Camped Out in Camps Bay

Trip Start May 09, 2008
Trip End Jul 15, 2008

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Where I stayed
The Grand Hotel

Flag of South Africa  , Western Cape,
Saturday, June 28, 2008

Hello Everyone from Camps Bay! This is one of the most beautiful places on earth. I apologize for my delay in blogging but I have had a little hitch. Saturday, the girls and I enjoyed the Rugby game where SA flattened Italy, then they went on a few tours while I came to get checked in to my apartment in Camps Bay. Upon arrival, immediately I was overjoyed with my accommodations. I had requested the least expensive room with a kitchen. When Patrick, the man from reception showed me my apartment and asked me if I was happy, I couldn't help but laugh. Its absolutely perfect I said. I couldn't be happier. The apartment is perfect and small and has everything I need. It has a tv, a fully furnished kitchen with a stove, oven, microwave, refrigerator a bathroom and bedroom with a small little living area. "You said you wanted a kitchen, right?" said Patrick. "YES! I haven't cooked in forever and I can't wait to go to the store!" He familiarized me with the area and even told me that there is a cleaning service that comes everyday. I can't really figure out what "Self-Catered Apartments" actually means. Seems they are still doing it all.

I am within a one minute walk to the beach and all these grand rocks. We are enveloped in Mountains. Camps Bay is very small and seems to cuddle the little bay which is therin cuddled by these massive beautiful mountains. All this folks for just a mere $20 more a night than my hostel. And it includes breakfast every morning at the beautiful Bay Hotel which I compare to a smaller version of The Grand Hotel back home in BAMA. Its wonderful. That night when Elaine and Carrie were done with their tour they came to Camps Bay to stay with me and were also shocked and taken back by the whole ambiance. We were told (by several people) that the place to be in Cape Town on Sunday night is this club called Caprice. So, as it turns out everything is within a two minute walk to my apartment, we went.

As we were walking we noticed that the street and the restaurants kind of feels a little like the upscale parts of Miami. Maybe what I would expect of California. All of the sudden we saw these three little kids on the street who noticed us. It was the same little kids Elaine and I had been lecturing on Long Street about why they were out so late. These little kids essentially are put to work by their parents to walk the streets and beg. They are out at all hours of the night. Its almost a little creepy because at first glance you want to think they are children around the age of 9 then, the look in their eyes makes you feel like they must be in their thirties. It is a really eery feeling. Apparently, despite Elaine and my attempts to plea with them, they were excited to see us. "Our friends from Long Street!" They ran to us and one put his arm through mine the other through Elaines. Quickly I made myself very aware of my belongings and put my hand in my pocket with my money. They are still street kids. "What are you guys doing in Camps Bay?" we asked. The third said we took a taxi and need to get home we are so hungry. Really I guess, it would be a good market for a beggar. Camps Bay has more money than backpackers row. Or so it appears.

We said good-bye to them and found ourselves standing outside of Caprice with our mouths hanging open. The street had been so quiet as you would expect for a Sunday evening in a little town. But now this white building with all glass exterior and white lights was thumping with the loud sound of american dance music and about two hundred people inside all dressed to perfection.

We made our way through the crowd and managed to get a table to get a bite. It was about twenty minutes before anyone said anything. It was Carrie. "Do you guys realize that we are just sitting here gawking?" We all just started laughing. It would appear that every single person in the club was at one time made out of clay and chiseled to perfection before being brought to life. It was a very different experience. Here was your fashion lovers and excercise fanatics. "I just don't understand," I said "do these people not have to work tomorrow?" "No," said Elaine, "They just have to work out!" At that we all could not contain ourselves. Behind me, Elaine was curiously watching the waitress bring over the massive Cheesburger and French Fries to a guy who might have been Vin Diesel's not so little brother. She watched as he took the bun off, ate the meat (not even the whole thing) two fries and pushed it away. We are reeling with excitement at this point. We ordered our food and as it was brought I pointed out to the that we all just ordered appetizers. Once, we were done with scientific research, we got up to walk around. We spotted this funny man from backpackers row and were so excited because we knew someone.

His name is James and he is actually a comedian and very different that the stereotype I have just given you. We all loved him and grabbed a table with him and his friend and continued to laugh and have a good time. It was Carrie and Elaine's last night and Carries birthday to boot.

Then next morning we woke up as the girls were trying to get everything together to fly home and I felt like death. I mean, everything that could feel wrong did and I am pretty sure I had a fever somewhere around 102 or 103.  Carrie, frowned at me. "You look terrible." "I feel horrible," and actually I cried a little. Its a little embarrassing, but thats how horrible it was. We said our good-byes and I crawled on the couch into the fetal position.

My head hurt so bad, my throat was killing me, my body was aching, I was nauseous, I had diarrhea (sorry but this is true) and I was so worried that something was really wrong with me. I stood up and got so dizzy I almost fell over. Trying not to panic I sat back down. My fever felt like it was raising. I managed to put my shoes on and walk to the front to reception to Patrick.  "Patrick, I need to go to the Pharmacy." He told me where it was, but by the look of me he said, "Should I just go with you?" in that friendly british sounding South African accent. I could tell he thought I looked horrible.

