Since my last post providing an update on the water crisis we have had loads of rain. There was a decent rainfall on Monday night with a noticeable increase in the volume of our tank. Then last night the rain came down hard. There is a news report showing that in the 24 h till 8 am this morning the local area got between 18 – 30 mm of rain.
It started raining about 3:30 this morning. The rain fell so hard it woke me up and I struggled to get back to sleep. One of our neighbors had to pump water out of his garage. My sister’s husband reported that their dog’s bowls had floated down their garden. You will have to look closely but you can see tidemarks on the wall.
While all this rain is a welcome relief and was badly needed such a heavy downpour does have it’s downside. One problem is that where plant life has struggled due to a lack of water there would have been soil erosion. An example of this is a patch of grass near where I live. Naturally watering grass was one of the first casualties when water restrictions were introduced and a green field has steadily turned brown. So a lot of soil has been washed into the road.
The biggest irony is that we have moved from one disaster to another. According to a local news website 2000 people and 578 structures have been affected. Sadly many of these will be the poorest communities, those people living in informal structures, in an area known as the Cape flats. Many of these communities do not have running water and have to collect water from a communal tap. Some members of this community were scathing towards the wealthier communities getting stressed out by day zero. Day zero is their reality 365 days a year.
Having said that improved rainfall should help the farmers and that is also good news for many poor people. Low rainfall means, poor harvests, increased food prices and fewer jobs.
Overall the rain is good news for South Africa and I think heavy rain is required in order for the water to find its way to the dams. It is unfortunate that it means misery for some.
I briefly mentioned the Cape Town water crisis in February. At the time there were a lot of stories in the international news about the possibility of Cape Town running out of water. Things have since improved so I thought it was time for an update.
Today seemed like an appropriate time to revisit this topic because I stumbled across a blog, written in February which provided some nice details about Day zero. Then later as part of our water saving plan I attached a new pipe to our drainpipe which diverts rainwater into the pool. It is a flat plastic pipe which can be rolled up when not needed. We had a thinner version but it was blown around easily and ended up full of holes.
Interestingly one of the towns I visited on my Karoo roadtrip (I will publish the final installment soon), Beaufort West, was one of the first towns whose dam ran dry. We did not notice any problems while we were there. It seems they now use water from boreholes and a sewerage purification plant.
The concept of Day Zero is useful to help people realise that the water crisis is serious and everyone needs to do their part although it was somewhat controversial. Day 0 was calculated on the rate at which the dam levels were dropping and did not take into account any new water projects. This meant that we got regular news to say day zero was pushed back.
Personally I think there was a point the government went too far with scary messages about Day 0. News started leaking about half-formed plans for water collection sites. People started panic buying and stockpiling bottled water. There were a few weekends where people queued for hours to buy water from the bottled water shops. Till it emerged that most of these shops were selling filtered municipal water.
There were a few weeks where there was no bottled water on the supermarket shelves. My mother has a few stories about arriving at the stores about the same time as the delivery trucks and managing to get a few 5 L bottles, as they were being unpacked. I heard a story about one person who realised you could order bottled water online and ordered enough to fill their garage. The trade in non-potable borehole water is thriving, with water delivery trucks a regular sight around Cape Town.
Then the government went to the opposite extreme and announced that there would be no Day 0 in 2018. Capetonians have done well with water saving and they have agreed reduced water supplies with the farmers. The water crisis is not yet over as the tight restrictions remain. It will take a few years of good rain to refill the dams but in the short term, hopefully the winter rains will be enough to last another summer.
After a nearly a year of online dating I was starting to despair of meeting anyone sensible. There was Import-export guy who showed so much potential and then ghosted. This was never going to be the last ghosting. Then there were a few examples of a nice guy but no chemistry. Then most unexpectedly, I met someone in an offline setting.
I debated even going to the funeral on the Friday. I had a lot of work to do and I was not sure it was really necessary, especially when it it seemed my sister wasn’t going. She arrived after the service with her kids. I knew it was right that Mom should go and the deceased came to Dad’s funeral.
Both Mom and some friends we went with, commented on the fact that the sons cheered up a lot when they saw me. They told me later that they used to look forward to coming round to our house. My sister and I were a lot more fun than the children of their Dad’s other good friend. With hindsight I guess there were additional reasons why the older son cheered up. I will call him IT guy.
I can’t explain why I asked for his number as we were leaving. I thought it would be nice to stay in touch and I could not find either son on facebook. I knew Mom had the email address of the younger brother. IT guy messaged later in the evening to make sure that we go home safely. He also thanked us for staying late. I think it made the situation easier for both sons.
