#BuckFiftyADay Since March, 2014

#BuckFiftyADay Since March, 2014

Saturday, June 19, 2010

South Africa: Days 10-11

It's a mystery to me.

Whenever I travel abroad I become the world's clumsiest man. To date, I've stumbled and fallen to the ground twice (and I was not fouled), dropped important things (plug adapters) into places I could not reach without getting on my belly to find them (in public places), spilled drinks, and backed into about 1,000 people with my overstuffed backpack. Thankfully, folks here speak English (and most speak at least one other language), so "I'm sorry" and "Excuse me" work.

No explanation for any of it.

Let me ramble a bit. If anyone is thinking this trip is anything like my Angolan adventure, rest assured it is not. Not only are the people of South Africa extremely hospitable, the country is well-developed. No issues eating salads. You can order a steak medium. If you and your driver are starving after a long day, you can hit any number of drive thrus. Most of the hotels I've stayed in are of Holiday Inn caliber. Functional, clean, etc.

I had a little setback in Bloemfontein when I was assigned a handicapped room that did not have a shower. Not much of a bath guy, honestly. Especially when the room is cold and the bath water stays warm for about three minutes. I thought that was a pretty big inconvenience until I got to my latest hotel in Rustenberg. Yeah, it has a shower, but it would more accurately be called a trickle. And the H/C controls are pretty archaic. I got into a warm trickle and had to jump out of a scolding trickle. I've been going with the homeless man look a lot lately. It works for me.

Anyway, I work with sadness in my heart today. It's my son Tyler's 14th birthday, the first of his birthdays that I've missed, and hopefully the last. He's a stoic young man and he understands why I'm here, but that won't keep me from feeling sad today.


Anonymous said...

Happy Birthday Tyler

Lizzie said...

Happy Birthday to Tyler!!

Charles said...


Hang in there Bud, as always I enjoy your perspective on the events you cover.

I feel a lump in my throat when I read about your love of your family. You are a blessed man. Keep up the Good Work.