Thursday, April 14, 2011

South Africa - Part 2 of 3

About a week into my trip and I have the schedule of a morning show host. I get exhausted at 8 pm and wake up between 4-5 am. I then get up to train in the hotel gym watching The Weakest Link - the perfect show to be British. Anne Robinson is like a bitchy librarian who knows where every fact is and when someone gets eliminated, it's like they fail for not getting being proper/British enough. So with this schedule at least I know I can have Matt Lauer's job someday. Today I woke up a little after 6am and felt like the biggest slacker.

Anyway, you can learn a lot about a culture when you go to the airport. Some harsh realities and retroactive observations:

- Every South African accent sounds British to me.

- Everyone in South Africa is attractive, gorgeous really. All genders, ages, races and sizes.
- Speaking of sizes, there are no fat south africans. The only fat people are the Americans visiting South Africa. It's like the conversion rate in money from US to SA is the same for weight. Obese Americans --> Overweight SAs. Overweight Americans --> Average SA. Average Americans --> SA Supermodels. It's probably funnier to go through that backwards, but just goes to show where our food industry is compared to theirs. Watch Food Inc. And even if you are ugly, at least you're clean-cut.
- Did I mention bottled water is less than a dollar here?
- Did I mention toilets have a smaller, spherical shape than the US? See weight comment.
- Did I mention Neil Diamond was here last night and caused a traffic showdown for the several hours leading up to his show? Didn't know there were Red Sox fans in Cape Town to sing along to 'Sweet Caroline.'
- Oh, and let's talk airport security. In the US it's always a contest to see who can disrobe and redress the fastest. (Old people always lose, followed by people with small children and Asians are the Women's UCONN Basketball team of this tournament. I was all ready to give it an international go, but...

--> As long as you have no metals on you, you're set.

--> Shoes can stay ON!

--> Laptops can stay IN your bag!

--> You CAN bring through WATER! You're no longer bordering on hyponetremia (google it) to gulp all your water down before security.

--> With each of these points, you hate TSA that much more.

- I can't take south africa airport security seriously. Looks like their uniform came from a costume shop or the wardrobe truck on a Hollywood set. And what the hell is a constable? (I'll google it.)

- Stayed at a nice hotel with family and the staff was so nice it bordered on nausea. There's being nice by taking your food order then there's being nice for the sake of worrying they might have you executed for not being nice enough so they're almost ready to bow before you and beg for their lives. Then you have them defeat the Kragen to see if they are truly worthy. (Yep, some Clash of the Titans humor. And there will be a sequel.) We had a new person seat us for breakfast and it was at a table that was used at one of the settings. The new girl said sorry about 15 times, literally. I would have her defeat the Kragen, de-claw a tiger and then walk around downtown Cape Town wearing a placard that reads, "I Hate Nelson Mandela."

- The Botanical Gardens are gorgeous. It's like Alice in Wonderland meets the Land of Oz. You can get right up and small them, photograph them and then Guinea Hens can walk by out of nowhere. On to safari... (which I've already been on for 3 days... pretty life-changing... get ready...)

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