Last night I attended a play, "My Zinc Bed" by David Hare at the Theater on the Bay in Camps Bay. It stars a South African soap opera star, Collin Moss. Camps Bay is a beach resort town abut 15 minutes away from where I'm staying in Cape Town.
The play is about an alcoholic and his attempts to stay sober while in AA. Ironically, this theater lets you bring drinks to your seat. At intermission everyone made a beeline for the bar. I enjoyed my gin and tonic during the second act. And I made a real effort to keep the ice in my glass from clinking.
Speaking of sober, today I visited Robben Island where political prisoners, including Nelson Mandela, where held during their fight against apartheid. It's seven miles off the coast of Cape Town. Mandela was confined for 27 years and spent 18 of them on Robben Island. It's now a museum with former political prisoners conducting the tours. I asked my guide why, after being held prisoner there, he chooses to return each day to conduct tours. With a big smile he said he does feel conflicted by it, but what happened in the past did in fact happen and it's important to focus on the future while making sure the past is never forgotten.
But old sentiments about apartheid lay just below the surface in South Africa. Without any prompting, my white cab driver made a big deal over the fact that once Mandela was moved from Robben Island to another prison they kept him in a house with a pool. "They didn't tell you that, did they?" he asked. My response that the amenities don't matter as long as you're still locked up seemed to fall on deaf ears.
Tomorrow begins what potentially will be the most interesting (and grueling) portion of my trip. I'm up early for a 7:30 a.m. flight to Johannesburg and continuing on to Hoedspruit near Kruger National Park. I'll be "on safari" at the Elephant Plains Game Lodge -- staying there Sunday and Monday nights.
Then on Tuesday it's back to Johannesburg for an overnight flight to Frankfurt, Germany (5,900 miles). Arriving Wednesday morning, I have the day to kill (with absolutely no idea what to do in Frankfurt) before catching another overnight flight (5,800 miles) to Rio de Janeiro and arriving Thursday morning.
I don't know what my internet access will be during this adventure, but I'll be blogging as I can.
In the meantime, thanks to Karen Kapler for alerting me to "See Arnold Run" this Sunday night on A&E about Arnold Schwarzenegger and his campaign for Governor. I've set my Tivo over the internet. Karen reports Nora Dunn is being written up for doing a spot on Arianna Huffington in the movie.