South Africa: Day 28, Strand and Cape Town

Tuesday, February 2

New view from our new flat.

New view from our new flat.

Today started super early. Too early, even. We hopped out of bed around 6:15 and began packing. We wanted to be out of the first flat by 8:30 (and could check into the new one at 2:00 p.m.). Because Brian had twisted his ankle the day before, he was unable to carry as much as usual. Thankfully, there were carts available in the parking area for use in just such situations. I was able to make two trips to the car before we took our luggage downstairs. The company we were renting our new flat through said we could store our luggage there while we waited to check into the new unit. 

While we were there, the receptionist came up to Tisetso and tickled him (with no warning) and rubbed his head. I was honestly taken aback because it all happened so quickly. Tisetso did not like it! He pulled away and walked quickly over to me. We noticed very early on that Tisetso does not like being touched by people, especially strangers. Getting him to be ok with hugs or holding hands with us is still an ongoing process. In this culture, children are seen as a blessing (and a slightly communal one) and everyone can just come up to them and touch them, rub their back, or talk to them. I think Tisetso will enjoy America where random strangers touching your kids is cause to call the police.

After running our refrigerated stuff to our lawyer’s office (they had some space in their fridge we could use), we headed to Cape Town. The ride in was uneventful (a little traffic), but parking ended up being the issue. We found the parking garage we needed to be in, but parking was scarce. After driving around for 15 minutes, a kind attendant on a bicycle had us follow him and showed us a spot. We gave him double the going tip rate for his help. We were very happy he helped us!

We got a little lost on our way to the immigration doctor’s office because the building was super confusing. Thankfully, we found it (after a kind stranger who worked in the building pointed us in the right direction). The office was packed. Brian and Tisetso waited in the hall while I worked quickly to fill out forms. While I was still filling out paperwork, they called Tisetso’s name. Brian took him back and, unbeknownst to me, they gave him a shot. Poor kid. We hadn’t prepared him for it and, inevitably, there were tears. After the sudden shot attack, they returned to the hall to wait for our appointment. 

Tisetso entertaining himself in the hallway.

Tisetso entertaining himself in the hallway.

The doctor was thorough and quite type A, just like us (well, I’m more type A- or B+, but you get the idea). She is the only doctor in South Africa who is medically allowed to clear people to enter the US through a visa. She spent most of her practice in London, but came back to South Africa where she is from. We were glad she does everything herself as we’ve experienced a lack of attention to detail in other matters. The visit at the doctor (including waiting for our appointment), lasted about 2.5 hours. We had been told it would take no more than a little over an hour. While we were in the meeting, Brian received three calls from the company we rented our flat through and they left voicemails saying it was urgent and to please call back. Brian called back, but the gal was out of the office at that time, so he left a voicemail.

We decided to grab a quick lunch at the V&A Waterfront before getting Tisetso’s x-rays. Thankfully, Tisetso decided he wanted a hot dog after we saw a fancy stand (this ticked the “quick” box of our lunch). While eating, he noticed a man in silver paint and clothes. He got excited. “A clown!” He told us he was going to steal the clown’s money to buy sweets for the kids at the care home. We told him we would buy the sweets and he didn’t/shouldn’t steal the money. (This kid.) After inhaling lunch, we stopped to watch the clown (human statue) for a minute. I gave Tisetso R5 (about 25 cents) to give to him. After tentatively approaching and putting R5 into the man’s box, the human statue popped into action. Tisetso did not like that much and it was time to go. Now.

We were able to find the second medical clinic for the x-rays without issue. While I was filling out paperwork, Brian got a call back from the rental place. Apparently they had double-booked the apartment we were set to move into that afternoon. An employee had apparently double booked the flat, then quit without telling anyone. Through Brian’s masterful negotiation, he got us into a bigger, nicer flat. And because they felt so badly (and had screwed up royally), they offered to help us move our luggage into the new flat. Double score!

This is how you transport a bunch of stuff from your car to your flat.

This is how you transport a bunch of stuff from your car to your flat.

The x-rays went well and then we were quickly back on the road. We were able to pick up our refrigerated stuff and luggage without issue and finally got to our new flat around 5:30. The view is wonderful! One side faces the mountains (different mountains than the last flat) and the other side faces the bay. The only downsides are the crazy wind noise and the weird furniture. There is this weird huge brown cushion (like a permanently sculpted bean bag?) as part of the seating and a couch that is so low, you’re basically on the ground. Bonus: It has the BBC channels included in the cable TV package.

After getting our refrigerator and freezer stuff put away, we drove to a nearby pizza place. I couldn’t wrap my head around cooking dinner tonight. Thankfully Brian and Tisetso were on board. We bought a couple of pizzas and noted a giant, plastic ice cream cone just up the road for future reference.

With Tisetso tucked in bed, we unpacked and took a breather by checking out Top Gear on BBC.

Reading the  Jesus Storybook Bible  before bed.

Reading the Jesus Storybook Bible before bed.

We made it to the end of the day!

We made it to the end of the day!

Posted on February 8, 2016 and filed under adoption, In-Country Time, South Africa.