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ReportsSunday, 11 November 2001
--> Port Elizabeth (SA) I surely get well fed by my hosts, as this report will tell. After a dinner-lunch at friends of the Dumigan’s I ended up in the hands of my next host Sian O’Keefe, who let me sleep in his friends’ home while we had another scrumptious meal somewhere else. What was that saying again; wherever you go, there you are?
I woke up around 9.30 this Sunday morning and knew that Alan and Heather had already left the house to go to church. They had explained me how I could make my coffee and heat up the porridge they had made for breakfast.
They arrived back at their home at 10.30 and I was stuffing my backpack again. Today they would take me for a drive around PE and we would have lunch at their friends, before they would leave me at my next host’s place.
We got into the car and had a great drive around the city, showing me the bay, different beaches and as we left the car for the few minutes, Alan was filming around with his camera. They surely won’t miss filming the Flying Dutchman visiting PE!
Port Elizabeth is built on hills, a lot of hills. It occurred to me how we were driving up and down all the time. The centre and the suburbs mostly all look the same. Walls surround a house and its garden and it goes on like this everywhere.
We ended up at two friends of Alan and Heather, and the lady there was very distressed about the dinner she had prepared for us. It was funny how she worried that I wouldn’t like it, but it was good.
After this full filling meal we got nice mint ice cream for desert and we sat talking in their living room for quite a while, talking about all sorts of things that keep people busy in life (while being served coffee with cake).
It was almost 4 o’clock in the afternoon when Alan and Heather finally dropped me off on Westbourne Road in Port Elizabeth, where I met up with my next host Sian O’Keefe, who has its webdesign office situated above an internet café.
I thanked Alan and Heather for letting me stay for a day at their hotel, I would have left a note if they indeed had a visitor’s book, but they’ll have the video as the proof of me being there.
Sian O’Keefe is an Southafrican with a Welsch-Irish background (you know that the people in British Wales are actually also destined to become the Irish, but unfortunately they couldn’t swim to the Irish island, so they initiated Wales, hehe). He let me use one of the computers in the Internet café to check my email. It took me a long time to process emails again.
Somehow the international press agency Reuters decided to write an ‘oddly enough’ story about me, so this email interview kept me occupied for quite a while.
It was at his office when I delivered Sian the letmestayforaday-gift that I had brought along from Alan and Heather. This time it were some fresh oven baked chocolate cookies that Heather had baked for my next guest. How about that! And boy, were they scrumptious!
It was about 6pm when Sian took me along in his Volkswagen to the home of two friends of him, John and Lauren, where I’d be staying in their guestroom tonight. Arriving there I met up with the mundane folks living there and was immediately offered a beer.
I declined that and decided I’d have a quick nap first, sightseeing can exhaust me too a bit. But I was back alive around 7 and found out that the house was quite deserted. One other flatmate was watching television and told me that Sian and John were out doing groceries for tonight’s dinner. It was all-fine with me and I enjoyed watching Who Framed Roger Rabbit on the telly.
When John and Sian returned, I was taken along to another house, where again other friends of Sian live – this was the place where the dinner would be served.
And with mundane I mean to write that the folks I met today live a very down-to-earth life. Not meant negative of course, but when I heard that their life style was having a party at least once in the two days, I understood. And of course, working for a living is hard, so why not share the spare time with friends and have a blast?
I met up with the flatmates Megan, J.J. and Stan who habituated this big three room Victorian house in the centre of PE and of course I would meet more people, like Garry, another friend of Sian.
So you can understand I was quite baffled with my moving around, that I was easily sat down on the table, as dinner was prepared by the ladies and I talked with Sian, Garry and J.J. while progressive trance music was played out loud.
And next to Sian the webman, Garry was occupied in the timber industry and J.J. is in training for his Communication and Marketing course. I was surrounded by a wide variety of people and that was rather amusing.
When dinner was served, we all noticed how the big glass table was too small. Things got rearranged, to fit the two oven plates with deliciously prepared fish in it. And put that with the sauce on a plate with salades and potatoes, you can imagine I had altogether some good meals today.
And as it goes with young urban professionals these days, it wasn’t rare to see their genga joints going around after the meal. And did you know that eating ice makes the full feeling in a stomach dissapear?
It was about 10pm when the first flatmates made the moves of going to bed early today. It was Sunday night and they all just had a long rough weekend with all kinds of parties and tomorrow a new working week would start.
It was all-okay with me and Sian dropped John, Lauren and me off at their home and promised me to pick me up around 10.30 the next morning. Good, good, good, I thought – hoping that I would just wake up somewhere tomorrow and I wouldn’t feel anything of the wines I had drunk tonight. Fortunately alcohol makes going to sleep very easy…
Good night Port Elizabeth!
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