On the Saturday Mom went on a mission to dig out some old photos and I ended up taking photos of a few and sending them to IT guy. He thought most of the photos of him were embarrassing and laughed at one of his brother. He mentioned that they were going up Table Mountain on Monday night and this would be followed by a meal. Would I like to join them. We had strawberry daiquiris and watched the sunset. It was a lovely evening.
The following day he returned to Dubai but the messaging continued. It became more flirty and within a few days he made it clear that he was interested in more than just friendship. It turns out that he has fancied me since we were kids. So much for my determination to find someone in Cape Town and avoid another relationship by text.
It was one of those days where things kept going wrong and in the end I just had to laugh at myself and my ability stress myself out.
Last week one of the project funders requested a meeting in response to our request for an extension. Of course the boss then asked for a presentation detailing the work to date. I always find this kind of situation stressful which is not helped by the fact that I am feeling very insecure about how the project is going. The plan was to put the finishing touches to the presentation and send it first thing this morning. I drove all the way to work only to discover that I had left my laptop at home.
The reason for being distracted when I left the house starts over the weekend and the new guy. I will call him IT guy. I finally started my post about how we met on Sunday. By the evening I was starting to feel insecure about publishing because I had not heard from IT guy since the Friday evening. In all honesty that should not really have been an issue, based on what I know of his schedule and where the relationship is. Nonetheless memories of other ghostings started to haunt me, not to mention messaging issues marking the beginning of the end with Import-export guy.
So take stress about work, mix it with stress about IT guy and add the stress about not feeling in the mood to work on this blog and by the evening you end up with one nervous wreck. I tried to distract myself but I kept watching the clock waiting for a message. One thing I have decided, in a similar way to Guy 0 and Import-export guy, I am probably getting too committed to soon.
So I was very bemused to wake up this morning and find that I had a received a few messages last night including from IT guy at a fairly sensible hour. There could have been a technology blip but I think it is mostly likely that I was so wound up I forgot to actually check my phone occasionally. Still not sure how I managed to plug the phone into the charger without noticing I had messages.
So this morning my head was spinning with the idea that I let myself get so stressed him not messaging that I missed his message. That my evening would have been much nicer if we had traded a few messages. That last year’s ghostings may have affected me more than I realise.
So I decided to grab a decent cup of coffee and a sheet of paper I needed before heading home. I managed to leave my access card at the coffee shop and had to go back. I joked with my colleges about a 90 min round trip for a sheet of paper. They laughed at me when I had to come back for it and told me to be very careful driving home.
On the drive home my thoughts turned to the fact that I bumped into a college at the coffee shop and she sent me a WhatsApp about my access card before another round of panic set in. That helped me to focus on all the other positives in my life and reminded me that I am more than capable of dealing with this meeting with the funder.
We won’t mention that when I got home I tried to put the coffee cup into an overflowing bin and then had to clean up the spillage. Lol.
I have now set-up an Instagram account to go with this blog although I am still figuring out how best to use Instagram.
I started this as a dating blog but I don’t have many dating stories right now so I thought I would share some details from my recent trip. Having said that the story behind the trip is relevant to my dating story. A few months ago I wrote about how a typo with ‘u’ in place of ‘I’ really upset me because I took it to mean the guy I was interested in, at the time, was telling me I needed to get a life. I realised that I was relying too much on online dating to fill a gap and decided it was time to find other ways to be sociable, which is why this trip happened.
Days 1 and 2 of the Roadtrip
Visiting the Karoo is one of the less well-known tourist options but it is defiantly worth it if you have the time. It is a semi-desert the size of Germany and makes up a large part of South Africa’s interior. It is comprised of the Great Karoo and the Klein (small) Karoo. We used the 4 days over Easter to visit part of the Klein Karoo.
We set out on the Thursday evening after work. A series of delays and bad planning meant that we got stuck in the Easter traffic going through the Huguenot Tunnel. We stopped at the Dam Diner and Bar in Worcester for a rest and food and finally arrived in Laingsburg very late.
After a late breakfast, the next day, we headed for the Karoo National Park. The Park had a fascinating fossil walk and we were particularly intrigued to find fossils older than the Dinosaurs. To fully appreciate the park you need a 4×4 because most routes are not accessible by regular cars. Even the roads deemed suitable for a car were mostly dirt roads and rather bumpy. Nonetheless the views were spectacular and we managed to spot various animals, mostly various antelope and even a few zebra.
We spent the night in a lovely guest house in Beaufort West, which is just outside the park. Karoo lamb was the must for our evening meal. The following morning we took the scenic walk round town looking at various historic buildings. This included the birthplace of Christiaan Barnard, the first heart surgeon. We then headed for Prince Albert which is a small dot on the map and were pleasantly surprised by this charming Karoo town. After a brief stop it was time to take on the Swartberg Pass, deemed one of the most spectacular drives in South Africa. The drive up the pass was a little scary as much of the road was only wide enough for one car and there were some very tight turns. Fortunately there were not many cars and most of them were pretty good about passing. Equally impressive was when we neared the far side of the pass and could see the valley on the other side. It was very green compared to the dry and rocky landscape we had been driving through.
