Thursday, September 13, 2007

what goes up must come down...and sometimes vice versa

Were you thinking I’d forgotten about this whole blog thing? Or that I’ve become too lazy to write? Or that maybe my personality has done a 180, and suddenly I don’t have anything to say?

Well, no, on all accounts. In fact, I’ve been really busy, and I was also pretty sick for a time. It started two weekends ago, when I lost my voice. It came back fairly quickly, accompanied by an intense cough and mucus coming out my eyes (pleasant, I know). After five days of telling myself it was a normal cold that just needed to run its course and disappear, I finally gave in and went to the doctor this past Friday. Turns out I had acute sinusitis. Armed with eye drops, nasal spray, antibiotics, and a command to REST, I felt about a hundred times better within 24 hours. Go figure.

In fact, by Saturday evening I was feeling so good that I decided to join Evelyn (my host sister) and Jessy (a fellow volunteer, from Germany) for a drink at the Chapman’s Peak Hotel, here in Hout Bay. And it was incredibly beautiful and very relaxing—at first.

Now, as many of you know, I’ve been a vegetarian for about 9 years now. However, in researching for this trip, it became clear that the town of Hout Bay is synonymous with seafood. Good, straight-from-the-water-to-your-plate seafood. (In one informational video I rented, the 2 minute portion on Hout Bay consisted entirely of close-ups of fresh fish. I’m not even kidding.) So I began to think that, while away, I might adopt a “when in Rome” attitude concerning seafood.

All I can say now is, too much, too soon.

After sampling a few small bites of fried calamari my first week here (at a seaside restaurant, no less) and discovering I liked it, I was eager to eat more. The restaurant at the Chapman’s Peak Hotel happens to be known for its calamari, so this past Saturday, that’s what I ordered. I’m slightly embarrassed to fess up to the pleasure I took from squeezing the lemon wedge over the pan-fried rings, then dipping each piece in garlic cream sauce—just a touch, mind you. With a glass of white wine in hand, I savoured every single bite.

Experiencing it all coming back up again was not nearly as pleasurable, let me tell you.

I was so sick. And I thought the sinusitis was awful. Yeah, right. This was like the icing on the cake. (Speaking of icing, that’s something else I won’t eat, ever since my fourth birthday — and I’ll bet you can guess why.) Ah well, I’m not sure how I could’ve expected my stomach to be prepared for such a surge of seafood after nine years of nada. Cheers to new experiences, eh?