Sunday, January 3, 2010

Out With the Old, In With the New

It's Christmas eve. How did that happen? Honestly – there's no snow, it's not cold. And don't you be telling me that there's never snow or cold for the Aussies – cause they're already crazy, with their tomato sauce, and their butternut pumpkins. It's Christmas eve, and it came out of nowhere.

Oh – that trail I was on yesterday? So it turns out there was a good reason not to go up the yellow way. At the top there it wasn't just a normal walking path. Nope, it was a park. A lion preserve. Yes, those were lion prints and lion scat that I saw. Lions were walking around where I had got myself lost all by myself. That couldn't have possibly turned out to be a terrible thing, could it have?
As I shook away the shocks of fear I settled in for the long drive to Windhook. Or Vindhook as it was pronounced here.

Our first stop at this place would be the local mall. Sure, why not? Inside Hamish, Anne, Rachel, and I headed to an internet cafe.

Once again we connected with the world outside. I was informed by my parents that the sign from Auschwitz was stolen, and then later found cut into three pieces. I was one of the last group of people to see that original sign intact. I'm not sure if I find it more strange that it was stolen, or that it took this long to be stolen.

Namibia has proved to be quite the country. It also comes with a fun hand sign. Take your right hand, extend your thumb, point your other four fingers down, curl your pointer finger at the knuckle. Now throw that out and shout “Namibia!” Why? Take a look at a map, all will be revealed.

After internetting at the mall, we headed for some pizza. During this time we realized that we had stayed too long, and missed the truck back. We'd have to make our own way back to the motel we were staying in. Oh yes – did I mention we were staying in a motel? Beds, aircon, tvs, all things wonderful perfect after this many days camping. How sweet it would be.

Before making our way back though, we checked to see if the truck, by some stroke of luck, had actually remained in place. Hmm – there it was. And lots of people were outside. What was happening?

Apparently the keys to the truck were lost. And for the last fifteen minutes they were being searched for. We searched everywhere. I made a comment about how I hated losing keys, but that I always found them in the stupidest places – notably the freezer. Two minuets later the keys were found – in the freezer. Success. And we were off.

Back at the motel all of us had the exact same idea. It was time to start washing our clothes. In all our rooms – some with two, some with three people - sinks were filled and hand washing detergent was poured in. We had a good system going. The sink was used to wash, the drying rack used to agitate. Then when one piece was good enough it was thrown into the shower, faucet running full bore. Then back to wash the next piece, and then that went into the shower. From the shower they were rinsed in the bathroom sink, until they ran clear, and then then were moved outside, rung out onto the tiles which dried again in seconds, and hung over clotheslines tied to pillars, rails, and just about anything else that could support clothing in the sun.

As I said, we all had the same idea. Shirtless me, getting to work, joined by girls in their underwear washing everything they had, coving literally every surface in clothing. At one point Anne wanted to sit down, and moved my towel over Danny's shirt. I screamed no – no – for Danny will kill us all – Anne didn't understand. I got whacked in the face with my towel, glared at Anne, and replaced it where it belonged. Let no one mess with Danny's clothing again.

When all our clothes were hanging on whatever there was for clothes to hang on, we started to calm down, and relax a little. I headed into Courtney's room to watch some of The Simpson's movie that was playing on tv. In other rooms people were watching Rogue, where a giant crocodile was killing everyone foolish enough to go into the water.

I also borrowed Bridget's NDS to play some Super Mario Brothers. I got her 99 lives, saved, and felt as if I'd made an accomplishment, no matter how small.

Some people played with Raymond's devil sticks that I discovered in the back of his truck. nd on the heated tile I also went to work using my multicoloured pens to create a sign that read “it's not a fucking bus!” with a picture of Raymond at the bottom saying “Do I look like a fucking bus driver?!” Every time someone referred to the truck as a bus, they would be added to the sign, with a point beside them.

Needless to say I accumulated a lot of points, and took an early lead. But to be honest, relative to how much i talked, I thought I was doing quite well!

This is how we would help control our use of the phrase, and avoid Raymond from becoming dangerously enraged – for no truck driver wants to be seen as a bus driver.

Now it was meeting time. We would gather upstairs to get to know the new people who would be joining us on our tour. It was also tragic, as we would be losing people along the way as well. A one to one trade would be made with six people.

Anne, Valad, Alex, Indika, Daniella, and Robby would leave, being replaced by Mia (Mya), and Eric, and Sandra, and Ivona, and Katrin, and... there should have been another. At the meeting we were told that Niki as delayed due to flight issues but that she would be joining us the next day, in theory.

The new people were met, briefly talked to, and then it was off to dinner at Joe's Beerhouse. The best game restaurant in Africa. I had a kabob that contained Zebra, and Crocodile, and Ostrich, and Springbok. Zebra – let me tell you – is a most delicious meat. Crocodile is ok, but I couldn't eat a lot of it.

One liter beers were consumed here. And Secret Santa gifts were exchanged. I received a bottle of wine, and a very fine (cheap – but very fine) watch. It was enough to make me think that maybe I should pick up a watch when I got back to the real world.

And then, at the end of the day, I chatted with Anne for a bit. It was her last night with us. And when she left – that was that. I'd never really talk with her again.

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