After crossing the pass we headed for Oudtshoorn. The main Oudtshoorn points of interest are the Cango Caves and Ostrich Farms. So of course we had to have some Ostrich. Then on to Calitzdorp another small town or ‘dorp’ and our stop for the night.
I finally accepted that things with Artisan guy could not go any further. I’m not sure that break-up is really the right word because things never really progressed as far as a relationship but I can’t think of a better description.
Another round of silence coincided with me meeting someone new (but that is a story for a later post). I was glad of the silence because it meant I could focus on the new guy. After nearly two weeks he texted me and we spoke on the phone. It turns out his latest phone was broken and he was waiting for payday to buy another. I had warned him the phone was faulty when I gave it to him.
We made plans to meet for drinks. Something that had been half arranged a few weeks earlier. It was late and I was tired so I agreed even though my head was spinning. Even with the new relationship, little more than a week old I knew that it would be unfair to let Artisan guy think that things could progress any further. The main challenge was figuring out: What is the nicest way to break-up with a guy? In the end I send a text cancelling the drinks and explaining that I did not have strong feelings for him so it wouldn’t be right.
It took him till lunchtime the following day to respond. He thought I was joking at first and I had to explain that much as I thought he was a great guy I did not have the sort of feelings required for a relationship. I felt really bad because I do think he is one of the good guys.
He is looking for his forever girl but I couldn’t see that working for me. We are very different people. I have a PhD while he left school early to attend a technical college. His version of travel is places in the Western Cape, while I have visited numerous countries. He is happy with what he is achieved in life (and there is nothing wrong with that) while I am restless, looking for the next big adventure. So my greatest fear is that unintentionally he would hold me back or in the end we would find that we could not make things work. In the end we agreed to stay friends.
The new guy was a bit quieter in the few days after I broke up with Artisan guy and I briefly wondered if I was too hasty. Having said that the ease with which I made the decision to break-up suggests that it is something I should have done ages ago.
For now we are friends. I enjoy chatting to him. My worry is that I think he still has hope that he can win me over. Perhaps I am being selfish. It might be kinder for me to end things completely so he can go back to looking for his forever girl.
After Anti-Valentines I decided to unhide my Badoo profile. It has been hidden since December. Badoo is the first online dating platform I tried so far and based on my experience I would say that is the one of the mostly popular dating apps in South Africa.
Certainly there is a lot of activity and I have chatted to a lot people actually looking to meet people as opposed to romance scammers. You can use most of the features for free and combined with it being a mobile app means that it attracts a wide range of people. Some of the most interesting people I have met, including Import-export guy, came from Badoo. Also some of my funniest dodgy character stories.
A hidden profile allowed me to view other profiles and continue to message people while avoiding messages from people who don’t interest me. Nonetheless Badoo works best if you have a high popularity by chatting to lots of people.
It was not long before a lot of people liked me and there were numerous messages. Most of them were ‘… wants to chat’. They have not even bothered to say ‘Hi’, just clicked a button. I checked the profiles and could not find anyone who interested me.
There was one guy who messaged and after about 2 messages asked to WhatApp. He sent me his number and asked that if wanted to WhatApp I should send my name and surname. I ignored his request and after a few messages he tried again. And no, a kiss is not going to make any difference. In situations like this I have found the best option is to simply stop responding.
Of course inevitably there was one whose relationship status was ‘complicated’ and when asked he told me he was in a relationship but that things weren’t going well. So he was looking for someone to give him support as well as someone he could have fun with and explore the surroundings. So I told him that I don’t date people in a relationship, that friendship was the only option. This was the response:
‘We try tht no hard feelings. Maybe sme day when get to know you may change the idea’.
So my suspicion he wanted more than friendship was correct and clearly my attempt to put him off was too subtle. I decided to test how far the friendship idea went by asking if he would tell his current partner about me. Surprise, surprise, the answer was no, some things should remain private, he wanted to handle things his way.
It turns out that he lives in a very dodgy part of town and works as a cashier at the local petrol (gas) station. He claimed it was very interesting but I’m not convinced. His world is so small he has not even heard of the shopping center near me. At this point I figured there was not much point continuing the conversation. I told him that I did not think that friendship was going to work and tried to ignore him. Clearly not one to take a hint he tried to get my attention with messages such as: ‘U v gone scarce. Sadly missed’ and a few days later: ‘Am I being ignored for real’
So it seems that Badoo is still full of colourful characters. The challenge is finding one that I actually want to meet for coffee.