New Year's eve in South Africa

I didn't think I'd make it. I was so damn tired yesterday afternoon (see also: 2 day flight), that I crashed out at 5pm. But the fireworks woke me up at 11:20. I bought a can of Black Label from the front desk and went to sit on a stone terrace overlooking the city. 

There were hoots and hollers and music coming from around the neighborhood--all private homes surrounded by spiked gates and razor wire. Even in this nice neighborhood. I felt like I was about the have some sort of momentous revelation about my life--but I was still groggy from my death-like sleep.

Around the house (I could see about 240 degrees) there were small fireworks explosions in several directions. At about 5 minutes til, the family that owns this hostel came up to the terrace with a bottle of champagne, I had two glasses. We toasted the New Year at the approximate time, judging by the yelling and fireworks. I forgot most of my pre-revelation. 

Then I went back to bed. 

Maybe it doesn't sound that exciting--but it was lovely. This morning, I woke up at 5:30 because the birds were louder than the fireworks. Hooting, buzzing, scratchy calls, shrieks, and lilted whistles, trills, and warbles. So fantastic. I ID'd a few--bright yellow, orange, iridescent blacks. I hope I get to see a widowbird. The streets are thick with pest-myna birds. 

I've written several postcards and will mail them before heading out into the country this afternoon. 

I can't believe that I forgot my binoculars. (HOW DID I FORGET BINOCULARS?) I also took a picture of my breakfast this morning, but the network out here is so bad that I blew several Kbs trying (and failing) to post it to Instagram. I may try again from the airport this afternoon, where I'll be meeting the shuttle to Hartbeetspoort. By tonight, I will be in the country... hanging out with Cape vultures. 

Happy New Year, everyone. I hope to write again soon.