Wednesday, November 04, 2009

Let's hope the truth is somewhere in between.

Tomorrow we are headed to the great unknown.

Tomorrow we are going to try to have confidence in the GPS and drive 8 hours to reach a luxury lodge somewhere in KwaZulu Natal. The aircon in the car will be deemed insufficient by the third hour of our journey. I will be grossed out by at least 4 different gas station toilets. We will find nowhere better to have lunch than a rest stop Wimpy, South Africa's 'stick it' to McDonalds.

We will camp out.

We have reserved one night in a 'tent' complete with a floor, indoor toilet, a bathtub, and somewhere to plug my hairdryer. For the other nights we have reserved a luxury bungalow, in case the tent is too 'earthy'. Both options will have a bathtub big enough for two. I will refuse to get in the bathtub after the bubbles are in there, unless Hubby can prove to me no snakes or other beasts got into the water while the tub was filling up. Hubby will eventually get rid of the bubbles to make a point, but by then the water will be too cold to bathe in. I will be continuously freaked out by what must be snakes under the bed, but will turn out to be figments of my imagination. I will need many drinks to calm my nerves. And will possibly wear my converse to bed.

We will hike amongst all of Africa's magnificent wildlife.

There will be one bush walk with a ranger and undoubtedly some pale tourists wearing shorts, sneakers and T-shirts that say BOTSWANA UBUNTU in dark red letters, GAP, or NIKE. There will be bucket-loads of sweat, and absolutely no other wildlife than spotted guinea fowls because we all pant and smell so much. I will fall and in a brave attempt to protect the camera, I will tear my brand new khakis in an awkward place. My underwear will either be a deep turquoise or shock pink and on display from said tear. There will be a teenage boy in the group who will then fall in line right behind me.

We will be surrounded by indigenous culture.

We have organized to visit the near-by Zulu village for a few hours to take some portrait photos, and a 1000 other pictures. The villagers will pose gladly, like they've done a hundred times before. The little kids will insist on gang signs or the oddly ubiquitous Kiss-pose (tongue out & horns), and I'll have to bribe them with candy to make a peace-sign instead. Or at least give me the thumbs up. Due to feeling horribly colonial, and in a vain attempt to justify our visiting the village, I'll end up using all of the money I have on me on beaded and wooden somethings that the Hubby will then awkwardly lug around in brightly colored grocery store plastic bags.

We will go see a sangoma - a real witch doctor - who doesn't even speak English.

We'll pay a R100 to some guy to tell us about herbs, and say things like "rooibos tea is good for indigestion," via the ranger who will translate, and who we'll then tip so handsomely he'll hang around for the rest of the trip. The sangoma's hut will be too dark to take pictures in, and I'll attempt to fiddle with the camera settings, set the ISO way too high, and get awfully grainy pictures, and then forget the settings on, and screw up the rest of the pictures for that day.

We will relax by the pool, read a book and enjoy some ice-cold white wine.

I'll drink too much wine right after breakfast, take an unintended nap in the sun, claim to suffer from heat exhaustion or dehydration, and then feel like throwing up throughout the afternoon game drive, that I'll insist on attending anyway because Hubby makes that face that tells me how much it means to him that we both go on the drive. The ranger will give me some 'neat' job to do like shining the light into the bush, which will just make it impossible for me to see any animals or take any pictures, but that will make me slightly seasick, and tire out my arm. 

We'll lead a completely internet-free existence until Monday.

The Hubby will get a work-related call at least every second meal time. I'll get bored, because he's on the phone so much, and will try to use my iPhone to reach some sort of network, but will be unable to do so. The waiter/owner of the lodge will feel so bad for me that he'll try to talk to me, but will be thrown off by the fact that I live in Africa and quickly wander away. I'll get stressed about some big issue coming up in the world and me being unaware of it, because I can't see my Twitter feed, only to find out on Monday that absolutely NOTHING has been going on while I was gone. Except for someone making homemade jam, someone receiving a bunch of Postcrossing-cards, and someone else taking their dog for a walk.

We'll go on game drives at the break of dawn.

At 5am, I will be forced to climb into a pick-up before anyone's even asked me whether I would like some coffee, and weather two grueling hours before a morning coffee break, during which only instant coffee will be served. I'll drink three cups of it nonetheless and then suffer from a severely burnt tongue, and from having to pee like never before. We will see plenty of spotted guinea fowls, and an ostrich or two. Then, while I'm using the hideaway toilet, washing my hands compulsively and swearing I'll not get the swine flu one of the Americans sitting behind me in the pick-up obviously just sneezed on me, a massive herd of elephants will pass the pick-up close by, immediately followed by an entire pride of lions on their way back from a hunt. The Hubby will share the pictures and the earthmoving experience with me later that day. I'll feel an urge to kick him.

