Friday, 7 November 2008

South Africa

The trip had been booked at a time when money and seemingly time were no object, and I had been asked to the wedding of an ex, to which I felt a strange obligation to attend. Running up to the trip, I realised that i had neither the time, money nor inclination to go, and I was being told by my friends to cancel the trip, but not wanting to offend anyone, or waste the money I had already spent, I decided to try and make the most of a slightly awkward situation. My usually impeccable organisational skills had not been deployed, so I took off from London Heathrow with just a phone number of the people who would help me get to Jo'burg from the airport.

Luckily the day I left, I had discovered, by pure chance, that there were a couple of my South African friends in Jo'burg for at least some of the time I was going to be there. This helped my state of mind immensely, even if I wasn't going to be able to meet up with them, I had a back up plan. On meeting Scott and Leanna, at the airport, I was relieved to find that they were extremely good fun and easy going, making the journey, and subsequently most of the day, far less awkward than I had anticipated.

We were only in Jo'burg for a day, in my case a few hours, before leaving for the wedding. I headed up to Pretoria to stay with Raoul's parents, which pleased me immensely, as I would be able to turn on my parent charming powers, and because I would not then have to sleep on the couch. With not a minute to spare for seeing the sights, we went to the liquor store to pick up drinks for more than 100 people. Despite being dressed in a skirt and sandals, I promptly loaded up the yute and earned back the brownie points that were deducted when I swore quite comprehensively on discovering the price of property in South Africa.

From the liquor store, we headed up to Mokopane, where the wedding was to be held at a hunting lodge on a game farm which doubled as a factory for milk products, which seemed a rather curious combination to me. The place was beautiful, right on the edge of a lake, with mountains in the distance, and several small huts to stay in. The one disadvantage being, that the bathrooms were in a seperate block, and my irrational fear of dying at the hands of giant insects would therefore be tested several times a day.