Once again, with more feeling. - 04 September 2006

A week around Gauteng, South Africa, with Lindsey: how I risked my life on a canopy tour in the middle of the Magaliesberg Mountains.

A birthday with Dr Phil and beers



Prison breakFor the first days I couldn't do much: after all Lindsey was working at school and my role was to wake up around 11am, have breakfast with some biltong, and try to escape the house.

The first day I managed to find the keys, but for some reason the lock was blocked and all I could do was watch Dr Phil on the TV.
The next day I found a way to open the door but I didn't know the code to open the gate in the complex, so I watched Dr Phil again.
Finally, the third day I could take Jonti, the family dog, on a walk. He gave up on me soon after we left home, so I came back and watch the doctor again.

Spending my morning at home wasn't that bad at all: I had a chance to finally relax after so many crazy weeks of work and sport and for once I could really kill my time watching Dr Phil over and over.
I've never watched it before and I soon understood why it is so popular: basically it's like Pop Idol where, instead of awful singers, you got awful attention seekers characters. Great stuff.
It makes you feel good about yourself: no matter what problem you got, there are people out there really, really desperate. And pathetic.

5am: unwrapping timeTuesday was a completely different day, though: it was Lindsey's birthday.  (22 August. Just to remember)
While I'm not a birthday enthusiastic, not since my parents stopped buying me Lego on that happy day (a long time ago), she enjoys her birthday like a second Christmas night.
Sharing her energy is quite an experience: I've never seen anyone willingly wake up at 5am to open the presents, with the family around.

She's good at bowling!With my 10 kilos of presents from London (not just mine, her best friend in London gave me some to deliver too...) the opening of the gifts took quite a long time.
I tried to stay awake and my memories are quite confused, but at least my eyes were open when she unwrapped my great presents: few kilos of sweeties from London, the football shirt of the World Cup 2006 champions (Italy!) and Friends, the box with all the seasons, just to remove any social life from her near future.

The day was very long but enjoyable, apart from the fact that I lost at bowling with her. Not many girls in the world can beat the Meister at any sport. I guess there are miracles waiting to happen on birthdays...

Beer museumThe best beer in the worldWeird beer

On Thursday Lindsey's dad took me to Jo'burg to visit the only museum I would willingly go to: the beer museum, sponsored by the Castle Beer, the biggest local beer.

I was expecting some sort of tech place with pictures and videos and instead I got a great experience out of it.
The target of the museum are schools and tourists, so while there is some animatronics and funny video for the youngest, the oldest can enjoy some free tasting of different quality of beers, included some weird Zulu beer made in a natural way with no gas or anything chemical. Very fruity, but incredibly strong.

Why apartheid endedClarity and drinkabilityThe tour was long but interesting. The tour guide (a girl... do girls know anything about beers? Do they understand the importance?) was very well informed and it made clear how proud were the locals of their beers, and how wine, after all, is nothing that special.
The different steps involved in producing the different kind of beers (more beers out there than wines) gave me a different prospective of something that you can buy for 1.29 in any Food & Wine in London.

Long live the beer. We need more beer sommelier. And more (free) beer.


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