The dress of the hour

Early yesterday morning I asked my sister, Jaclyn, to take a photo of the dress.

It was SO early.

We had to get up before dawn (OK, around 7am but I’m unemployed, give me a break) because Jaclyn had an appointment with the wisdom-tooth-fairy and I had to be the responsible adult in attendance.

So, I’m well aware of my tired, makeup-less expression. No need to tell me about it.

Anyway, because I was tired, and already in my dress, I took it out for a second day.

I know, I’m gross. No need to tell me about it.

Right. So while Jaclyn was in surgery, this responsible adult nipped out for a bit to return the heads I borrowed to their rightful owners.

Unfortunately, because it was DAWN, the shop wasn’t open so I had to leave them with this old lady in an apron who looked like she was headed into the store at some point. I think she worked there. She didn’t say she did… but probably she did.

While I was talking with apron-lady, another woman pulled my arm and said, “I just love your retro-style dress! I wish I could still wear stuff like that.”

So I figure in spite of my tired and gross factors, the awesomeness of the dress still reigned supreme.

I know the photo doesn’t do it justice but at least it’s something.

And, just so you know, I got back to the Wisdom Tooth Fairy’s place well before Jaclyn was semi-conscious. And by the time Jaclyn felt up to leaving the house again, hours and hours later, I had changed my clothes.

Photo tagged

This game is really hard for me because I have so many folders and sub-folders holding photos.

The rules state I must post the fifth photo from the fifth folder and then explain its context, but I have to take a few extra steps to even get to photos.

It’s terribly disorganized.

I blame Canada.

So what I decided to do was go into my “Personal” folder, as opposed to any of my work folders (I use a work laptop and have yet to take my personal stuff off the harddrive. Don’t worry, I’ll get it sorted out soon enough) and then take the fifth photo from the fifth folder.

This is the result:

This is Amanda. She was staying at my place for a while back in the summer and one night she straightened her hair.

Since her hair is usually really big and curly, she looked really different. I tried to take photos but she wouldn’t pose for me, so I took a lot of silly photos instead.

She seemed kind of annoyed with me so then I took silly photos of myself.

I had just dyed my hair that evening, which I thought was exciting.

[Day 10, but Day 1 in Botswana] I camped in Chobe National Park

Here’s an excerpt from my journal while travelling through southern Africa in 2008.

Day 10—Well, we’re camping in Botswana tonight.

This morning we packed up and left Zimbabwe.

The Botswana border was SO not a big deal. No questions, no fees. All we had to do was get out of the 4×4 so they could spray it for foot and mouth disease and we had to step on this soiled towel before walking across the border, presumably for the same reason.

Botswana is supposed to be safer than most other African countries, although since we’re camping in a game park…safe is a relative term.

I’ve decided to think of this like camping in Canada—there are wild animals around but most likely they’ll steer clear of you so long as you put your food in a tree.

Right. Keep thinking that Robyn.

Once in Botswana we were told to buy enough water and snacks for four days in the bush.

Four DAYS in the park? Whoa, whoa, whoa.

  1. What are we going to be doing for FOUR DAYS in the DESERT?
  2. What do you mean ENOUGH water…how much am I going to need?
  3. How many campgrounds are there in the DESERT?
  4. What about my camera? I don’t have enough batteries!

This freaked me right out because I wasn’t expecting it. It made me realize how unprepared I was/am for this trip. Lame. I wonder what would’ve changed in my packing list had I known what we’d be doing…I should make a revised list for all those planning on doing a spontaneous trip that someone else, “sorts out,” for them.

After the shopping we drove around Chobe National Park. We saw TONS of animals—massive herds of buffalo and elephants. And vultures, all sorts of birds, zebra, lions (only three this time) and all those different antelope-types.

The weather was really, really hot. I bet it was over 40 Celcius because I’m quite adapted to the +35 degree weather that it has been ever since I arrived in Africa.

However, I bought a butt-load of water to deal with the sitch. Like, four litres. I figure a litre for every day? Should work. (Although, I’m not very good at math).

Later

We just got an animal-overnight briefing.

I. Am. Terrified.

Here is why: Because if an elephant walks over your tent, you can’t do anything about it. If an orangutan decides he doesn’t like you and poops on you, too bad. Because if a lion or cheetah decides you’re food, then dude, you’re food.

Don’t ask me why, but when I learned earlier today we were camping in, “the game park,” I understood it to mean we were camping in a designated camping area IN the game park but not OF the game park.

