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?