• Joanna

Do Some In-Filling

Updated: Mar 21

The big question right after we finished Christmas dinner was;

Who wants to go canoeing in the morning?”


My hand shot up!


As I mentioned before, I will take any opportunity to do any activity while I’m on this trip. I just want to be engulfed with opportunity.

Other hands up... Pascal, Sandros.... me.... Claudia...


My hand shot down.


I don’t necessarily need to do everything...


Right?

Not my first canoe rodeo. I knew I’d be stuck making my way down the Oranje River with the odd German bitch.


Malinga made a comment that it was very interesting to see all the birds along the river, so my excuse for changing my mind so suddenly was that I am just not too interested in birds.


Unless they’re penguins, then I might get in a canoe with Claudia...


... if I was drunk.


They told the three that were canoeing that they had to be up and ready by 7am - and that meant tent down and away too.

I figured British Humour would fail miserably in this department as she’s got her own agenda and lacks any organization or respect for time frame. She surprised me though... although the boys did have to help her.


I was up, as usual, and listening to the doves singing in the trees. It reminded me of the constant chitter chatter of the sekadas in the olive trees of Crete, but this was more like a coo-cooing. It was difficult to determine if it was one or a bevy.

Breakfast was a peanut butter & mango jam delight again. I have become an expert in making instant coffee once again and I haven’t had this skill since I was in Greece. Just came leaping back in to my life, right where it left off. Everybody turns their nose up at instant coffee, but when it is your only option, you become accustomed to it very quickly and learn how to make each cup so that your taste buds are not only not bitterly disappointed, but delighted at each sip. **Broadcast Announcement** Today Ruth bought a new type of mouthwash. Looked legit. Orange. She gave it a quick shake... opened it up... dumped it in to her mouth and proceeded to swirl it around. ...not mouthwash. Antibacterial Liquid. You can’t make this stuff up.

Everyone boarded the truck and, no surprise to anyone, Claudia was the last one on. We actually sat... and waited.


As soon as she boarded, Malinga followed her up the back stairs and asked everyone if there was anyone that wanted to sit in the front seat today. David had asked me earlier if I would join him up in the front, but I only laughed off the request and said that Malinga would be upset if I took his seat.


As soon as the words came out of his mouth, British Humour almost shouted, “I will.”


I found it amusing that she would jump in to take an obvious perk of the trip after she had nothing so far except hinder it. Poor David.


If was when she asked if she could take all her wet clothes up to the front cab with her to dry them out that Malinga suggested that she accept the kind offer of passenger seat another time.


So I went...


It was pretty cool being up front, but I was inundated with the usual questions that I’m become used to when you travel alone.


Why aren’t you married?

How come you have no kids?

Then it got more more uncomfortable as it reaches the new and ever-anticipated level of “Why won’t you let someone love you?” ...in broken English.


That’s exactly the question I would like to attempt to answer as we conquer the Namibia border. Challenge accepted.


Therapists are highly overrated. I say, if you really want to get to the root of your problems, travel... jump in a taxi in South America, buy something off a vendor in Vietnam or sit in the passenger seat of a tour van in Africa. Either way, whoever you end up with, they are certain to ask you the questions to really get the goods right off the bat.


It was not a far drive to get to the Namibia border. 

We had to stop at an end point for South Africa, where we all went in and received a departure stamp. Malinga handed us all paper forms to “do some in filling” that was necessary for border patrol. David then collected everyone’s passports and took them in to the police. They had to scan them all to ensure that none of us committed a crime in South Africa and were not attempting to flee the country without facing the consequences.


Of course, British Humour was extremely hesitant about handing her passport over to David. “I have my stamp” she kept insisting and trying to avoid letting him take it... as he stood there desperately trying to explain why he briefly needed it. I might add that he was holding 15 passports at the time, right in front of her.

Once we were all cleared of attempted murder, treason, arsen and kidnapping - British Humour included- we headed towards Namiibia’s border patrol down the road. I found a tiny little copper coin, made my mandatory wish and then put it in my pocket until I found an opportunity to give it away to someone else for more luck.


As soon as we departed the South African border patrol parking lot, we were in Namibia... although we had not technically gone through the proper customs yet. This stretch of road leading up to their offices was a NO STOP zone. There were signs all along the side of the road, yet for some reason, Malinga decided to yell to David to stop the truck and he let everyone out to take pictures in front of the welcome sign.

David had not just mentioned how illegal it was to stop here, when the police approached and started yelling. They were shouting at David that they were going to teach him a lesson and give him a fine. 3000 Rand. About $300. Then they made him drive... leaving the crew behind to walk.


This made the cross in to Namibia a little more nerve racking than it should have been... but we made it.


We pulled in to a picnic shelter to have lunch.


A bird shit on Marina... so I figured that she deserved my lucky coin.


David pulled over at a very barren location along the dirt road we were on. There as nothing to be seen. They both mentioned that it was a good location for meditation but mostly all we did was take silly photos.


We entered in to a National Park of Ai-Ais.


From here we visited a hot springs park. Now- most of us can understand what to expect when you visit a hot spring tourism outdoor pool, just as much as most of us can understand what to expect when you visit a private spa with a hot pool to bathe in. 


Not.The.Same.

The entire duration of our short stay in the pool, we had to endure the confusion and disappointment of Takako. Her conversation rarely veered far from how much hotter their pools were and how much more minerals were in them. It was like she was disgusted that people weren’t wrapping her in mud clothes and giving her a facial while massaging her shoulders.


It was a crap, outdoor, lukewarm pool. Nothing more. Nothing less.

David assured us that we would all come out looking 20 years younger.

Cocoon pool. 


Bet they don’t have that in Japan.


Finally, when I couldn’t handle the comparisons anymore, I blurted out, “Price is the difference!”


Beyond. A. Shadow. Of. A. Doubt.


She wouldn’t accept that as an answer and kept arguing that the hot springs in Japan are free. Finally we got to the truth... ‘free’... with a monthly charge. 


It gets a bit much because she fixates on a topic and won’t leave you alone until you literally walk away. I have begged her to stop talking to me about a subject because I just simply do not know.

  • I don’t know the population of Canada today compared to when she was there 20 years ago. I don’t even know 5 or 10 years ago.

  • I don’t know the average income for double income families and what they normally pay in taxes. I also can’t comment on how these numbers compare to other countries around the world.

  • I don’t know what private health care costs and exactly what they cover.

I have benefits through work and I would be hard pressed to answer tough questions on that.


I suggested Siri and Google... but in doing that, we just open up a whole new can of confusion and a lot of “Whhhhaaaaat?” and “Awwwwww” and “Noooooo” and “I seeeeeee”.... and I personally can’t hear those things anymore.

And yes.... I do know that it’s only day #3.

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