How Far True is Dat!
Click on image to enlarge.
by John Spencer
Description: Do hormone replacement therapy pills cause blue testicles? "How far true is DAT!" is an irreverent diary of a hilarious, thought-provoking trip in South Africa's Capes. Plus, it provides the possibly definitive answer to the above question, at least in the case of vervet monkeys.
eBook Publisher: SynergEbooks, 2009 SynergEbooks
eBookwise Release Date: January 2010
Available eBook Formats: OEBFF Format (IMP) [85 KB]
Reading time: 48-67 min.
In today's sagging economy it is important to be as frugal with money as possible. That said, I am crossing a vacation to the cape area of South Africa off my list of places to visit. I now feel as if I have already been there. How Far True Is Dat, is a charming mixture of a memorable trip and pages from history. The descriptions of various locations, lodgings, the images of the people encountered, events and the scenery, will long remain in my mind. The part about zipping along a cable stretched high up between tall trees I could have done without, but only because of
a fear of falling.
The three weeks depicted were told about with wry wit, causing outbursts of laughter. My time in the company of this book was well spent.
~ Sharon Kull
Chapter 1 Hannes and his sisters
When we first walked in the door, the three middle-aged men in the hall turned toward us. All three gave me an unexpected up and down look. It was the kind of practiced scan that was not so much them checking my appearance, though they briskly did that (which I must admit was flattering, since they hardly gave Pascale a second glance), but more to determine how I viewed them. Makes sense, really, if you're that way inclined--and all three were. Yes, Peter's Guest House at Cape Town's Waterfront was owned and run by gay men. That's not to say that others were not welcome, but gays ruled here. Which was all to our advantage. The place was exceptionally well run. Overall, it had a most relaxing ambiance and every nook and cranny was festooned with creative little touches that, frankly, I certainly would never have considered, but actually worked remarkably well. The barely discernable yet strangely relaxing hint of mild perfume in the air was just one example. The food was first-rate; the people, both owners, staff and guests, were sociable and interesting. Pascale insisted that I was imagining the gay aspect and bet that the owners, Peter and Hannah, were a heterosexual couple. When Hannah came back from holidays the next day, "she" turned out to be a twenty-five year old man named Hannes, who carried in his arms a wide-eyed Siamese cat sporting a pink silk bow. Pascale has yet to pay me the ten Euros.
They didn't cater for evening meals at Peter's Guest House, so we went to a local restaurant for dinner. Though the temperature was a most agreeable seventy something and there wasn't a cloud in the sky, we were advised that it was safer to take a taxi. The comfortable ten minutes taxi ride to the restaurant was uneventful. The same could not be said of the return journey.
"Ha, ha, ho, ho. Oh my god, how did you know dat was a woman!" I would not like to wake up beside her in de morning. Oh my god, no! She is even uglier than an ugly man! If she's a woman, why is she not in her house making her husband's dinner? Oh my god, no, not for me. Ho, ho, ha, ha!"
Our first evening in South Africa and such was our introduction to political correctness. Like much local knowledge offered to visitors throughout the world, it was a taxi driver who delivered it as he drove us back to Peter's Guest House.
It was almost 10 p.m. and still not dark. We had just come out of the quiet restaurant to the clamour of the busy street and were met by a group of touting taxi drivers--all black--one of them was this rather unfortunate lady. She stood out from the others looking for taxi customers, not just because she was a woman, but because of her appearance. It was hard to put an age on her, and since our driver insisted on talking about her, I asked him what age she might be. "Who knows, probably a hundred and fifty," he chuckled and continued to malign the poor woman, as we merged with the main traffic. "Did you not see, has she not da figure of a barrel on two short sticks, ha, ha, ho ho?"
"I hadn't noticed, to be quite hon..."
"Oh, no, my god and, you know, she has no neck," he interrupted. "It's like a person buried to the chin in sand, no, no neck at all, HA, HA, HA, HA!"
We had no chance to protest, or divert the conversation to something less discomfiting.
"And her face, Oh my god, did you see it? Her face... is she trying to scare children or what? Ha Ha, Oh no, Oh my god!"
Whatever chance this unfortunate woman had of drumming up business in her own right, it seemed most unlikely that this male colleague diverted much her way.
Happily, this was the only inappropriate conversation we had with any of the taxi drivers we hired during our three week holiday.
The non-pc taxi took us back to our guest house a few miles away after a tasty meal in this very pleasant French restaurant not far from the Waterfront. (Fillet steak au poivre, assorted vegetables, excellent wine all for a total of just over ten euros.)
It was the 16th of February, the evening of our first day in South Africa and the temperature was still around seventy degrees.