner I decided to have everyone assemble their own meals, instead of struggling with this part in the kitchen. I enjoy the idea of an interactive meal. I set out the cooked burgers, Italian rolls, caramelized onions, rocket, yogurt and dill dip, chutney and a mayo and sri-ratcha dip on the table alongside the roasted root vegetables (sweet potatoes, potatoes, kohlrabi and whole garlic). Simple!

I decided to serve Eaton mess for desert; it seemed a fun way to end the evening. No pictures of those unfortunately as they turned out to be a hot mess, I managed to burnt the meringues. Still tasted okay though.

It was a fun evening with good food and great company, accompanied by bottles of Beyerskloof Pinotage our generous host brought along. Needless to say I woke up this morning feeling a little brittle and am still suffering a little from over indulgence at the moment. I do so not enjoy aging…

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

I desire- wooden radio

A friend took over our Internet connection for a moment yesterday to point out these incredibly cool and beautiful wooden radios to us. Isn’t it adorable? I totally want one. You can listen to the radio or hook it up to an iPod or MP3 player, and you plug it into a power outlet or use batteries with it.

These babies are the brainchild of Indonesian designer Singgih Susilo Kartono. Not only do these radios create employment, but they are also crafted from responsibly sourced wood. Singgih makes sure that for every tree cut down to make radios another gets planted. The whole community is involved. And only a small amount of wood is used to make one radio.

For more product information and to find out about shops go visit Wooden Radio. I think you can order from the webpage, just mail me for my address details. Thanks!

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

An active day in the city: Cape Town, October 20, 2009

We woke up this morning at 4:45 to hike up Lion's Head again. Our friend Christel came to pick us up at 5 and minutes later we began our ascent. The light was faintly starting to change when we started our climb, by the time we reached the top the sun was just coming over Durbanville Hills and by the time we reached the bottom it was bright sunlight. We used to climb the mountain about three times a week during the summer, but have been pretty inactive during the winter. Hopefully we can get back into this routine. The sunrise sure makes the early rising worth it.

After our hike we went home and prepared for a day out in False Bay. It really feels like summer is here and today seemed perfect for going to the beach. We packed a picnic lunch, grabbed some books and sunscreen and headed to the tidal pool at St. James Beach, between Muizenberg and Kalk Bay. After dipping my toes into the water I decided against a swim. Instead we hung out on the beach, watching kids splashing in the shallow pool and trains going by.

We enjoyed a lunch of home-made Vietnamese sandwiches, complete with pickles, and root beer. One of these days I'm going to make root beer floats with these.

Around noon I began getting worried about suburn so we decided to head to Kalk Bay and treat ourselves to the best ice-creams in the city at The Ice Cafe. I had turkish delight and rooibos and Alexander had turkish delight with ginger. Superb! I wish they were closer, I'd go every day.

For more stories on False Bay head over to Primitive Culture.

Sunday, October 18, 2009

Gat Party!

Recently a friend had to write a Sociology essay on subcultures and dancing (fun!) and decided to do her research at a Gat Party (literally meaning Ass Party or Hole Party depending on how polite you feel).

This event is a bit of a local gay and lesbian phenomenon, something we’ve only heard of. From what I understood it is an event where same-sex couples and friends go to langarm, kind of like a barn dance. It always sounded a bit trashy and quite tacky so of course I felt the need to get my own gat over to one at some point. So when she decided to drag us along for support and research purposes I was not about to say no thanks.

The parties are held every first, second and last Saturday of a month in a hall on the grounds of the Theo Marais Park Rugby Club (yes you read correctly) out in Milnerton. There is a small entrance fee and drinks can be bought at the bar (silly cheap) OR you can bring your own! What many groups of friends do is book a table ahead of time, take baskets or coolers with drinks and make a big night of it. I felt a bit left out not having a table of our own.

Entering the hall instantly took me back to the school dances of my youth- individual groups dancing in circles in the middle and couples going at it in a wider circle around them with the rest of the crowds hanging out on the perimeters of the hall. My first instinct was to run for the doors. Instead we opted to stay for a beer and join the crowds on the dance floor.

