AFRICA- de- planed – Part 6 -Rich R

December 6, 2008 at 1:28 am 2 comments

Part onetwothree four five

hotel-street
We pull up to the hotel. Not only does Edgar get out of the van but a gentleman comes out of the hotel and quickly approaches me with a smile and a greeting!

“Welcome to Cape Manor Hotel. My name is George.”

Quickly he picks up my bags and brings them into the lobby. Everyone smiling. Me totally exhausted from the 26+ hours of travel time. All I wanted to do was get to a bed somewhere!

The front desk ladies are very welcoming and courteous. I could not believe the difference in the employees of the South African hotels and the American Hotels. Somehow I could tell that ‘courtesy’ was not an option. You did not have to look for a bellhop or anyone to help with your luggage. They were right there waiting on you. Come to find out, that is how everyone in South Africa I come in contact with is.

I ask if the other trainer was there yet. They said, “Mr. Jack?” “He is at work and will be back soon. We will leave him a message to contact you.”
George takes me up to my room and would not allow me to carry the littlest thing. Opening the door, I see out the window! Still daylight out….it should be, it’s 6:30 p.m. South Africa time, 12:30 p.m. back home! But the sun is going down. I forgot that they do not change time here like we do back in the States. The ocean was blue and green while clouds were covering the sun as it was setting over the Atlantic. I look out again, there it is! For some reason, I was either hallucinating from the long travel or just imagining but. The American eagle was in the cloud formation! Amazing. I HAD to get a picture of that.
eagle-in-the-sky

I begin unpacking. George checks back in after about 15 minutes to see if I needed anything and if my accommodations were acceptable! All I could do was say “Thank you! This will be just fine.” He said he will check with me every day to see if I needed anything.

The room was very clean, updated bathroom, cream colored walls and dark furniture. All I could think of was some of the movies I saw in my ‘younger’ days showing people in Africa. A lot of mahogany-like furniture with cream-colored walls. I went downstairs to see if I could get something to eat. A real meal, instead of an airplane foil-wrapped foil container. I greeted the chef and waiters in the dining area. Very neat, clean. One woman mopping floors. Here to find out, she was there over 10 hours per day, mopping at least 3 times a day to keep things clean.
the-crew

The buffet was amazing, all for R95 (about $9.50 American). Roast beef, roast pork, grilled vegetables, roasted potatoes, salad, breads and many side dishes. Desserts on another table. Thank goodness I could put it on my room tab as I had not gotten to a currency exchange yet and my American Express Corporate card had not arrived! They were shipping it to me at the hotel.

Sleep! I needed sleep, uninterrupted with people, sounds, and bells dinging every time a stewardess would walk by or the captain telling everyone to put on their seatbelts. Surprisingly, I remembered, the flight was very smooth. It is just amazing to think that I was flying over 400 miles per hour at about 38,000 feet for so long.

Jack, the other trainer, sees me in the dining area of the hotel. He greets me saying he just got back from the training site. He said it is quite nice and we will be training from 2:30 – 11:00 p.m. My jaw dropped, but at least I knew I could get some rest before going to work.

We walked about a block and a half away to a small bar he had become accustomed to. Not real busy but me, this being the first time I was there, was quite hesitant to walk the streets. Jack said “it’s cool…just be aware of those around you as we walk.” Oh thanks! Now you tell me, when we’re almost there. The bar had a few people in it. Signs on some walls that recommended safe sex. Here to find out, South Africa is #1 in the world for STD’s and HIV. Very heavy accents. A lot sounding very British/Scottish with an “African” flair to it. It was interesting to listen to the other people in there. One couple sitting in the corner, not wasting any time for what was going to happen later on that evening with them.

Open public display of affection, as I looked around, was not anything to hide. If it felt good, go ahead, just ‘do it’! That seemed to be their motto!

Reaching into my pocket for my alcohol wipes, I cleaned off the table where I was sitting and my hands. The Health Department recommended I bring them along with me and used them wherever I went. I thanked the nurse in my mind. With it being so dark in there, who knows if they wiped off the tables from the last people. Jack bought the first round. It was known as a ‘Springbok” ….Mint liqueur with a shot of Irish Cream on top.
Tasted good. I actually had 2 more that evening and could feel it.

Going around the corner in the bar, I could see the slot machines in the back room. Not sure if they were legal because nobody seemed to advertise them anywhere but they were busy! Boxes of free condoms sitting in a couple of areas from the Health Department. Good idea, I thought with the high birthrate of illegitimate children as well as diseases.

As we walked back to the hotel, I kept looking around. Any noise I heard, I made myself especially aware of its direction as well as what was causing. Was I paranoid? Was I just being too safe? After all, my family was very insistent before I left that I be ‘extra careful.” That was not going to be an option for me!

One thing that surprised me, it was NOT WARM as I opened my window to get some fresh air.

Temperature? Heck, it was colder here than it was home! When I looked at a map, I was down….way down below the equator so I assumed it was just starting to warm up.

Sleep, blessed sleep overcomes me back in the room. The breakfast buffet will be served in the dining area from 7:00 a.m. to 10:00 a.m.
breakfast-buffet

To be continued.

Entry filed under: Africa, personal opinion, travel.

Moore House Museum(BRHS) -“dressed in holiday style” To Do List – Dec 7th and on

2 Comments Add your own

  • 1. Richard Robbin  |  December 9, 2008 at 9:46 pm

    If this is getting too boring, just let me know. I can come quickly to the end 🙂

  • 2. thatwoman  |  December 9, 2008 at 9:55 pm

    OH NO YOU DON”T I have you contracted to the very end of the trip FRIDAYS is AFRICA!!!!! on this blog ….. seriously I have been fascinated by the observations and shaken awake from time to time .so please Rich get Fridays article in the hopper Loraine

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