Monday, July 16, 2007

birthday fun

My mom is somewhere in transit right now, on her birthday, to come and see me. I am so excited. Wait a minute, it’s only 12 here so maybe she’s just starting her journey. Who knows but by tomorrow night around 9 pm-ish my time, she’ll be here in SA! It’s been almost a year since I’ve seen her (or anyone in my family) and I can’t wait for a great big long mom hug. I hope her birthday is filled with fun travel stories and just happiness in general.

Last Friday was my birthday. It was a great day. Jason and I started the day off early so we could catch a taxi to Johannesburg. Despite the fact that I set my alarm early and did most of my packing the night before, I was still ready after him and doing last minute things as I was running out the door. Even though we were out the door, I still had to stop and talk to my neighbor and was going to stop at the next house to play with the cute new puppies that were yapping and coming up to me but Jason wouldn’t let me. I feel his patience was being tested just a little bit by my ability to take hours to leave the house (or the village) no matter how valiant my efforts to pack and do as much as possible the night before. Anyway, we made it to the taxi rank and after a couple hours when the taxi finally filled up, we were on our way…

…And ended up having the most uncomfortable taxi ride I’ve ever had here. Most taxis put 4 people in the last row, 4 in the next row and then 3 in the row right behind the driver but there are a select few that can actually fit 4 in the row right behind the driver. This was one of them. Usually it’s not a problem but it seemed as though all the small and narrow people sat in the back 2 rows and were lounging as if it were a private car, while Jason and I and 2 others sat together – each one of us in our row had the broadest shoulders of all in the taxi. We were literally squished into our row, we could not actually sit shoulder to shoulder. Despite all our efforts, our butts and legs and everything else was screaming to get out and just stand by the time our taxi made it to JHB – and that was with 2 stops along the way.

We made it and eventually, after a walk through a bustling market wearing our hardest, don’t mess with me faces, we made it to the bus station where Leigh came to pick us up. We were supposed to meet Tanya, but she ended up joining up with us later – which is a whole other story in itself!

Leigh and Sue were amazing and hosted a dinner party in my honor. Most the people I work with and have spent some time with in Johannesburg were there. Dinner was amazing, the conversation was good and the company was spectacular. Sue had whipped up a dark chocolate mousse and we had a champagne toast. It was a beautiful and fun evening that lasted late into the wee hours of the morning. And I got to relive it all the next day when our alarm went off early (so we could get on a plane) and I was still feeling the 3 glasses of champagne, 3 glasses of wine and one gin & tonic I had from the night’s festivities.

Now Jason and I are in Durban, we’ve had an interesting couple of days but I’m saving that for the next time I’m on a computer. Right now my time is running out at the internet café and we still have to do a bit of grocery shopping and lounging on the beach to do. Oh how I love vacation!!

Oh – and thanks to all whom sent me messages for my birthday!

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