After 645 days I am finally going home to South Africa. As we got to the airport it was white everywhere we looked, a thick layer of frost covering the grass next to the runway.
I was wearing my handmade doggie sweater. I fell in love with the fabric in the shop while looking for something completely different and ended up sewing a favourite sweater. I was wearing it for the flight, because, well, its comfy in the way favourite sweaters are, and the air hostess who was based right in front of us noticed. We struck up a conversation about dogs, naturally. She was a bucket of fun, full of interesting and funny stories and it was a great start of our holiday.
Our flight departed late, because we had to wait for the wings to be de-iced. This meant that we had to sit in the plane, buckled up and wait in line on the runway before the cranes with special machines could spray a solution on the wings to take the ice off. Luckily we made up the time along the way.
At this time of year, as you can imagine a lot of families were traveling, so there were a lot of small children and babies on the flight. Surprisingly they were really quiet and we had a very pleasant flight.
When we arrived in Johannesburg, it was 30 degrees Celcius! that is a full 33 degrees warmer than when we departed in the morning. I don’t think I will ever get used to it!
Today we had to go for our pre-trip pcr test. It was quite busy but after waiting for a few min we made it to the front of the queue and we’re helped by a friendly guy who put us at ease. Not only did he have great tips on how to best survive the unpleasant test procedure, he also had some friendly chit chat about his country (Argentina) and our destination (South Africa) and wished us a safe and wonderful trip.
The next item on the list was to take Rufus to his holiday accommodation. A lovely South African family offered to look after him while we’re away, as they miss having a dog around and although it felt strange leaving him, it is clear he is well taken care of and will be having a whale of a time when we’re away.
I went shopping today to get the last few things on my list to bring to South Africa. I didn’t realize it would be so busy in town but I got my stuff done. I took my machines in for a service while we’re on holiday and get my goodies and I made my way back home.
I realised later that I should have checked the news, since there was another hard lockdown planned. I wonder if my machines will get serviced during this time? Only time will tell.
A year ago I was also stumped by a december lockdown a few days after moving into my new house. I didn’t think we’d still be having hard lockdown a year later. My only consolation is that we plan to be gone for most of it. I just hope there isn’t another knee jerk reaction that affects our return journey, but that is a problem for future me to worry about.
Another Corona year is nearly done. As a society we were thinking it’s about time to end when a new variant was discovered in South Africa around the end of November.
The moment it was announced the world went into a flat panic and blocked flights from South Africa with immediate effect. Some poor people have been en route during this announcement and they were even kept at the airport until who knows when.
I had a sense of humor failure when it looked like my holiday to South Africa would be canceled, and along with many others I checked the website of every government agency to understand rules and exemptions and requirements etc.
With a bit of luck and a lot of prayers it seems like our holiday could go ahead and we were getting ready to be off in a few days.
I didn’t think it would last this long, but here we are.
In the Netherlands we’re back in a so-called soft lockdown. Shops and restaurants close at 8pm, and we’re back to wearing masks all the time, like we’re batman or something. At least it keeps my nose warm on the cooler days.
On the news they talk about another wave, the possibility of code black and how this will affect the Healthcare system (I think in the context it means that the hospitals are at capacity, but please feel free to tell me in the comments). They talk about violent riots in Rotterdam too, booster shots and all sorts of scary things.
On the bright side of things, today I met with some friends in Scheveningen for a lunch and a walk on the promenade. It was really pleasant, although I think I need to knit one of those ear warmer things, because it’s really quite chilly these days.
Nevertheless it is good to get out, and it is good to come home to a cosy evening with Marinus.
I had a Dutch lesson today and Marinus had a work thing in the evening, so after my lesson I went for a walk with Rufus.
Usually in the afternoon around 5, 6ish, he comes to my desk looking for attention and getting really playful.
When we got to Meer & Bos, the nearby park, I realised that I want to continue walking and Rufus is always up for a longer walk.
So we walked on to the beach.
Getting there I asked a guy with a dog for directions to the dog beach and he helpfully explained that it is at the end, past all the beach restaurants, and that it is allowed to walk dogs on the path next to said restaurants. So on we walked down the ramp, past the restaurants and on some more.
By the time we got to the dog beach, Rufus was a bit tired of the walk and when I took him off the leash he just had a lay down on the sand. I had to give him a little chance to rest, so I sat at the closest restaurant and got a drink.