I have to admit to expect the atmosphere to be a bit bitchy and, well, terribly trashy. I was pleased to discover that there was not nastiness and snide side-eye going around and the crowds was a curious mix of the hip and trendy, odd hair from the northern suburbs, middle-aged ones, leather daddies, power lesbians, transsexuals and drag queens and a couple seriously sucking face the whole night long on the dance floor. The décor included a disco ball and some flashy lights while every now and then a strobe light would get turned on. And a smoke machine of course.

It was the high school dances of my youth, without the bitchiness.

We stayed for a couple of songs, bumped into some friends, and enjoyed the fun mood of the Gat Party. I must admit to being pleasantly impressed.

On the way home the car was buzzing with discussions on subcultures, which I sat quietly through as I was not blessed with a case of the intellectuals. But I did do some thinking about the whole event. These parties were born out of people’s need to create a space where they could feel comfortable enjoying the kind of social dances where they did not have to conform to the hetero-normative expectations of how it should be like. I know I am saying this a lot, but it really was exactly like a high school dance, but one where I felt completely comfortable, and I think this is part of why it is so successful.

We’re thinking of going again. But next time we are booking a table. It’s what the cool kids do.

* Apologies for the quality of the pictures, my camera is not doing so well in the dark. Some of the pictures were taken by Christel.
** After doing some further research I was disappointed to discover it was not named for anybody’s ass but because the original event was hosted nearby some quarry hole.
*** The parties take place three times a month; music seriously is to everybody’s taste (which is somewhat confusing to my rhythm). Check out there Facebook page for more info.

Friday, October 16, 2009

Take me back to your house

Due to the fact that I suffer from commitment issues when it comes to settling in one place we have decided to ditch our digs here in Cape Town at the end of February next year (when our contract ends) and get back into a life of sleeping in unfamiliar beds, cooking in unknown kitchens and getting our laundry done by strangers.

I know that I will get miserable at times and wish we had our own home and that we could stay put in one place for more than 12 months. To console myself I will be scouring the net for pictures of attractive homes of those who actually succeeds where I have failed and share them with you in a feature I’m Christening ‘Take me Back to your House’ after the Basement Jaxx song of the same name. Breathe! That was a very long sentence.

For today, no house, only a veedeeO of the abovementioned song. Fun!

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Baking with carrots #2

After the carrot cake there were loads more carrots left. And now there are loads more after today’s delivery. I’m going to have to start eating only carrots from now on until this craziness ends. Not that I’m complaining mind you, I like carrots, it’s just that there’s really A LOT.

My second use for some of them was to try making carrot and bran muffins. I looked up some recipes on and found a bran muffin recipe that was very simple, but called for applesauce. I forget the link to the recipe, apologies to the original creator. Mine’s much different actually though so I suppose it’s fine if I just claim this one for myself.

What I did was make a carrot sauce instead of applesauce and add lots of freshly grated carrot as well to the whole mix. And as far as muffins go I think this one is pretty healthy. Very little oil goes into it, not too much sugar (I think) and lots of healthy bran and carrots.

Carrot bran muffins (makes about big ones)

Carrot sauce:
1 cup packed grated carrot
½ cup light brown sugar
½ cup water

Combine all the ingredients in a saucepan and heat over moderate heat until sugar is melted and carrots soften. Allow to cool, then briefly puree in a blender.

Carrot-bran muffins:
1.5 cups bran
2 cups self-raising flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
½ teaspoon salt
2 eggs
1 cup grated carrot
1 cup carrot sauce
4 tablespoons vegetable oil
¼ cup plain yogurt (potentially more)
½ teaspoon vanilla
cinnamon sugar

Preheat oven to 200C and prepare muffin tins. Whisk all the dry ingredients together, add the eggs, carrot sauce, oil and yogurt and fold everything together until just combined. If the batter seems a bit dry, add more yogurt in small quantities at a time until it is just moist enough. Spoon large spoonfuls of the batter into the prepared tins, sprinkle with some cinnamon sugar and bake for about 15 minutes, turning halfway through. Allow to cool slightly before turning them out onto a cooling rack.

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Baking with carrots #1

Since we started receiving our weekly loot from Wild Organics I’ve been having fun cooking with fennel, peas, leeks, potatoes and sweet potatoes. All things I enjoy but for some reason never buy when out shopping. Every week we get something different, last week we got fresh turmeric roots. Whoa! Curry will be prepared from scratch again in this here household.

