I’ve been busier as of late, as I’ve just determined the subject for one of my three giant papers due this semester. I’ve gone with Nigeria for my conflict class, and as I don’t know anything about Nigeria, I’ve had to play catch-up with epic amounts of reading. However, I still managed to get out and see the light of day for a bit this weekend, which was great as the weather is finally turning around and bringing warm temperatures my way.
Friday night my friend Nicole invited me to join her at the planetarium. I had not been to a planetarium since…I can’t remember the last time I went to a planetarium, so I readily accepted. The Johannesburg Planetarium is actually right on campus at Wits, and about a 3 minute walk for me, so it was very easy. The show was their last of the series “The Winter Skies.” The Planetarium itself is nice and big, and visually the show was beautiful. The music that went along with the show was pretty 80’s fabulous, and the recorded track at the beginning sounded like the movie previews guy, so that was awesome. The man who narrated the show was super knowledgeable, and was able to answer everyone’s questions. Of course, he kept asking the audience questions that nobody knew the answer to so sometimes it felt a bit like a lecture, but he kept a good sense of humor going through the whole thing. It was funny, because he actually started the show with the stars oriented so that the sky looked as it would if we were in New York City. Of course, I was the only one who realized that if you were in NYC, you wouldn’t see a single star…but that’s neither here nor there. Then the stars got moved to the Southern Hemisphere, so I had no idea what was going on…I don’t think I’ve ever seen the Southern Cross. Needless to say I learned a lot.
Sidenote: They let you bring in snacks to the planetarium, so I got to try two new kinds of candy: Smarties and All-Sorts. Smarties are not like the American candy; instead they are more like M&M’s. The all-sorts are licorice candies which I thought I would hate since I hate licorice, but the licorice is surrounded by sweet gummies, so they’re actually quite nice. I know this is riveting information.
Saturday was a big day. I took the bus to Rosebank again so I could do a little window shopping before picking up supplies for a braai that Keri and here sister, Kim, were taking me to later that day. I still haven’t tried any clothes on in shops down here because I have no idea how the sizing works, and I was too lazy on Saturday to figure it out.
With braai supplies in hand (boerewors and buns), Keri and Kim picked me up and we drove to their friend Chantelle’s house for the braai. Apparently they had just moved into this house, but it looked great and the house itself was lovely. Almost southwestern in nature I guess, with white walls and stone floors. The back yard had a pool and citrus trees, and the next yard over had the most amazing tree house for kids I had ever seen. I reverted back to 9 years old and really wanted to go play in it.
This braai was more serious than the first one I went to, as by the time the party really got going there were probably about 30 people there. The grill itself was also much bigger, being an oil drum cut in half with a grate over it. And sure enough, it was completely full of meat once the fire got going. The braai was being held, among other reasons, in honor of the rugby game that was on that night. I may have this wrong, but right now we’re in Tri Nations, between Australia, New Zealand and South Africa, and Saturday it was South Africa against New Zealand. The best part of the game (for me) was during the National Anthems. First of all, when the South African national anthem came on, everybody in the house stopped what they were doing, circled around the TV, stood up and sang the national anthem. It was awesome. We never do that anymore in the States even though we bark about patriotism nonstop. We’re going to have to step it up if we want to be on par with other nations. Then the New Zealand anthem played, and the New Zealand team has an awesome tradition of doing a war dance after the anthem to intimidate whoever they’re playing. If you’ve ever seen the movie Whale Rider, it’s in that style.
My friend Greg had also invited me to a movie night at his house that evening, so after I few hours at the braai I headed over there. Greg and Roger have a beautiful house in a neighborhood called Victory park, along with three beautiful dogs. When I got there there was champagne and pizza to be had, so I went ahead and indulged in a second dinner. The movie on the program for the evening was Dirty Rotten Scoundrels, which is one of my favorites, so I had a great time winding down and laughing along with everyone who was there.
Next up: my adventures to the Apartheid Museum and Soweto.