(it’s a working title)
Autumn. A time of color-changing leaves. A time for reflection and denouement. A time for elaborate dining rituals and familial obligations.
This year, Canksgiving (or Canucksgiving or even Thanksgiving) falls on the weekend of the 11th of October — the weekend containing the second Sunday of this month. This means, many Canadians will be taking time off of work to travel to far-flung places like, New Brunswick and Ontario. Maybe even The Yukon.
These migrating humans will congregate around their ancestral homesteads to sit around watching sporting events on their “televisions” — a kind of late 20th century entertainment medium. Most families will be watching such sports as “hockey” or even “football”. They may consume fermented malt and grape beverages. There might even be a humorous pumpkin-flavored varietal that the imbibers will insist is the best of its type they’ve ever tasted. They will be lying.
On Sunday, and/or maybe Monday as family tradition and configuration dictates, the Feast will occur. The family will arrange itself around the table festooned with all manner of riches and a hilarious centre-piece. There may be a special satellite table set a short distance away from the main sitting area for the children and at least one teenager who will not look very happy.
There will be turkey and stuffings. Potatoes and yams. Squashes and carrots. Maybe grandma will bring her cheesy cauliflower concoction. There will be cranberry sauce which will make children and child-like adults giggle when it makes the noise cranberry sauce makes when it emerges from its tin. Some people will make their own special cranberry sauce. It is essential. There will also be wine.
If you know know someone who may be from Canada, cut them a little slack this weekend. They are wrestling with powerful ancestral memories. Wish them luck.
Some potentially useful or interesting information:
- about $60 / GB prepaid GSM data.
- most of South Africa is unwired and either poorly or entirely disconnected from the internet.
- Even in cities, hitting a webpage full of flash or images can kill your page load speed to the point of timing it out. e.g., I had to retry loading this blog to post this meagre entry.
- point A to point B is invariably much further than you think. I’ve driven ~2650kms. Many over unpaved roads – some you probably wouldn’t consider a “road” at all.
Still too burnt to post anything substantial, but processing the past three weeks. It’s been an incredible experience.
Deb and I are in Cape Town, South Africa after a pretty ridiculous two days of travel. We got in yesterday at about 7am after a 12 hour flight from London. This after a 7 hour lay-over in Heathrow. After a 6.5 hour flight from Toronto.
After a few hours of that, things started to look kind of like this:
Deb and I made a bit of a game of following all the various pieces of supporting vehicles around the airport through the windows. We had particular fun at keeping track of the “shoe” vehicles. Specialized trucks built to capture the front wheel of airliners and push them out of their berths. If you’re ever at Heathrow, send a shout out to number 109. He was totally my favorite.
I can’t sleep on airplanes. Never really been able to. I’m really envious of people who can. It’s not like I can get a lot done on an airplane other than some extra reading though after being awake for a total of about 40 hours, words on “pages” stop making a lot of sense.
On these flights, I read a couple of unmentionable books about street photography I downloaded for free in iBooks, a good chunk of Game of Thrones book 3 and most of Micheal Freeman’s, decent The Photographer’s Eye.
My time might have been put to better use reading up on South Africa, though my usual plan of attack of just winging it should be fine, right?
The cab ride to our hotel was very educational. We got a pretty good overview of the geo-political situation in the country from our driver Solly. He also gave us a swell tour of Cape Town along the way from the airport to our hotel. In another day, I am going to take a crack at driving.
Some interesting personal achievements on this trip:
- 3 continents in 2 days
- 40 hours without sleep!
- flown over an entire continent from north to south
- crossed the equator
- 3rd continent