You know? Like, a place where there are rangers and huts and fences inside the park but kind of a settlement for humans, where animals stay away from.

I was wrong.

We rolled up to a deserty place, looking just the same as all the other deserty places we’d been seeing animals in all day, and our guide announced, “OK. Here’s our campsite.”

My breath caught in my chest. Whaaaaaat? But we just saw THREE lions just over there!

Since my face is a liar I had to set everyone straight that I wasn’t going to cry.

Then I got out of the safety of the 4×4 and tried to set up my tent. Too bad I was shaking so much that it looked like I didn’t know how to set up a tent and two of the boys felt compelled to help me.

Then I grabbed my borrowed sleeping bag (since I didn’t know we were camping until two days prior, I didn’t pack a sleeping bag. Or anything camping-related actually. Or anything appropriate for camping. I mostly brought beach clothes and electronics) and threw it into the tent. This is when Liam told me he’d decided to sleep on top of the 4×4 with our guide, instead of in the tent with me, to get a better African experience.

With widened eyes and a completely dry throat I nodded that it was OK with me but on the inside I was screaming in fear. Not only are we camping in the middle of the freaking desert, but I have to sleep BY MYSELF in my tent?

Oh dear…think of Canada. Think of Canada…

Later

We had supper around the campfire and are did a lot of star gazing. Of course the stars are different in the southern hemisphere but you can still see the Big Dipper and Orion. They’re just upside down.

Scorpio constellation was pointed out, and the Southern Cross. It was really great.

The sheer overwhelming amount of stars made me think of Genesis when Abraham was told to count the stars…can’t be done. There are too many!

As I was thinking about that a massive comet or meteor (something with a big, long tail) flew across the sky. It was really special.

This is a really unique trip. I’m glad I’m here but I am constantly battling fear.

It’s a good thing I think. This is the most thinking I’ve done in a long time. I don’t wrestle with my thoughts like I did years ago—so at least I know I’ve perhaps learned peace. I can shut down my doubts and just rest. That’s something Christo and I talked about in Johannesburg and it’s really stuck with me these past few days.

It’s probably an important conversation I should think more about actually.

[Day 7 in South Africa] I saw a leopard eat an impala


An excerpt from my journal

Day 7: We’re flying out of Ulusaba and staying the night in Johannesburg before the camping trip begins.

At dusk last night I did another game drive. I tagged along with some VIPs and went for a really nice supper at the lodge. It was really nice. Talked with the other guests staying at the lodge.

All I kept thinking was, “My goodness these people have and spend a lot of money.” I guess I should get used to it but I don’t seem to ever.

Money definitely doesn’t drive me. That much is clear. Travelling, however, still does.

Anyway, we saw about 12 rhinos on the game drive and…donno. Had a really nice time.


After a few days on the game reserve I started getting bored. My friend was busy all the time with his vague activities and I was battling jet lag like no one’s business. And totally losing. I kept falling randomly asleep at all hours and couldn’t get a good night’s sleep because I kept on getting up at 4 a.m. to go on game drives.

But I had to go on game drives. Because there was nothing else to do in the Sabi Sands desert. Seriously! I couldn’t walk around anywhere and I could only play tennis if other people:

  1. Drove me to the courts and
  2. Played with me. Oh yeah. And
  3. Lent me a racket.

Not that I’m complaining—it was a really fantastic few days. But I was ready to leave.


Day 7 journal continued: Today I barely scrambled up at 4:49 a.m. and managed to catch a ranger running late for his shift to get a ride up to the lodge to meet the game drive with the VIP family.

Saw a leopard eat an impala so it was totally worth it. I STILL can’t believe how close we’ve been getting to all the animals. I think this is a once-in-a-lifetime experience. The impala smelled really yucky. And FYI, the sound of bones crunching is not cool.

11 p.m. or so—Random day. I’ve been so tired. Literally slept for four hours. Liam threw a pillow at me for snoring…

Key Words of the day and my trip. And my life (Slang)

  • JUST NOW—If someone says this it means something will happen any time in between five minutes and five hours. Unless you’re on the west side of South Africa, then throw the time limits out because they’ll just frustrate you.
  • NOW NOW—If this is said it means something will happen within five minutes. Ish.
  • LATER—Yeah. Not going to happen.


Also while I was in Johannesburg, my friend Christo came by and took me out for dinner in the new downtown. It was great! We ate at a neat Afrikaans restaurant and I got my face painted.

And I even managed to forget my wallet so Christo had to pay.

Smooth.