Down the homestretch

And so begins our last week in Cape Town. Even before our 6 o’clock alarm was set to go off, Sue was in the kitchen cutting up a mango. It was still dark outside! What are we doing getting up before the sun? This is so ‘not right’!

We are going golfing. Again. Much to Sue’s chagrin. I’d booked this over a week ago and that’s the first mistake right there — ‘I’ booked it. Better to make decisions TOGETHER (i.e. let Sue make them!) than to go down the wrong road like this. Sue was not happy even before we left home.

First of all, we had no cash. And we had no data on our phone. I corrected the cash problem first by making a pitstop at the Woolworths ATM before heading out to the Rondebosch Golf Club. And low and behold, my phone’s google maps GPS brought us safely to the golf course, even without data!

Fritz watches as Sue takes aim at the green.
Fritz watches as Sue takes aim at the green.

Our old friend Fritz (the 70-year-old German guy, whose girlfriend Susanne has gone back to Germany for a couple of weeks) was waiting for us at the clubhouse. We checked in and paid in the pro shop and then headed for the tee boxes at the eleventh hole. That’s how they do it here — the first hole was all booked so we started at hole 11 and finished the back nine before having our ‘coffee break’ and continuing with the front 10 holes.

I was shooting great at the start but then things fell apart. It got so bad I shot ‘double-digits’ on our 4th hole (yes, I said double digits — not double bogey, not double par, double DIGITS!). Still, I was optimistic that things would turn around on the next hole. Sue, on the other hand, was playing great golf, in spite of the fact that her one un-gloved hand was getting frozen.

Table mountain looked glorious with the morning sun illuminating it. We could see the congestion of cars on the freeway just beyond the trees that lined our fairways — hey, it could be worse — some people have to go to work today!


And after a few really bad holes my game got back on track (sort of). It seems that once I make a bad shot I am determined to get that yardage back on the next shot — and the harder I flail, the more likely I am to repeat my mistake. I KNOW that’s not good golf, but I guess I am a slow learner. Still, I was enjoying my day.

We finished our game at around 11:30, said ‘Auf Wiedersehen’ to Fritz, and wished him well. He is staying here for most of the ‘winter’, golfing three times a week, and looking forward to his ‘caddy’ Susanne coming back to join him in a couple of weeks.

The data-less phone failed us on the drive back to our apartment. But by now I really didn’t need the GPS to find my way. And thanks to Sue, who has nearly pushed through the floorboards of our Volvo whenever she notices a car ahead of us, and who has kept us accident-free by gripping her armrest and shouting at me when she thinks I don’t see what she sees, we made it home in no time at all and without incident. Sue headed upstairs to make sandwiches while I went to the corner pharmacy to buy more data for my phone.

After lunch I continued working on my computer (and watching the Apple Event on TV, now that our internet was working — well, not so well that I could stream it without long rotating ‘beachball’ pauses, but I could get the drift of it. And Sue updated our home budget accounts in her little notebook. And that’s how we spent the afternoon!

At around suppertime we Skyped my parents — all is well, snow has nearly melted, temperatures could warm up a bit. And not soon after, at around 7:30, we went out for supper. We went to one of Sue’s favorites, Manos, and it did not disappoint.We shared an excellent grilled calamari dish for an appetizer. Sue had pasta and liver (so good she ate half of it and boxed up the rest for tomorrow’s lunch) and I had a breaded chicken with salad dish (I ate half the chicken and gave the rest to Mike, the parking attendant down on our street). A guy at the next table bought us each a couple of shooters to celebrate various events — possibly the birthday of the lady sitting at another nearby table (friendly South Africans!) And the best part of dinner was watching our waitress, Fran, literally ‘skipping’ from table to table to kitchen and back, working feverishly to keep the full restaurant (and those waiting to get a table) entertained and happy. As Sue likes to say (and said again tonight), it would be her dream job to work in a restaurant like this.

When we got home we started up our devices and checked various insignificant things: Facebook and Twitter and emails and news feeds etc. We were both tired from quite a few early mornings in a row — tomorrow we’ll sleep in for the first time in over a week — and went to bed before eleven.