So… I’ve sort of abandoned this blog. My excuse for that is that I have been out doing and experiencing so much that I haven’t really had time to process//blog about it, but it is what it is. Suddenly, though, I’m leaving South Africa in three days, and this seems like a good time to wrap up this blog officially. There’s so much to say about leaving that I don’t even know where to begin, but here’s a list of things I’m going to miss about South Africa:

1. Being able to buy homemade samosas from behind the counter at every convenience shop in Cape Town.

2. Minibuses

3. The Old Biscuit Mill

4. Being able to figure out where I am in Cape Town by looking at Table Mountain or Lion’s Head

5. Caribbean onion and balsamic vinegar potato chips

6. Hearing isiXhosa everywhere

7. Flat 319, esp. the balcony

8. Langa

9. Being able to legally buy alcohol

10. How comfortable people are talking about race and racial issues (generally)

11. Stunningly beautiful people literally everywhere you look

12. The way the light streams around Devil’s Peak in the late afternoons

13. Climbing Lion’s Head

14. Elands

15. Artscape Theatre

16. Living in a place where same-sex marriage is legal.

17. Spaza shops and superettes

18. The Neighbourhood (a restaurant)

19. My neighborhood (Buitenkant for life)

20. The national anthem, Nkosi Sikelel’ iAfrika

There are obviously a million more things, things that I probably won’t even recognize until I’m back home, or three months from now, or six months, a year, ten years. This place has profoundly changed me. I can’t believe I’m leaving it behind, but I think there are probably new and big things headed my way. I’m so thankful and I feel unbelievably blessed to have been able to have been here for the past four months.

Peace.
Thea. 

Here’s the thing about Cape Town: everyone is a) stunningly beautiful and b) immaculately dressed.
Last night, we went to the Adderley Street lights festival, where Helen Zille (the mayor of Cape Town and the leader of the DA, the ANC's main opposition) flipped the switch to turn on all the Christmas lights lining the road. It was beautiful. Also, this sisi was there and absolutely killing it with this outfit.

Here’s the thing about Cape Town: everyone is a) stunningly beautiful and b) immaculately dressed.

Last night, we went to the Adderley Street lights festival, where Helen Zille (the mayor of Cape Town and the leader of the DA, the ANC's main opposition) flipped the switch to turn on all the Christmas lights lining the road. It was beautiful. Also, this sisi was there and absolutely killing it with this outfit.

There’s an excellent siamese cat who lives across the courtyard from me and whenever he’s out enjoying the sunshine I try to coax him over to our balcony, but I don’t think we speak the same language because he never comes.

My housemates and me at our ex-pat Thanksgiving last week! Photo cred goes to Brenna, as always.

My housemates and me at our ex-pat Thanksgiving last week! Photo cred goes to Brenna, as always.

There’s some really cool street art in my neighborhood.

There’s some really cool street art in my neighborhood.

This is what late afternoon looks like from my balcony… kills me dead every time.

This is what late afternoon looks like from my balcony… kills me dead every time.

This is the view from my balcony… Life isn’t terrible.

This is the view from my balcony… Life isn’t terrible.

50 Buitenkant Street

Four friends and I moved into our flat on 50 Buitenkant on Tuesday, and life has been pretty dreamy. This begins our ISP (independent study project) period, which ends on December 6 and will wrap up my semester abroad. Time seems to be moving at warp speed, which I hate, but I’m also loving all the (relative) freedom that comes with moving into your own place. Also, everyone I’m living with is wonderful and can cook and listens to good music and is hysterical and we have a balcony that has Cape Town’s best view of Table Mountain, I’m pretty sure. Photos to come.

Yesterday, three of us woke up at 5:30 in the morning to keep our eyes on the election. It was pretty hairy for a while— we woke up in time to hear everyone talking about how Ohio and Florida were very up in the air, and I swear my heart was in my chest until about an hour later, when suddenly the Huffington Post’s headline was OBAMA RE-ELECTED in big red letters. We jumped up and yelled and hugged each other and startled everyone in the lobby of our apartment building, which is where all this was happening because that’s the only place we can get wifi. Well done, America. Well done.

Day and night on Lion’s Head

Yesterday was a friend’s 21st birthday and was also a full moon, so to celebrate we climbed Lion’s Head to watch the set and the moon rise. The wind all day yesterday was unbelievably strong and my Bo Kaap sister said that it wasn’t advisable to go up in those conditions but we went up anyway. The wind was strong down in Cape Town, but up on Lion’s Head, it was almost unbearable. We were literally clinging to the side of the mountain at points to avoid being blown off, and Brenna turned on her video camera to say her last goodbyes to her family, since we were all pretty convinced that we were going to die. About fifteen minutes from the top, everyone on their way down was saying that it was too windy on top and that everyone should go back down, so instead of watching the sun set from the top, we watched it from the western slope. Still counts.

Coming down Lion’s Head in the twilight and growing darkness with the full yellow moon hanging over the lights of the city was indescribable. Sorry I’m not sorry I’m in love with you, Cape Town.