The rangers will tell us about the wildlife we see.

I'll be forced to handle hyena poop, because I'm closest to the ranger, and not paying attention.

We'll return relaxed and recharged ready to face the hustle and bustle of Johannesburg. Again.

We will get lost on the way back, have at least one flat tire, have a little squabble over the fact that someone (not me) was supposed to learn how to change a tire after that fiasco in Zambia but that someone forgot about it, nearly run out of gas, and end up having dinner at a rest stop Wimpy. Again.  


Into the great wide open. With rhino droppings.

Have an awesome rest of the week and weekend, and see you back here on Monday (Tuesday?)!

Don't do anything fun and/or interesting without me! Everyone stop blogging while I'm gone! Nobody tweet for four whole days! Don't forget about me! Check back constantly in case I can mobile blog from the road! Leave me plenty of reassuring comments! 

22 comments:

Soozie said...

I'm going to make jam and not tell you about it.Damn it!

Ellie said...

I'm going to... do unmentionable things with other people and blog about it anyway. Mostly because that's just what I do.

cestlavietlb said...

Consider this your 1x Reassuring Comment!

PS in between all that-enjoy yourself!

clairedulalune said...

Hehehe! Love it! I love Wimpys! Mcdonalds isn't all that in my eyes!

M.J. said...

Sounds amazing! Can I come? Just drop by Washington, DC and pick me up. I'll be waiting, hiking boots in hand.

Tri Mommy said...

Hysterical! I can't wait to see how it really turns out, although the imagined version is much too fun!

Tina said...

It's funny cos its true! Good stuff. Good luck and see you on your return!

Cyndy said...

The truth does lie in there somewhere ~ the bad making the good even better! That's why I believe the best vacation is being allowed to sleep until I wake up (no alarms, no g'mornings from the kids, no doggie kisses).

Whenever I have gone out to the Rockies with my husband, he insists that we "get lost" at least one day, finding ourselves in the middle of God's country with the closest person at least 1,000 miles away. I, too, fear the rattlesnakes that are surely warming themselves under our Jeep, or the the angry grizzly who will tear us pieces so small that the search helicopters will not be able to find us. But worst of all is that huge, vast expanse that makes me feel meek and small. I inevitably give it the Chevy-Chase-of-Vacation-Grand-Canyon-shrug, say it-looks-great-let's-go plea and gingerly make my way back to the safety of our vehicle, leaping five feet to avoid the snakes while getting in, ultimately landing on my sun glasses that can't be replaced until we go to "town" some four days later.

Yeah, it's all good.

wv: squeloy: the unmistakable shrieking sound of "joy" when encountering one of God's creatures, alone, in the woods, where no one can hear you scream except the laughing wildlife...

NanU said...

wanna trade? you can teach my class on oncogenetics in a properly equipped university classroom, use a variety of clean and functional restrooms, and feed my highly civilized cats in my snake-free house in France (plenty of wine in the snake-free basement) for a few days while I take the trauma of camping out in the bush off your hands.

An Open Heart said...

Um, why are you going on this trip?

S

CrazyCris said...

sounds like my kind of trip, enjoy! ;o)

caroldiane said...

can't wait to hear the actual travelogue - consider the world to be 'on hold' awaiting your return...

Robyn said...

I love roiboos tea and use it all the time for my upset tummy. i hope the trip lives up to your expectations. looking forward to pictures and posts.

Eidothia said...

Oh I know this grind. Just been there and done that :) Enjoy urselves though. And whatever you do, dont step on any of those snakes and dont let any of that poop land on you, heh!

A Perfect Peach said...

This was so great! Makes me have the travel bug!

plentymorefishoutofwater said...

What an adventure. Jealous.
Glad I dropped by this blog, you've done a great job here. Going to read bit further down now. Check out my dating disasters when you get a minute: plentymorefishoutofwater.blogspot.com/

kristine said...

this sounds really great. um.
no, really, i am sure it will fantastic.
and i look forward to hearing about it.

kristine said...

ps totally relate to the snake fear and the peeing. these are the main things that happen to me ona daily basis.

Optimistic Pessimist said...

Sounds like you have it all figured out. I hope for your sake there are no snakes in the bubbles.

Today is my first day back in the blogsphere and now you're gone? I thought we were friends?

lacherie_17 said...

Been away from the blogging world for a while--missed reaading your blog! Good luck camping, and have fun, lol!

Just Jules said...

I couldn't be happier that things are slowing down and I may be able to start blog surfing again. time to catch up.

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