We got to the pharmacy and the lady loaded me down with everything. Luckily, I also had some anti-biotics from home that I started. When she learned I had been in Kenya, Madagascar and Rwanda, she put everything down and said. "This changes everything." I really didn't want to hear that, even though I knew. "If you are not slightly better in the morning, come back here and the doctor will see you. Take these and sleep as much as you can."

On the way back, Patrick said, "Elise, if you not better tomorrow we actually have a doctor that can just come to your room." "Okay," I said. When I got in the room I unwrapped the thermometer. It was the old school mercury kind which I can never read anyway. Then, it was in Celsius so even If I could, I couldn't. Patrick rang to check on me. I told him my problem.  He came and couldn't figure it out either. So... I just went to sleep. My first three days in Camps Bay and it was beautiful outside. I was confined to the couch. Luckily, and mostly I thank the amoxocillin I brought, by wednesday evening I was starting to see the light again.  I guess I don't have Malaria. WHEW! I know is might sound a little silly, but apparently everyone who comes to Malaria zones gets some strand of it and the profilactics kind of just hide it or keep it at bay. When my luggage was lost, my pills were in my bag. So, I went a day without them before Pat shared his with me. So, I was a little paranoid. Moral of the story is "PUT YOUR PROFILACTICS IN YOUR PURSE!" Lost luggage is common.

But no worries now. I am feeling sooooooo much better. The kind of better where you feel like a new person when your reminded of what feeling good actually feels like! I am through with my anti-biotics. I don't know what that was about I just thank God its over.

So, Wednesday night, I was feeling like I should eat. I wanted something loaded with curry. So, I wrapped myself up in clothes and scarfs and went to the Thai restaurant for some coconut curry soup and loads of Jasmine Tea. I had run out of tea and was growing tired of hot water. During my meal, this girl behind my said, "Excuse me, are you traveling alone?" She was sitting with a girlfriend. "Yes," I said. "Would you like to join us?" "I would love to," I said. I was done eating, but still drinking my tea. So I chatted for a bit before going back to crash.

There names were Roxanne and Wendy and they are from Joberg. Very friendly nice girls. They felt so sorry for me for being sick and being wholed up in my room. I told them that I actually had some tickets for a comedy show on Thursday (you remember my comedian friend James) if they wanted to grab some dinner and go. They were excited about it.

So Thursday, I was feeling a little better, they picked me up and took me to this place where some of their friends were having dinner and then we went to the show. The show was hilarious! James is way too funny! A bit controversial and came out dressed as a nun, but it was good times. He asked me to pass around the hat after and collect tips for him. So, he introduced me as his beautiful assistant. For a second, I had a flash of what it would feel like to live in Cape Town and not just visit. It was strange. I had a great time and James did well. I had also helped him sell of few tickets. I think I sold five tickets besides mine... I like to promote as some of you know. We went home early and back to bed.

Yesterday I got out and walked around the streets of Camps Bay and down to the beach. This place is overwhelmingly beautiful. I finally got to pull the big boy out of the safe to play. He was wondering why it had been so long. I am referring to my camera for those who might be confused. It was very fulfilling. There are a lot of things to do, but I am still holding out until Rick gets here. So, pretty much, I am relaxing, recovering, and enjoying not having to be anywhere at any given moment. Its a very free and liberating feeling.

I have been doing a lot of thinking and contemplating. Its so different and such a parallel to Madagascars poor way of life. Kenya and Rwanda for that matter. When I was watching all those young kids dance at Caprice, I kept having flashes of the poor, the villages, the camps, Pastor Chu Chu and his mission.

I think that it is good that those people were having such a wonderful time. I think the younger naive Elise from high school or college would have been mad at them for being so well off when there were so many that suffered.   But I realize that is not how the world works. Its just different. But then again I am not bad off either. Compared to most Malagasy I am filthy rich. I think its important to notice and appreciate parallels when you see them. I also think its important to not think your whole world revolves around money and status. But I don't think that those who have it should be punished or looked down on. Instead, I think we can only hope and pray that they, just as well as ourselves can use what we do have to make the lives of others better in whatever way we find possible by whatever means we can.

The world is big and we are many.
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momamia on

. . . what could I possibly say?
. . . no other mother could be as proud - love, mom
p.s. just stay well - and safe - muh.

edmondsmw on

I MISS YOU! I'm late getting to your blog, so I'm reading 5 at a time - I can't belive everything, Machine Gun Kelly - Your outlook on the world will forever be changed, I'm so excited you have had this experience it's hard to put into words - I'm sure you know that feeling (but you are doing a great job!) Have fun, be safe, put me on your list of phone calls when you get state side - I'm keeping up with you now
Love Ya

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