First thing, I’ve added more pictures to Flickr, so you can see more of what is going on here. I would really like to be able to put photos in the blog, but due to connectivity issues here it is really seeming impossible.
So, as we know, I had a busy weekend which continued right on into Monday and Tuesday. Monday night I helped two friends, Esther and Katherine celebrate their birthday by joining them for all-you-can-eat sushi at a place called Yamazaki at a mall up farther north than I had been before called Cedar Square. I drove with my friend Nicole and her boyfriend Ludo along with our friend Alecia, and before we headed out to dinner they informed me that Hooters had recently opened up in Joburg, which I found hilarious. We decided that we needed to stop there for a pre-dinner drink. As you can see from the picture it’s pretty much the same exact thing. It looks very much like an American sports bar on the inside, along with girls running around in tiny orange shorts and scrunchy white socks. They still advertise wings as being their specialty, but prawns are on there as well. I can’t say I recall that being an American specialty. I tried Amstel lager for the first time. This may not sound that special, but it’s different in SA. It’s not Amstel light, it’s lager, it’s in a green bottle, and it’s brewed in SA…so though the label looks exactly the same they are apparently two totally different beers.
After Hooters, it was on to sushi. It was a good deal if you can eat a lot of food, literally almost anything on the menu except the highest tier sushi for what was equivalent to $19. I can’t believe how much food we all put away. Sushi was pretty standard, but I did try mussels with wasabi mayo that I had never had before. The mayo at this place was definitely a little sweeter than I was used to, but still delicious. Also, I had never had a bow tie before, which is a kind of dessert. It’s basically like wonton dough that’s formed into a bow tie, deep fried and slathered in a thick sugar syrup. Delicious. Do people generally eat these all the time? I’d never seen it before. After dinner we went downstairs to a restaurant called Cubana’s, which had very fancy cocktails for one last birthday drink. One of the guys we were with used to bartend there, and so picked drinks for everybody. I was presented with a drink called the Infidel (of course, being the American in the group) which ended up being like a raspberry whiskey sour, and was quite scrumptious.
The night ended on a bit of a sour note as we were driving home. Later in the evening, Joburg police forces set up roadblocks around town for a variety of reasons, including checking to make sure the car is registered, all the lights are working, drivers aren’t drunk, and the newest law, to make sure you have a triangle in your car. Triangles are light reflecting devices that you’re supposed to have in case you have car trouble so that it’s safer on the road when you’re pulled over. It’s also an easy way for the police to ticket you, as apparently it’s not yet widely known that it is now a law to have one. So of course, we got randomly selected to pull over at a road block and everything was going fine until the cop asked Ludo if he had a triangle. Dang. Ludo had not yet gotten a triangle for the car, and so he ended up having to get out of the car and have a 30 minute conversation with the cop that ended up with a ticket and a R500 fine. Apparently it took so long because the cop was really just looking for a bribe from Ludo, but when it was clear that it was not going to happen, he went with the ticket. The police force is pretty bribe-able here, which apparently how people get out of being arrested for drunk driving a lot. Hopefully I never have to deal with it, because I have a feeling I would not be a smooth operator.
The next night I went out to dinner with my friend Yejin and some others. We went to a restaurant called Moyo, which is pan-African cuisine; you can get food from pretty much any region. I had my first proper steak here (I can’t believe it has taken me a month) and it was delicious. The restaurant itself is a little kitchy, as evidenced by the guy roaming around doing face paintings, which we could not escape from. However, the decor and the atmosphere were fun, and the meal very tasty. I mentioned that I had been craving ice cream lately, as there’s no place for me really to get it. Good for my waistline, bad for my tastebuds. So, we went to Steers, which is a fast food place here with really good soft serve and an excellent caramel dip.
This weekend was so fun, but after 4 days of nonstop eating, I am ready to take a break.