To answer that rather annoying question posed by Bob Geldof, no, here in Africa I really don't know that it's Christmastime at all. I'm not sure whether it's the summer weather that's throwing me off, or that I'm so far away from family, or that shopping malls here simply don't make the effort to induce a shopping panic in their customers through twinkling lights and Mariah Carey singing about all she wants for Christmas, but this year the season has somehow slipped past me almost entirely. I saw a homeless person in a Santa hat in the Company's Gardens last week, and only realized later that he was actually more in touch with the times than I. This will be my first Christmas south of the Equator, and it won't likely be a particularly festive one.
We will be spending the holidayless holiday in Pretoria, as seen in the above photograph of that delicate work of art, the Voortrekker Monument. Yes, I can feel your envy from here. Not only is Pretoria swelteringly hot and strikingly dull, but even the locals use this time of the year as as excuse to get away from the city. But no matter-- we are staying somewhere with a pool, and I will be temporarily rescinding my pledge to drink less, and will be indulging in a good bottle of gin.
I'll be taking the time off from posting to sit by the pool and enjoy gin pahits. I'll be back in Cape Town around the 29th, hopefully with some notes to share from my visit to Johannesburg and Pretoria. Hope to see you back here in time for the New Year, and enjoy the holidays, if and however you choose to recognize any of them