Stellenbosch has a lot of wine, brandy, braai and markets. So much, in fact, that I did a wine tour, a brandy tour, and went to two markets this weekend. I also had braai Friday-Monday, and watched my first rugby match! The markets were incredible. I got a few gifts for family (and myself) and a bunch of delicious food. One market happens every Saturday. The other only happens five days out of the year.
The wine tour was only okay. The wines we tasted were not so great, and it was rainy so our tour was more of a lesson.
Rugby was AWESOME. I really enjoyed the game. We had been on a plane with the winning team just a few weeks ago. In the last 5 minutes, the Western Province Stormers gained the lead, lost it, then managed to win. Pretty exciting stuff. We were in a really awesome house too, so we played some pool afterwards. It was really fun, actually.
The brandy tour was quite…interesting. We had been thinking that we were going on a wine tour…it was 10 AM. Quite interesting. The process of distilling brandy is REALLY cool though. You distill it twice, and its made from wine.
Sadly, I don’t have time to go into more details…but now we’ve left Stellenbosch and we’re going camping for a few nights. More updates to come soon!
Yesterday, I went to a workshop that combined the Thriller dance and cha cha. Oh my goodness, how I missed random campus events! I was able to meet some people, dance around, and learn a creepy dance. I still am always surprised when people are excited about my accent—to me it just isn’t that exciting! Everyone was very friendly, and I was invited to their end of the year party in about a week…too bad I won’t be in Stellenbosch anymore. Oh well, I have some new dance moves to break out on Halloween (get excited, SIT!).
Tuesday, we went to the Taal (Afrikaans for “language”) monument, which is, obviously, a monument dedicated to the Afrikaans language. It was pretty informative. The monument is essentially a giant phallic symbol. There’s one huge horn-like structure, to represent both Afrikaans and the front of a ship. In front of it are a few little horns, to represent the European languages that influenced Afrikaans. Dutch is the biggest, and English the smallest. You can walk inside the Afrikaans horn. The top of it’s peak it open, to symbolize that it is still growing. On the other side are three teensy-tiny semi-spheres. They represent the African languages that influenced Afrikaans: the language of the Khoi San, Xhosa, and Zulu. These structures were not near as impressive as the European language structures. Finally, the structure has a womb-like structure to represent the mother country, South Africa. The symbolism was actually quite impressive. The structure itself reminds me of the library at Georgetown that is supposed to be a modern interpretation of the most beautiful building, Healy Hall, but is really just a hideous slab of stone. It is clearly a relic of the ‘70s. The monument wasn’t necessarily ugly, but it definitely had the same ‘70s vibe.
Friday, we’re going on a wine tour! Then who knows what’s going on this weekend? All I know so far is that I am back in a college town, and I am very excited to see what goes on!
PS A lot of people here walk around shoeless…