It was last night around 5 pm when I finally realized it’s insanely hot. And then I just couldn’t shake it. It had been really hot the day before too, but to a certain extent you kind of expect that when you’re in Cape Town in the summer, so once I dipped in the pool, I sort of forgot. But last night I couldn’t forget. At five, the car’s dash said it was 35 degrees Celsius, and it suddenly struck me that it was late enough in the day that it really shouldn’t still be 35. We had a leisurely dinner on a shaded patio and still we were hot and sticky. For once, there were no clouds over the mountain, and no wind. When I was putting my son to bed, he pointed out a bunch of lights up on Lion’s Head, all moving around and all different colours. I still don’t know for sure what it was, but I’m thinking it was hikers taking advantage of the windless, cloudless night.
I don’t think the temperature went down with the sun at all. We had the windows open wide all night but it only just started feeling comfortable when it started getting light this morning. Since there wasn’t even the slightest breeze, all the open windows did was let in the mosquitoes. My poor son gets terrible reactions to mozzie bites and he’s covered in them. He has three bites on his left ear, so it’s swelled to about twice its normal size. He refuses calamine lotion, so I just keep dosing him with Benadryl.
Anyways, it was crazy hot again today. This morning, I finally got a chance to wander the area I want to make pictures in, but it was already stifling by 9, and I really felt it. Approaching strangers for photos can be quite exhausting at the best of times, and in this heat I just ran out of steam. I have no idea what the forecast is, but I’m definitely hoping it cools a bit in the next couple days, so I can be more productive.
In one corner store, I met a retired journalist. He told me he was once invited to apply to journalism school somewhere in Canada, but when he went to apply for a visa, the Canadian embassy told him that the government had cut all ties to South Africa and wouldn’t let anyone in the country, not even if you were coloured or black. He said this would have been around 1968, and I was surprised and ashamed by that. When he was telling his story, I had thought it might have been in the 80s when the whole world had sanctions against SA.
When I got home, we went down the street to discover a fantastic cafe that we wish we’d discovered a week ago. Unfortunately, when something is just down the street here, your walk home is steeply uphill all the way. We melted in the door and almost immediately jumped into the pool
Afterwards, some cloud started appearing over the mountain and I thought that might be a sign of cool to come. Sure enough, a breeze started, and it’s now a fully-fledged strong wind, once again rattling our doors and windows and shaking our floorboards. I didn’t think I’d be so happy to hear the wind back, but it’s just an incredible relief.
We enjoyed a really great bottle of wine with dinner tonight, and when I was putting my son to bed, he said, “I love being in this country.” A welcome change from all the talk of wanting to go home. As my husband noted as we made dinner, “By the time we’re all settled in, it will be time to go home.” Such is life, I guess.