Friday, February 27, 2009

Back in Cape Town ...

Well, I never did find a charger for my phone, which is why I was unable to post on the return trip from Windhoek.

After writing the last entry I wandered into town, and stopped for lunch in a little bar/cafe place near the Gibeon Meteorites. But as soon as I got in there, an almighty crash of thunder shook the whole building, and it started to pour with rain. Within minutes the place was packed with dripping people who had dashed in off the streets, and I had to resign myself to staying put until the rain stopped. It was actually quite cozy in there. I sat on a stool up at the bar, and got through a couple of beers while reading the Mail & Guardian.

When the rain stopped I walked across to the Alte Feste, the 'Old Fort', which is a fascinating old building (the oldest in Windhoek) that now houses half of the National Museum. It was originally built in 1890-92 by German soldiers. Half of the exhibits focus on the recent political history of Namibia, and the rest is about San rock art. As with many museums in this part of the world, the displays are in a bit of a sorry state. But somehow I felt that the creaking floorboards and the old wooden cases with their yellowing typed placards enhanced the atmosphere of the place.

I climbed a narrow iron spiral staircase up into one of the towers, from where there is a cool panoramic view of Windhoek. Out the back is an old steam engine with a couple of wooden carriages, left open to the elements and gradually rotting away. Some of the seats inside still had cushions on them, although the stuffing was coming out. It was a bit eerie in a musty, Titanic sort of way. Sadly, the whole rear carriage was mostly charcoal, as someone from outside the compound set fire to it a few months ago.

The coach ride back to Cape Town felt much longer than its actual 22 hours. I had a window seat, and the Congolese chap sitting next to me was not the slimmest of fellows! The border crossing back into South Africa was at about 3:00am, and was quite unpleasant. The rude immigration lady decided I had no business being in her country, and shouted that I must leave at the first opportunity! With a sneer, she scribbled in my passport that I had to get out of SA within 7 days, and then bluntly dismissed me. Good old South African Home Affairs, they can always be relied upon to offer visitors a warm welcome!

So, I will be flying to England in a few days' time, where I will stay while my PhD Thesis is being examined. Then I will return to Cape Town in time to make any corrections needed to the Thesis, and for Graduation at UCT (he hopes!).

Yesterday evening I had a few drinks at La Med (see photo below) so I'm feeling a bit 'fuzzy' this morning. I'm glad there's a bit of cloud cover today, yesterday was roasting!

First thing I need to do is find coffee!

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