Last weekend I was fortunate enough to celebrate my birthday in Cape Town! On Friday night about 20 friends and I went out to dinner at the Royale Eatery, a famous burger restaurant in downtown Cape Town with a quirky (but fun) decor. I had the “Hawaiian Piggy”, a thick burger with guacamole, bacon, and pineapple, but I’ll definitely be going back to try the other 49 burgers they offer… It was really great just to be surrounded by many of the good friends I’ve made since being here. The next morning I went with a couple of friends to the Old Biscuit Mill, a kind of artisan-food market surrounded by a few specialty gift shops. This place is dangerous: surrounded by so much fresh, delicious food, I have to make sure I only bring a little bit of cash so that I don’t blow my entire budget on crepes, bagels, sweets, bread, honey, etc. Man. I’m getting hungry just looking at these pictures.
- Chelsea, Nadia, and Jenessa helped me make some no-bake cookies. Unfortunately, they had to leave before the cookies were ready. This is their conversation on the way back to the dorms that night:
- Chelsea: Do you think Ben is still awake? I want some cookies.
- Nadia: I don't know. Maybe.
- Chelsea: Call him.
- Nadia: No, you call him! I don't want to wake him up
- Chelsea: Nooo you call him. its only midnight, hes not a baby.
- Nadia: You call him.
- Chelsea: You won't go to Joburg with me this weekend! you call him!
- Nadia: Don't try to guilt me into calling him.
- Chelsea: Jenessa, you call him.
- Jenessa: Wait, what? Why me? He doesn't even have my phone number, it would be unknown.
- Chelsea: Nose goes.
- Nadia: I'm not calling him, I feel bad.
- Chelsea: Never mind, I'm hungry. I'm going to make pasta
- Jenessa: You guys suck!
Notes on Spain
Yes, yes, I know I said I was going to write about South Africa, and I will! But I was lucky enough to spend 5 days in Granada with my friend Andrea before arriving in Cape Town. So without further ado, here are my completely biased, totally subjective impressions of Spain, based on less than a week spent in a college town.
Completely Biased, Totally Subjective Impressions of Spain:
- Tapas are the best thing ever.
- Spaniards like their ham super salty (it’s delicious!).
- When I retire I’m going to live in an Arabic castle on a hill á la Alhambra.
- Granada fit every preconceived idea I had about European cities: cobblestone streets, tiny cars, narrow alleyways, awesome ancient architecture, etc…
- Everyone smokes.
- Mexicans are way friendlier than Spaniards.
- Spain Spanish is funny. It automatically makes you sound pretentious.
- Orange Fanta in Spain is the second best thing ever. It actually tastes like oranges!
- If for some reason I am not able to obtain an Arabic castle in which to retire, I will live in a hillside cave-house like the gypsies in Granada.
Now for a few explanations. Tapas are sort of like appetizer dishes, and can range from a small croissant sandwich to a burger with fries. Apparently they are abundant throughout Spain and the rest of Europe, but the cool thing about Granada is that tapas are FREE when you buy a drink! Of course, that means drinks are slightly more expensive than other places, but you can still find great deals. It’s really fun to go to a tapas bar, have an orange Fanta and sandwich, then go to a Moroccan café for another drink and a crepe, and finish the night with more orange Fanta and beef kabobs at an oriental café, and realize it all cost less than 6 Euros!!
I’d also just like to point out that the architecture of old European buildings is amazing. During my time in Granada I got to tour the Alhambra, a castle on a hill overlooking the city. It’s got a lot of Arabic-influenced design and the detail throughout the palace is incredible. I also got to go inside a massive Catholic cathedral in downtown Granada which also kind of blew my mind with how intricate everything is. A special thanks to Andrea for showing me around this beautiful city and letting me crash on her couch! Pictures to come soon, followed by posts about SOUTH AFRICA!