Archive for September, 2009

4931kms #003

DAY 03

we woke up to a gigantic cloud above the so famous Table Mountain. Claudia garanteed that the mountain was “right there, can’t you see it? it’s right there in front of your nose”… well all we saw was a big thick white cloud.

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because the weather on the news had already predicted that the mountain would be on a holiday for at least two which gave us plenty of time to explore the magnificent landscape and wonderful places such as Camps Bay and Chapman’s Peak.

actually we gave ourselves a bit of time to leave the house, after two days on the road we deserved a couple of hours of more sleep so we actually left the house only to wake up in time  for lunch. and what a lunch!

about a week before our trip i got an email from my 80year-old aunt, yes i have a way cool aunt!, telling me that her young adulthood friend from Rodhesia and Mozambique from the 1940s was living in Cape Town for a while and every two years my aunt visits her. She told me i should contact her and maybe meet her for tea and give her a kiss from my aunt. Now, i have heard about her friend Vangie for so long i was very excited to let her know that i was ocming to town and that i’d be delighted if we could meet. I wrote to her daughter, Marika and she answered almost immediately offering us a lunch at her restaurant, greek restaurant, called Marika’s in Camps Bay.

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I’m telling you, it might have been the exhaustion, the tiredness, the long journey, even the rainy weather but the lunch was fantastic! We were so happy with the food i was just sorry lunches don’t last forever, or that we don’t live close by, because this place was everything you need after 2000kms. I love greek food so it started off perfectly, and the cosiness of the place, small, cosy and so warm inside. Marika was always in the kitchen preparing our and the other clients’ food, deliciously prepared, with her husband, while her mother, Vangie was siting at the table with us telling us about the old days back in Beira with my aunt or back in Rhodesia in school. Her life story is just wonderful. Born and raised in Beira, Mozambique, she lived in Cairo, Egypt and in Rhodesia, now Zimbabwe and in other places in South Africa, but she found her true love in Cape Town so this 20year-old lady, who looks exactly like portuguese grandmothers, martim and i agreed, got divorces at 40 and remarried the love of her life. And with that we finish a perfect lunch, with perfect food, with wonderful company and with the sun shinning too.

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Because Chapman’s Peak is very high up, the road that connects it to the city is a bit tricky, it has been damaged and now it’s being repaired. You can go up to a certain moment, Chapman’s Peak but further than that not anymore, they’re thinking of not opening it anymore anyway seeing that it is too dangerous. I’m glad i knew this before. The view from the point where you can get too is specatacular and the weather was slowly changing  and we were able to the magnificent profiles of mountains and peaks and ocean. Our atlantic Ocean. It had been a while… i hadn’t seen those waves in so long and that strength, that color and vibration in almost a year.

It takes a bit of your breath away.

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But it wasn’t the only thing that made me feel closer to home. In this part of the world, it is impossible for you to garantee my that i’was in africa. There is no way we were in africa here. The people, the views, the weather, the food, the smells, the shops and the atmosphere has absolutely nothing to do with africa. 

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I confess, i enjoyed it very much. For a while it felt more than good to not be in africa.

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4931kms #002

DAY 02

if you have read the DAY 01 post you are probably familiar with the fact that we basically drove and drove and drove on day 01, well, guess what we did the same on day 02!

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driving from Bloemfontein to Cape Town meant we did 1000kms just on the roads not counting deviations for desperate gas, the car i mean, and figuring out how to get out of Bloemfontein in the morning and finding our bedrooms in Cape Town. martim and alberto stayed at a what seemed to be great backpackers, they recommend it and we stayed with our friend Cluadia, aldo’s sister’s friend who we have know for a year now, seeing that she works in CT but travels constantly to Maputo. she was kind enough to offer her place for two so the trip would be less heavy on our pockets… great idea.

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on the road we saw desert after desert after so much desert i thought i was on route66 again, and eventhough they hadn’t been on it they knew it looked exactly like it, or at least it felt like because it was empty again, so much free space, no one around and just one car now and again to make the driving a bit more challenging. i’m just sorry they always let us surpass them! we were alone again for hours.

