May 30th, 2010
Sunday morning Gregg picked us up, our friend who owns an adventure tour company. We were going to west coast where they are known for their seafood. When he picked me up, I saw this huge bus out front with about 15 of his friends piled in. I had no idea who any of them were so it took a while to get to know everybody. Two hours later we pulled up to some beachfront that was covered with netting and buoys. We walked through this little tunnel and came out into this open area filled with grills, brick ovens, and benches sprawled throughout. This was all on the beachfront and the people were grilling freshly caught fish on an open fire. We sat down and got informed what we were getting ourselves into, a twelve-course seafood meal! He said the meals come out throughout the day and it is a self-serve method. They also are known for freshly baked breads. I could see bread being put into the brick oven to be baked. The finished result was incredible looking. We began our first course and it was just some sort of fish, I can’t remember the exact kind. All I remember was snoek (fish only found in Cape Town), Hake, Angelfish, and something with the word “stump”. When I dished myself a piece of fish with my friends, I was wondering where the utensils were. I must have looked confused because some man came over and said the utensils were right there in front of me. I looked down and into this bucket and saw the utensils. How fitting, they were emptied mussel shells. Cheap beer and wine flowed everywhere and the environment was very relaxing. Again, I’d love to take my friends and family someday. This city continues to amaze me with the amounts of activities to do. You don’t even have to be a tourist and you’ll still be able to go here whenever and have a good time. As the day progressed I noticed a lot of the conversation was about beating people up. Most of the friends were comparing one to another saying who could take on who. I asked why everyone is having this fascination with beating each other and got the strangest answer, “Oh, we’re all UFC fighters”. So I was having a 12-course seafood meal with 15 UFC fighters. They are all friends and train 5 days a week, 4 hours a day. At that point, these people became instantly cooler yet instantly weirder at the same time. I would have never thought any of them were UFC fighters but I found it kind of cool that the cute blonde girl next to me was a ferocious cage fighter. At the end of the meal, they started to make some coffee the old school way. They threw everything into a giant cast iron pot and let the coffee percolate over the fire. Towards the end they take one of the steaming logs from the fire and throw it into the coffee pot. In the end, I got the best coffee I’ve ever had… done over the fire with a smoky chicory kick.
That night I realized where I was at in my trip, the end. I was going into my final week and couldn’t believe this was all coming to an end. I was looking through my pictures on my laptop and did the whole beginning to end thing. I couldn’t believe over two and a half months ago, I was roadtripping with Jayson (who I miss terribly) down to California. Then came the Dubai pictures, I can’t believe I actually traveled there! By myself! That was the just the beginning of this journey. The pictures of my host family in Durban made me smile, and they seem like such a memory already. Time has truly flown by in some regards, but I can appreciate its duration through all the photos. Lauren left on Saturday and it was so strange because I felt like I was saying goodbye to a friend who came to visit me at home. The reality is that I will be in her position 7 days later. I think I’m ready to come home but I know will be an adjustment.
Oh ya, and another crazy revelation, I graduate from University of Washington in a week and a half. That was weird to type.