They’ve been pretty good at changing the fruit and veggies in the bag each week, keeping up a good variety going. The one thing that seems to be a constant though is the bunch of carrots we receive each week. And not some puny bunch, it’s a big bushel with loads of carrots dangling off the leafy stems. Of course, they are not anything like the giant Chernobyl types you get at the store; it’s just that there is a lot. I’ve been inundated with Daucus carota. Hey, the carrot is a member of the parsley family I just read. Sensational stuff.

Instead of being doing the healthy thing and chomping on whole carrots all day long I decided to go on a tiny baking spree with all the orange roots. First off was an attempt at carrot cake. Alexander picked up Cook with Jamie a while ago and though I scoffed at first I must admit that I be loooooving the book. More about that another time though. In this book there is a fantastic sounding recipe for carrot cake and so on an overcast Sunday two weeks ago I baked it for coffee at a friend’s.

I followed the recipe pretty accurately, except for the frosting, which called for limes. As this is not Thailand, limes are terribly seasonal so I thought of using grapefruit instead. The slightly bitter tang of the frosting worked wonderfully with the rich spiciness of the carrot cake. If you want to go for limes, you will need zest and juice of two limes.

A Rather Pleasing Carrot Cake with Lime Mascarpone Frosting (or Grapefruit Mascarpone Frosting in my case)

250g unsalted butter
250g light brown sugar
5 large eggs, separated
zest and juice of 1 orange
170g self-raising flour
1 slightly heaped tablespoon baking powder
100g ground almonds
100g chopped walnuts, plus some more for topping the frosting
1 heaped teaspoon cinnamon
½ teaspoon ground ginger
250g carrots, coarsely grated
pinch of salt

for the frosting:
100g mascarpone cheese
200g full-fat cream cheese
85g icing sugar (feel free to up this a bit to make the frosting less runny and if your frosting is too bitter)
zest and juice of half a grapefruit

Preheat oven to 180C and prepare a 9inch bread tin by greasing and lining it. Beat butter and sugar together until creamy, then add the eggs one at a time until incorporated. Add the orange zest and juice and beat in. Stir in flour, baking powder, rest of the dry ingredients and carrots and mix together.

In a separate bowl, whisk the egg whites until stiff with the pinch of salt. Fold it into the cake mix until incorporated and pour the batter into the tin. Bake for 50 minutes, turning halfway, or a skewer inserted in the middle comes out clean and the cake is risen and a nice golden colour.

Allow it to cool for ten minutes in the tin before turning it out and cooling it for another hour on a rack.

For the frosting, mix together all the ingredients until smooth and spread over the cake. Top with the rest of the walnuts and serve.

* Original recipe taken from Cooking with Jamie- A Guide to Making You a Better Cook
** Pictures by Alexander

Monday, October 12, 2009

But they're gay!

Remember that episode of Sex and the City where Samantha was going to have a three-way with a gay couple, before they spurned her in bed in favor of cheesecake or gelato? I think it was titled Was it Good for You? I think it is one of my favorite episodes and a good example of what that lame excuse of a movie version of the show was missing. Wit, good acting, smart costumes- not those drag outfits Samantha whore (not a type-o) for the movie, and an intelligent script.

One of Carrie’s lines from the episode repeated itself over and over again as I was preparing these butterfly lavender shortbread cookies the other day. I forget if it was when Samantha told her about the idea or afterwards when they were witnessing the lingam massage, but the line was a shocked and humored, ‘But they’re gay!’ Maybe it was after.

Now these cookies most certainly do not claim to be anything completely queer, but I still think the line works with them. They are by far the gay-est things ever to come out of my kitchen. Freshly chopped lavender flowers, butterfly-shaped and a little pink. Best enjoyed with a civilized tea.

