September 29, 2008

cape town

I arrived in Cape Town about 5am (dark outside), and stepped carefully back into Africa (stepped/stumbled:  they were unable to locate lights for the path from the plane to the terminal).  There wasn't much of a line for citizens in the passport-checking area, but that didn't stop at least a few people from wandering right to the front of the line, as if to cut, and then just continuing on right past the passport-checkers, who were unable to really notice due to the poor design of the booths they sit in.  Hopefully those guys have no trouble with lack of passport stamps on their next leg, or perhaps it's just a known thing here that there's no need to bother with the hassle of official entrance/exit. 

Next up was a quick check on pricing for transportation:  For two people, it was R170 for the shuttle, or $240 for a cab.  The cab people were clearly not pleased with being undercut, but the shuttle was a great choice.  Despite my misdirections, Chris Holmes and I ended up at his further-away-than-I expected lodgings, and if anyone needs a shuttle driver recommendation, I can now provide.  Nobody answered the door at his B&B, and so we left the less important luggage on the stoop, and went out for a walk in the rain to morning coffee (at Seattle Coffee Company, a local chain).  Then some breakfast (food here is much more expensive than my last visit, but still much cheaper than the States).  Back at the B&B, I fell asleep for a few hours and Chris went to see a movie. 

I woke up and headed out to meet Karen, my cousin who lives nearby, but had forgotten that there was a big security door on the B&B.  Nobody else seemed home when I woke up, and after trying all the obvious looking switches near by, it looked like I needed a key to get outside.  Fortunately, I found a couple windows only a few meters off the ground that did not have bars, so I was able to myself and my luggage on a more unorthodox exit into the yard.

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