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let me just inform you though that to drive in SA you need to know a few rules. if you are driving behind a car and want tp pass it please just wait five seconds, he will slowly put himself in danger and drive on the most left side of your lane, which means almost on the dirt to let you pass him. this goes for small cars and for gigantic trucks… always a pleasure to see a petrol truck put himself on the line for you! as soon as you have passed him, you HAVE to thank him, now this in europe means just a wave of the hand from driver to driver, but here it’s a whole different detail, you can wave all you want, but they will never aknowledge it, so turn on you emergency lights, or as we call it in portuguese, your 4blinking lights and you will see the magic happen, they will actually respond with a flash of their front lights… they let you pass, you thank them and they say “you’re welcome” or even “graag gedaan. mozambicans should learn…

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it’s funny i mention the africaans language because on this trip we were able to see a transformation bet ween not only landscape but also in languages, people and attittudes. the english language is the national language by far but everywhere we go along the road is said in the african dialect which i cannot remember the name or africaans and you actually get a picture of how many people actually speak it. funny enought i thought it was a exclusivity of more traditional families in the area of cape town, but i was wrong, apparently even in the region is it becoming less popular and less cool to speak africaans from the new generations. hmmm, makes you think.

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arriving in Cape Town was very easy because our friend GPS found it very easy to travel in a motropolis, in a city… and we were like farmers in NYC. we were amazed by the colors, sounds, amounts of people, tall buildings and NIGHTLIFE!!! welcome to Cape Town, and enjoy it! starting with a Sushi dinner, it couldn’t have been better our entrance in civilization!

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this is my attempt while driving to photograph Table Mountain arriving in town… if you look closely it’s there.

4931kms #001

DAY 01

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we set off early friday morning, we chose to go by car, you never know on September 11th.  the ofur of us sleepy as ever but excited about the almost 5000kms we were about to do in 10 days.

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all of us needed this holiday, maybe aldo and i more, seeing that we hadn’t taken a holiday since a year ago before we ever came to maputo. and because that one year anniverssary is really almost coming up then this is a better time as ever to take some time off from our lives. relax, and see things we never thought we would.

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alberto was a big help to me, on the driving, and in all the fun/historic facts about any place and just about anything, i think i would’ve needed another week to do it all by myself and martim filled in the gap in the car and thankfully he did. everything went to it’s most possible way and the reason for that maybe is that is was a good grouup and because we still don’t know eachother that well everything went better than expected.

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as i was saying we set off very early that friday morning attempting to arrive to Bloemfontein still before dinner time. Bloemfontein is about 500kms from Jo’burg already going southwards. we drove as fast as we could. the border at Ressano Garcia/Komatipoort was easy peasy, with the usual misunderstanding and for those i have no comments, but probably the easiest and fastest time i’ve spent on that border… remember last time? i do…

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we arrived in Bloemfontein at about 19:00, which is definitely not bad, seeing we alberto and i didn’t know the roads and seeing also that we could’ve easily fallen asleep while driving. yes, the roads up until Jo’burg are curvy and pleasant, but there is a moment wehre it all changed and became very still, quiet, plain and dry… we were entering the South African desert, where you couldn’t see noone and nothing at all for miles except for the few cars in front and empty road in the back… sometimes we would be alone for miles and miles. it became so boring that i even suggested we should drive faster than the limits because this way we could probably catch up to another car to surpass him just to make it exciting.

the upside of being bored while driving is that you tend to make up games or things to notice along the way to make it seem shorter, and what i noticed most of all is that there are rules to follow to be a driver in this part of the worl. first of all up until Bloemfontein you have to own a white car. apparently it’s a rule in SA, everyone does. of course it chages slightly once you pass Jo’burg. until then it’s not only a white car but the size matters too, it has to be big and ugly, after that it just becames small, it’s still white and ugly (which white car isn’t?) but small, no need for 4×4 here!

our suzuki was such a change for the landscape!

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arriving to Bloemfontein wasn’t as excitin as we thought, we had just been sitting in the car for 928kms and our butts, feet and legs felt it! adding to that it was FREEZING! so cold! everyone had flipflops or sandals so like idiots we pretended it was summer already. they went out for dinner, i collapsed with my body in the shape of the driver’s seat on the big fluffy and warm bed in the freezing DE AKKER BB room. ah, it felt good.

