Quarter Life Crisis

The world according to Sven-S. Porst

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Strand Day 2

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One way to see the sea, the Indian Ocean to be precise, from our flat is from my bedroom window. It looks like this:

Viewing the sea from my bedroom

After having a mango (my favourite fruit which is jucier and sweeter here than it mostly is in Europe) for breakfast, we crossed that road and went to the beach for a walk. Going to the right, the beach goes on for around three kilometres, making for a six kilometre walk and plenty of sun to get tanned or burnt by in the meantime. There are quite a few little stones in the sand right at our place, but just a bit down everything is nice and smooth with just a rather strong wind and the sand it moved around making things a little uncomfortable. The water is reasonably warm and the beach is empty.

With it being a weekday, the beach was empty even by South African standards. Those are quite different from the European ones. Where Europeans won’t consider a beach to be crowded as long as they can lay down without touching anybody else, South Africans start thinking of a beach as crowded as soon as they can see other people. Hm, it’s not exactly like that but pretty close…

In the afternoon we went to the Morgenhof wine farm in Stellenbosch for a tasting. I chose this rather randomly and it was quite typical with lots of wine growing on the farm, there being old white buildings and the wines being all right but not making us want to buy them right away.

Morgenhof wine farm

Later in the evening we went to have a steak. As I indicated yesterday, good meat is a strength of South African cuisine and simple dishes like steak are what you should aim for. The only issue there is with steak is that the South African interpretation of terms like ‘medium-to-rare’ can be a bit different from the usual ones. Often you’ll receive your meat overcooked and you’ll find that in many places – particularly at private braais – a ‘medium’ steak will be at least ‘done’ if not ‘well done’ and that a ‘well done’ steak may resemble charcoal…

As unlikely as it seems, one of my favourite restaurants for having a steak down here is the chain of Spur restaurants. They’re quite big and you’ll find one or several of them in most towns. I’ve been to quite a few of their restaurants and they seem to always have good meat and interpret the term ‘medium-to-rare’ correctly. They’ll also serve you spare ribs or burgers if you’re not in the mood for steak and they have fantastic extremely thin onion rings with most dishes. In all the years that I’ve eaten steaks with them only a single one wasn’t good and when noting that to the waiter, I got an immediate apology and a perfect steak just a few minutes later… just what it takes to earn my trust.

March 3, 2005, 23:22

Tagged as country:za, south africa, travel.

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