Our Journey to SA — Day 1

Our Journey to SA — Day 1

As the night falls, we managed to stumbled out of our house with our luggages. I found out that I forgot my contact lenses, then it was dad, running back into the house, realising that he forgot to open the gate to let the taxi driver in. Anyway, we managed to set off in time, driving slowly to Changi Airport under the shroud of night.

Waiting while dad and mum checked the luggage

We got to the airport and mum and dad went to check the luggage. Mum was like: “Just remember 2 things: always take the laptop and the violin!!!” That wasn’t out of nowhere. For several times when we went on a trip, we almost lost Ariel’s violin, leaving it in random places, such as the taxi, in the corner of a hotel, a seat of a restaurant, …

All luggages checked!
We got onboard!

Dad: I finally got in one pic, but what is that strange haircut on me?

Soon, everyone lied down and within half an hour, it seemed that all the passengers fell asleep. The jet lag between South Africa and Singapore is 6 hours, meaning that, after we arrive in SA, if we are going to sleep at the same time as the South Africans, it would be 6 hours later than in Singapore. Since the latitude of SA is similar to many European countries, we had experienced these kind of jet lags for many times. For example, in Switzerland, the day we arrived, I was too tired that I almost slept in the restaurant. That’s why now I was thinking like, if everyone sleeps early, they are still going to wake up early in the morning like in Singapore, 6 hours earlier than South Africa. In this way, they are still not going to get used to the SA time. With this thought, I decided to stay up late (watching a popular Chinese TV series named “Joy of Life”) until it is 9:30 in SA (which is 3:30 in the morning in Singapore).

Soon, I experienced the consequences of not going to bed at the same time as other passengers (especially Ariel). When I went to bed, since everyone was sleeping, it as nice and quiet. However, after just a few hours, passengers started to wake up, (Ariel got up at 7:00 Singapore time, 1:00 in South Africa, shouting: “It’s 7:00 in Singapore! It’s 7:00! It’s 7:00!!”, like an alarm clock that couldn’t be turned off ?. So then I only slept for 3 hours…) there are lots of loud noises everywhere. I tried hard to keep my eyes shut, rolling back and forth on my seat but just unable to fall asleep again. Finally, after 5 more hours of “sleep”, I sat up, with two huge dark circles around my eyes.

Not long after I officially woke up, our plane arrived in Johannesburg, one of the capitals in South Africa (there are several capitals in South Africa, one is the legislative capital or seat of the Parliament, the other the administrative capital or seat of the government, and the last one the judicial capital). We stayed here for an hour for some other passengers to board, and then we headed to Cape Town, the destination of our flight.

At 10 am SA time, we got onto the car, meeting our tour guide and our driver. She was from Beijing and came to South Africa in 1997. Her Chinese name is Ronzi, I will call her R in the following journals.

Info of our tour guide

Our original plan was to go to Table Mountain, the famous tourist attraction. Table Mountain, located near the west end of Cape Town, is a sandstone mountain. Just as its name indicates, part of the mountain has a flat top, which makes it looks like a table from Cape town. Aunty R told us that, if we are going onto Table Mountain, it will take nearly 3 hours just to buy the ticket. We decided to push this tour to the following days right away (according to my past experiences, this means that we are probably not going onto Table Mountain) and returned to our hotel room to rest.

Arrived at the hotel, we were attracted by its striking appearance before we even went into it. Next to the front door, there were several long, rusty poles, sticking straight up into the ceiling. Aunty R said, our hotel was remodelled from an old barn, and that’s the reason why it looked so special. We headed to the front desk of the hotel on the sixth floor, (no offence, but from my observation) the front desk staff seemed to be European and spoke in a British accent. I wondered if her family were in South Africa, and if so, did they stayed here since South African was still a colony of the British? (some of the hotel staffs were Africans and spoke American accents or some unique African accents. Some of them also speak in British accents just like those staffs at the front desks. This was making me a bit confused — I thought that English was brought here by the British and the people here should all speak in British accents.) Anyway, we were told by the front desk staff that our room type had been upgraded! We took a lot of pictures in the hotel with excitement.

The view outside our window

The view outside our window was spectacular. We could not only saw Table Mountain outside Cape Town, but also most of the buildings inside Cape Town (Aunty R told us that what we were seeing inside the hotel was about the same as what we could see from the top of Table Mountain. This made us feel much better from our regrets of not climbing the mountain.) In the middle of our view, there were a few ships that were repairing with metallic racks underneath them. We were all very curious — how did they got the ships ashore? It turned out that there was a dam not far from here, and by rising the dam, the water level could be control. All that they need to do is to first rise up the water level, sail the ships onto the shore, then lower the water level.

The inside of our room was stunning. The windows were all designed to bulge out of the building like a bubble, so we could have a better view inside and to get a larger space. That was amazing.

Ariel arrested for doing dangerous actions and uncivilized behavior.

Family photo!

After all of these, Ariel was too tired and went to bed 1 o’clock at noon. The three of us started watching Joy of Life (I was ahead of mum , the TV series. Without realizing it, dinner time came (and Ariel was still sleeping).

It was dinner time! Every one changed into formal clothes.

Our seats were next to two huge French windows. The last of sunlight shines on our faces.

Dad: “We’re like cows”

Dad complained for the food in our hotel with a wry smile: “We are so miserable in SA, with nothing to eat except salad. I feel like a cow.

So what we mainly did today, hmm, I think it was mainly to get used to the jet lag. Even though we didn’t visit any famous tourist attractions, as long as I am able to catch the jet lag and everyone’s happy, I’m satisfied☺

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