110g butter at room temperature
60g castor sugar, plus more for dusting
170g all-purpose flour
5 lavender buds, finely chopped
½ teaspoon water, potentially more
½ teaspoon pink food coloring

- Preheat the oven to 170C and line a cookie sheet with baking paper or a silicone sheet.
- Beat the butter and sugar together until creamy.
- Sift in the flour, add the lavender buds, water and food coloring and work it into a smooth paste. If the dough seems very dry add a little more water, never more than a teaspoon at a time. You do not want a dough that is too watery or too dry.
- On a lightly floured surface, roll out the dough into a 2mm thick rectangle and prick the surface lightly.
- Cut out shapes (you don’t have to go with butterflies of course) and carefully lift them of the surface and place them on the cookie sheet. Refrigerate until firm, about 15 minutes and back, rotating halfway, for about 40 minutes.
- Allow to cool for about two minutes before transferring it to a wire rack to cool completely and store in an airtight container.

* This recipe is based on a recipe for Lavender Shortbread Lollipops in the October 2009 issue of Food & Home Entertaining.
** Pictures taken by Alexander

It's been good but, well...

While visiting Taiwan last July Alexander suggested to me that it was time we think about settling in one of our respective home countries. Living in Asia has been fun he said, but it was time to be somewhere familiar and be surrounded by people who speak the same language as us. My heart dropped.

At this point we have been living in Bangkok for just under a year. We spent the summer in Taiwan, where I lived for 6 years until 2006, teaching summer school and visiting old friends. Ever since my first visit to Taiwan I was pretty attached to Asia, and after years in Taiwan I was pretty used to language and cultural barriers, as frustrating as they may be at times. I lived in South Africa again for most of 2006, but it did not work for me. I desired to be somewhere foreign. So we decided to start traveling together, and as he’s never been to Asia and I loved it so much it seemed an obvious choice. I was happy here and could easily have stayed. I was not exactly ready to move back to South Africa again.

After some initial hesitation I warmed to the idea and we decided to try moving back to his native United States. The US would work for me. I love it there and even though I understand the language perfectly and it feels closer to home than anywhere in Asia I would still be ‘a foreigner.’ However, our dream of living back in Los Angeles soon disintegrated as we realized that we had/have absolutely zero chance of being allowed the same privileges afforded to heterosexual couples in the US. As a gay couple, of which one half is not American, we would not be very welcome. Those homophobes at immigration would not hear about it.

This unfortunate realization was met by some depression from both of us. But despair soon turned into joy as we realized that we could move back to South Africa, get married here and settle into a comfortable lifestyle in Cape Town, the city where we met and both loved.

Admittedly I was still a little hesitant, I was worried that I would not be able to quite root back in SA again. But, I love the country; it is where many of my friends and all of my family is. The food is fun, it’s a beautiful place and we’d be able to possibly start our own café. So a decision was made and about 7 months later we arrived in Cape Town. Ready for a new start and very ready to settle into our own home, especially after being on the road for the last part of 2008.

And now, after another 8 months have lapsed, we are pretty settled. We have a washing machine, I re-upholstered the sofa, we painted, there is a garden happening on the balcony, we have a popular food stand at the Neighbourgoods Market, and a standing order at Wild Organics for fresh produce every week. It’s a good life. Only two weeks ago I suggested we get a dog.

Until I got this email from a friend hinting that I should come visit her in Canada. Which got me to thinking about traveling again. Leading to me realizing that despite enjoying this settled business there has been something missing in my life since about June this year. And that’s when I turned to Alexander in the middle of a market day and suggested we quit this baby, book some flights and start living the peripatetic life again.

You know that thing about hesitation before an answer meaning no? Well there was no hesitation in his answer and by the time we met with some friends for Sunday brunch the next day we pretty much had an itinerary for the next 3 years planned.

As for all the traces in our apartment of an established life, it will be hard parting with some of them. We cannot afford putting everything into storage, so some things we’ll have to sell, give away or donate. Some will go into storage at my parents for the next time we feel like settling. The dreams of getting a French bulldog, a pug and two stray cats will have to be shelved for now. I’m sure I’ll get to acquaint myself with many friendly cats along the way as a consolation.

It was good being settled and living in South Africa again. Despite the shitty internet, extortionist bank charges (yes I’m talking about you FNB), sycophantic celebrity culture (thanks Alexander- and if you clicked on the link and thought both of those were unattractive ladies you're WRONG), and cheap style (a nod in the direction of Truworths), it is a brilliant place to live and I love it here. But, well… there’s a plane ticket with my name on it and I have to go claim it.
Related Posts with Thumbnails