The first five days have been interesting. Jet leg has affected me several ways and has changed every day. The first night there, as I described before was not fun, and I have woken up before my husband every morning since we arrived. Those of you who know me well know that me waking before him is an anomaly to the highest degree! On our first day, we hiked (and I mean it!) up to his department’s building. Google Maps does not make it clear how big this hill/mountainside is that the UCT campus is built on. They really were not expecting us, so nothing was in order. Luckily, we were able to snag his office right before a grad student asked for it- he at least has an office window!! After 5 years in a basement dungeon, he can now get a tan while working…or maybe not. Then, someone gave us a ride to Cavendish Mall in Claremont, which has a large 3-story mall and lots of other stores near by. We got sim cards for our phones, but still need them unlocked. We also bought a wireless modem for our laptops. You have to prepay for your usage for the phones and internet. We got a huge runaround for the next two days about how to upload more internet time, but we thankfully have it sorted now! We tried to go to the bank, but it closed at 3:30. 3:30!? After going to the grocery store nearby (we are so lucky it’s close since we don’t have a car- but still limited by what we can carry up a hill). We met the guy who loves behind us in the guest house, who is an American grad student in jazz music. He is very friendly and loves Cape Town. He has given us many tips and thoughts on life here. We finally had dinner at a Chinese restaurant recommended to us, but I didn’t like what I ordered; the husband liked his noodles. Might have to give it one more try, but with a seasoned orderer with us.
Getting adjusted this first day seemed somewhat easier in some ways than I thought it would be, but harder in others. I have always had a vehicle, or access to one, for most of my life and even just one day of not having easy transportation is really opening my eyes to how many other (middle class?) people live. Life seems ten times harder and if we get two things done, we are proud of ourselves. We are thinking outside the box on how we can make do with what we have because we cannot haul big or heavy things home. I guess it might be like what living in a big city is like in America- Chicago or NYC, but the transportation infrastructure is not as advanced or new. I like how I’m learning about myself and what life can be like for other people. I know that we are privileged enough to afford a taxi if we want, and plan to get a car in a few months, but now I have a new appreciation for things I have taken for granted most of my life.
Have any of you ever lived without a car? How do you get pieces of furniture home (without having to pay for delivery or asking strangers to help you)?
Note: Please write comments!! I am communicating with you, but hardly receive any response, and I’d appreciate hearing from you. It’s a *little* lonely here, luckily P and I have always been pretty satisfied with only each others company- but this is a little extreme!