I arose yesterday with a plan to go out and figure out how I was to go to and from University without a car. Anxiety sat in my system like a virus and eventually I broke down, sat on my bed and cried tears of not knowing, of being in a familiar place yet knowing that now the unfamiliarity had to be confronted, of being alone in the world despite having folk (and animals) around whom I love, of fear of being stabbed, rapped and mugged, of not having the safety of Norway or Australia around me, of having no friends, and missing my friends, of having no regular income to guarantee me the life I've lead for the past 5 years....and the list goes on, I shed tears freely and they flowingly fell and then I had a shower and got myself together, ready for the adventure of Cape Towns Public Transport.
I started the journey with a walk to an ATM where drew only an amount I thought I wouldn't mind losing (ha ha) then walked about 15 minutes towards the train station....along the way I asked a man on a bike and he had no idea where the station was, he just rode his bike and had never taken the train before. He recommended I go to the garden shop where someone would surely know...so i followed his instructions and headed there....i asked a guard at the gate and he knew not, then asked a man with some boxes and he had no idea either...then thought i should walk about 20 minutes to the left and perhaps i'd get to one there...then I saw a maintenance man who told me to walk 2 minutes round the corner and i'd be there...hurrah for the maintenance man.
I got there eventually and saw a number of people of different races gathered around there and the atmosphere was smooth....NOT what I was expecting...i foresaw doom and disaster and lecherous characters dubiously creeping around ready to pounce upon the obvious fresh and unknowing new meat daring to take the TRAIN!!!!!!!! So I bought my ticket - there were two choices, metro or metro plus, the difference being 2 rand between 1st and 3rd class. I chose 1st class! Sitting on the train I looked around me and in my sparsely populated carriage once again I saw many faces of South Africa all sitting and trying to be as inconspicuous as possible...their faces apparently (according to a gentelman I met) saying I'm just here on a train and I don't want any nonsense and I'm not gonna rob you even though I'm on the train, even though i'm black or coloured or a drug addict...i'm just on the train....just like you so lets just get on with this journey. I couldn't help but smile and was reminded of the London underground and a similar cold and reserved vibe where no one wants to mess with anyone else...just minding my own business y'all! ha ha!
I arrived at the central station and headed for info, there I asked for street and was immediately asked if i was after a backpackers...no, just the street, how do i get from here to Long Street? I was given instructions and of I went....and it was fine, walking in the city was fine. I found my way and made some decisions about which direction was suitable, asked some friendly-ish looking people for further directions and received all the help I needed, people were very polite and helpful! I met a very nice coloured woman who in fact walked me up the road and informed me of how to behave on the train and when walking and how much I was going to love Cape Town and how I MUST get my drivers license and that Crime in Cape town was relative...she remembered getting her bag almost snatched in London in mid afternoon and yet she's never been robbed here....SO!
Eventually made it Hiddingh Campas and there I was fortunate to achieve all I set out to achieve in order to begin reading some of the required readings for the course....there's a lot of reading and analysing South African Theatre so I have a lot to catch up on! I then took the FREE bus to the main Campus and met Trent Nightingale, a young Cape Townian actor, recently graduated from the UCT Acting stream. He educated me from his perspective about Cape Town and grateful was I to have the opportunity to talk to a fellow thesbian about this city and her multi faceted faces. He being a Christian Coloured young man was also a very generous informer and we had a super couple of hours chatting...and sharing. He also helped me find my bearings at the Main Campus which is HUGE!!!!!
I then spent some time in the....beautiful....calm....amazing....tranquil haven of Books....the LIBRARY! What a sacred place. Students sitting at tables indulging in knowledge from pages and words, silence and serenity engulfing my being...and SOOOOO many beautiful beautiful books....hmmm....i'm so excited to have this opportunity to be a student again and have a year or two dedicated to further educating myself and. . . . learning! HURRAH FOR LEARNING!!!
I borrowed four books yesterday and I must admit, as excited as I am for the chance to learn...i also foresee a challenge for myself. The academic world has been distant for me for the last 5 years and reading these books has made me aware of how "Academic" certain books and articles are and I have to try and understand what is written despite the rhetoric and big words that are used....I've spent the day attempting to get into it and read a whole chapter on the importance of language within a society and the use of Language as a controlling factor within multi-lingual populations.....ay yay yay! Interesting: Yes! Hard to understand the language: Yes! The irony that academic language is often not able to be understood by the lay-man yet the content is speaking about that point exactly...hmmm....
Now I prepare to go and see my first South African piece of theatre for the year, a comedy about race relations in south africa...appropriate: YES!
Love and respect!