I have now been in Cape Town for almost 2 weeks already. It is definitely time to give you a short update of what has been happening so far.
Alright, I am ging to start at the very beginning of my journey. When I finally touched down in Cape Town, the first South African person I talked to was this police officer at the immigration. It was quite an awkward situation as he did not only ask for my passport, but also for my mobile phone number.:D Apparently, he thought it would be a great idea to go out for some drinks some time.:D I honestly couldn’t believe what he just said, so I kept going ignoring it. What a strange situation????:D Hello South Africa. There we go! :D Well, I am pretty glad he still let me into the country without giving him any further personal details.:D
Since my flatmate Mona, a 35-year-old American girl, was busy travelling for work the first week of my arrival, she sent a very good friend to the airport to pick me up – Jochen. He was just super kind and helpful, handed over the keys, and dropped me of at my apartment in Vredehoek. I just love my new place. It’s quite a big apartment right below the table mountain. We have got a terrace, a garden, beautiful view onto the sea, skyline of Cape Town, and the table mountain itself.
Jochen also showed me how the whole lot of alarm systems work. I was quite impressed by how many security systems we have in the house…. One electric fence all around the place, laser beamers in the garden, an alarm system for inside the house, and three locked doors before I am actually inside the house.:D He told me that if I am going to press this button, this and that is gonna happen, and if I open the windows before I actually unlock everything, the alarm will go off. Then the police would call me or even come to the house straight away and I would have to remember a certain password to assure that I am not a burglar.:D The first couple of days I managed alright. I mean, it took me some time to get inside and outside the house, but never mind. A few days later though, when all that started to become a bit more familiar, I forgot to unlock the alarm system before I opened a window and the sirens went off.:D Whoooops!:D
The first days I felt quite a bit uncomfortable to get around myself, because I have heard so many bad horror stories before I left Germany. So I decided to take an Uber (basically a taxi) wherever I go to. It’s a pretty easy and cheap way to get around, however, it starts to sum up. Lucky, I started to build up confidence from day to day. Now, I catch a bus down the street and then hop on one of those free shuttles to get to university. Once it starts to get dark, an Uber is recommended though! There are so many homeless people walking through the streets, begging for money, etc. They sleep and sit everywhere. Very sad situation…. and definitely a situation I still need to get used to. The other day, when I came back from university, a man, who was doing some road work right in front of our house was asking me for some water. Apparently, even if people do have jobs, a lot of them still suffer from poverty.
Anyway, I wanted to tell you what I have been up to so far. Well, I arrived on a Sunday. On Monday the orientation program started straight away. We went on a sightseeing trip through Cape Town...
...and along a very pretty scenic drive, called Chapman’s Peak Drive.
On our way back to Cape Town, we stopped in a little town called Oceans View, where a local school performed some dances and songs for us and welcomed us to South Africa. It was just cute and quite emotional, because those people were so proud of what they where doing and very happy to have us there. “That’s most likely be the closest we’ll ever get to any other country. Thanks for being here.”
After the tour finished, Janina, another international student, and I decided to watch the sunset on Signal Hill.
The next day, there was an official welcoming ceremony at the University of Cape Town. We heard a lot of “safety talks”, some organisational stuff, and had a drumming lesson, which was quite fun!:D
At the end of the first week I finally got to know my flatmate Mona. We went out for lunch at a place called "The Bungalow" in Clifton and had a great day on the beach!
All other days since then I kept exploring the city and… drank wine.:D That’s apparently how a normal day in South Africa is supposed to be.:D I met so many new people already and made friends from all over the world. It’s just been a fantastic time so far and an experience that has just started!!!
I will keep you updated!
Lots of love to Germany,