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alberto : 6h driving – andrea: 6h driving (we had promised to change every 300kms or 3h… impossible)

news from maputo #003

sometimes i feel that i should give you an update, and what a better day to do it than the 1st anniversary of the day i left Antwerp? that’s right, i still though feel in me the moment in color with tears and everything. 

i’m not really sure when i last wrote you an update, but i presume it was when winter was here, doing it’s best to upset me and confuse me. in the house i wore flip-flops but wore socks and tenis shoes outsied, i wore tshirt and cardigan home and sweaters and scarves outside and at work, i watched tv with a little blanket at home and was asking for gloves outside and at work. who would’ve known. after Belgian temperatures one let’s go of any warm clothes in the north hemiphere and almost comes to África with just the bikini and that’s that. after 8 motnhs of intense heat i was addicted and and i froze my butt when the winter arrived.

but like always, after the rain there’s bonanza, and it’s been exactly 3 days that i am back to sweating my skin off!

i am back in the office with flip-flops, slaghetti strap tops, skirt and a desperate will for airco on my head!SUMMER HAS LANDED ON ME!!   which makes me actually realize that i was definitely made for summer, for heat, for hot sunny days. say what you may, chritsmas is indeed nicer in the cold, snow looks stunning after it falls, winter clothes always feel nicer to buy than the skimpy topd you buy in the summer, but as much as i like the winter being an autumn girl myself, i can’t live far away from the sun. Belgium was my north limit, Mozambique will be my south one, thankfully my “in between” limit is right next to most of you, otherwise i’d be stuck in Senegal and that would mean desert winters… still not up for that.

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to add to this sudden and hopefully to stay heat, we have moved. not me and aldo but the ESTUDIO4 office.

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now i have to leave the house at 7:45 and drive 15kms to my new office, or should i say their new house. yes, because now i work on the first floor of their new house. he’s 30 and my boss, she’s 30 and also my boss, at the moment in Cape Town waitiing to deliver a baby pink girl.  the nicest thing about it, is indeed the fact that 8 of those 10kms are alongside the beach and for that i am grateful,  i see the ocean like i used to once in my life everyday, i smell the indian ocean and i feel its morning breeze. i get tanned just by going to work but only on my right side of the face and arm. the biggest inconvinience is the travelling, if i have to have a meeting with somoene i have to plan it ahead in order to do everything i have to do in the city, or plan it early in the morning or almost after work, in order to not waste time on the trip or too much gas. it had been 6 years that i had live without a car and i absolutely loved it, i hate driving to work, i hate the concept and i’m already trying to figure it out how to do this without a car. maybe i will have to get my ass inside a chapa, the so called suicidal public transportation.

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also, the downside about it, is after 11 months i have to call aldo if i want to let him know i love him… now he’s not down the hall anymore, sniff sniff. (jeeez i’m getting mushier by the minute)

Karen is still here with us, still working with Aldo and now it’s just the two of them eating lunch at home prepared by Edite, while i’m so far away eating leftovers from my dinner. She’ll be working with him until the end of September and then hopefully, my dear Luca arrives for a holiday. they are going to travel the country together, but i hope they remember that i miss Luca a lot and i’d be very angry if he doesn’t spend some time with us here… i have so much to tell him.

and, still more news. we’re on our way to Cape Town this friday. Yes, friday morning i get on the wheel of my fabulous car and at 5am start driving towards South Africa and will drive for 1000kms all the way until Bloemfontein. sleep and on saturday do another 1000kms until Cape Town. Martim and Alberto will also come, because Alberto has a driver’s license and we suggested that he come to help me out and so that he too can take a so deserved holiday. Martim and Aldo will be co-pilots and back chorus voices for songs i hope don’t get destroyed by the time we get back on the 20th of september.

will keep you updated.
 
and just one last detail: SUMMER’S IN TOWN!!!!!! and she’s tanned!

detail #022

6 years

every year we skip this day realizing only the day before or the day after how in reality it is important to us and to what we have achieve and will still.

and every year i try to put in words exactly how i feel and what i am thankful to you for.

this year i don’t need anything more. what i have to say is simple like US and and so unpredictable like OUR FUTURE. the way we planned it.

you and me

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even after all these years, 20, i can still smell, feel and hear him.

he lived one third of my life with me…

i will live the rest of mine with him… miss you vô manuel