Woke up to no power, no hot water and a very cold, non-insulated room. Not happy. It wouldn’t bother me if we were paying typical ZA pricing but World Cup pricing is beyond a rip off and should at least guarantee some hot water in WINTER. When your room in a village in Ghana is nicer then the place you are paying high nightly rates for, that is a problem. The morning was only made worse by our cold eggs and beans for breakfast.
We had an hour or so to kill before the park and rides opened for the game, so we quickly packed up and headed off to the Rosebank Mall to walk around and warm up our chilled bodies. I took advantage of our sun drenched parking spot to paint a flag and USA on my face.
Much like it takes leaving the United States to remain appreciative of all that we as a nation possess, the same goes for South Africa. Even though it is very possible to live a comfortable first world lifestyle in ZA, there are always those differences stemming from our diverse cultures. Dealing with the target on your back in ZA as a white person, never mind a tourist or an American, is quite different from most other nations. The lack of Internet access, which my iPhone and job at Apple have made such a necessity, plus the craziness on the roads that seems to be ‘proudly South African’ can lead to a dissatisfaction upon arrival. The fact that my first few days in country were troubled with a lost airline bag, and food poisoning, my return to South Africa had been far from pleasant. However, two weeks in Mozambique with the beautiful chaos that is most of the continent brings my appreciation for ZA back to a all new high. 2 weeks of seafood had also been my limit and being able to grab a fast food burger at Steers (a local burger joint) was certainly needed to balance my diet.
While reports of my demise have been greatly exaggerated, i did get to experience my first ever bout of food poisoning. Elna, the women we were staying with in South Africa, took us out to eat on Wednesday night as a way to help make up for the fact that we were severely screwed over on our taxi fare from the airport to her house. I ended up sampling a very tender piece of meat, that in retrospect was probably not cooked to the way my American stomach was used to or it could simply have been a bad piece. Either way, I slept for much of the next 36 hours with only brief moments of consciousness.
I have only just tonight had my first proper meal in nearly 72 hrs. As many as you know, it can be difficult for me to last just 5 hrs of not snacking on something, and as such in those first 30 hrs I lost over 5 lbs of body weight. Alisa commented that I looked abnormally thin and when i looked at my arms I realized that nearly all of the muscle mass i had put on in the last 5 months had evaporated.
Fortunately I have found my appetite once again and though not back to full strength Mozambique’s seafood should be able to help me regain all that was lost.