‘Where dried fruit is a way of life’

‘Where dried fruit is a way of life’

“I’ve lost my fomo,” I said sadly to Mia over the phone yesterday evening. She replied, a bit anxiously, “Really?” adding, “That’s bad.” I nodded silently. I was leaning on the car outside my brother Angus’s res, looking down on Cape Town. The city was sparkling amber, like a giant’s diamante waistcoat in the slowly thickening night.

“Without fomo, what’s the point of going out?” I half-joked. Fomo is a term Mia came up with. It stands for ‘fear of missing out’. You know, when you don’t really feel like going out, but go out anyway because you’re scared of the fun you’ll miss? Fomo (fear of missing out) gets me bad. My inner homebody and my outer extrovert usually have a silent but fierce battle before a night out, with fomo normally tipping the hand in favour of the extrovert (lamely, like a sixteen-year old girl, she always goes ‘woo hoo!’ when she wins).

However, by 5pm on Sunday afternoon, not even a case of fomo could get me out, no matter how much fun Roeline and Mia were having without me. There were several valid reasons my fomo was negated, which I’m not going to explain. The one I will talk about though is The Sleepiness. I had the sleepiness Sunday night, and the sleepiness cancelled out the mild pangs of fomo.

The obvious question is what happened on Saturday to give me the fomo-cancelling sleepiness on Sunday. Well, it wasn’t an enthralling book or an epic Star Wars/ Lord of the Rings/ Saw movie marathon that exhausted me. It wasn’t even a night of legendary drinking (though the four of us did finish a bottle of wine, a bottle of port as well as a Dom Pedro). Instead it was a camping trip.

Yes, I know. I’m not the kind of person you’d normally associate with roughing it in the bush. Vertically challenged, blonde (though who knows what that has to do with anything), and with very little hand-eye co-ordination, I’m aware that I look more like a lion snack than a hardy adventurer.

I'll admit I don't look VERY tough...

Well screw you guys, judging the short blondie, because I spent Saturday night in a tent. Damn right. Me and three friends decided spontaneously late last week to camp in Montagu, ‘Where dried fruit is a way of life’, over the weekend. OK, before I continue, I have to ask – where dried fruit is a way of life? As Annelie asked, what does that even mean? How is dried fruit a way of life? Do people spend more time in the sun in Montagu? Do they … use less cream there? There are really very few ways – scratch that, no ways – I can see dried fruit as a model for good living.

Clearly though, Montagu is kind of a strange place. They have a large yield sign for cats outside the church. I didn’t misspell ‘children’ there; they really have a sign warning people about cats crossing the road.

Cat crossing
I feel I have to make a pun here about a cat-trastrophe, but I won't. I'm tempted though. But no, I won't. PHOTO: Samantha Steele

The trip started early Saturday morning. We left Cape Town, then meandered across the Western Cape countryside on Route 62, arriving in Montagu in the afternoon. Me, Martinette, Annelie and Dillon visited the tapering village market (the pancake stall was closed, but we compensated by greedily buying cheap books) before setting up camp. Dillon is pretty much the only reason we had somewhere to sleep that night – he laid things out, pegged things down and fixed things while the three girls (merely unknowledgeable, not incompetent!) tried to help.

"Can we get some cinnamon sugar on this book please?" PHOTO: Samantha Steele

While we were threading the support structure sticks through the tent, one of the stick thingies cracked. Dillon started to fix it very impressively and Mac Guyver-ishly with a bit of string while I chattered to Annelie and Martinette. Suddenly I said, “Sorry, Dillon, for all the oestrogen.” Dillon smiled and replied, “I’m sure it’ll hold; it shouldn’t be that difficult to fix.” Now, should I be mad at Dillon for not listening, or impressed with his coping mechanism?

I must confess though that our hardcore adventure was made (marginally) less hardcore by the hours we spent soaking in Montagu’s hot spring pools. We spent a few hours lazily paddling in the warm water while idly chatting and trying very hard to avoid the ‘splash zones’ created by millions of children. Little kicking feet create surprisingly big splash zones. A few of them survived by cuteness alone.

Our trip home the next day was interrupted by a visit to Cogmanskloof Pass. The four of us scrambled out of the car, cameras round our necks, and crawled round the rocks, snapping at the prettiness. On top of the pass is an old English fort. A group of pensioners were climbing down as we decided to climb up; one woman kindly advised me to change my somewhat impractical shoes for something like takkies. Now as we’ve established, I’m not a very tall person. So my shoes are my way of cheating – the heel is a bit thick (they are NOT high heels! This way I’m chin instead of nipple level with others). Lucky, despite my heels, my poor relationship with gravity, and the many slippery stones, I made it up to the fort without an untimely fall to my death.

I inserted a gallery below with some photos from the trip. Just click on the images to enlarge them and browse through.

It’s hard to get fomo if you’re filled to the brim, like a cup with a rounded meniscus peering over the edge, with other experiences. I’m sure by the time invitations start trickling in next week (I’ve already got plans for Monday, Wednesday and Thursday) the fomo will be back with a vengeance. Home-body Sam almost never gets her way. I wonder what her victory sound is? Maybe it’s the papery sound of a turning page, and the crumpling noise of a blanket.


4 thoughts on “‘Where dried fruit is a way of life’

  1. you are so very funny… FEM (funny every moment) which is better than FOMO. If your blankets are making crumpling sounds, perhaps they need a wash?

  2. super impressed that you manage to WALK in those frenemies, let alone climb rocks. this comes to you from kraaiboskloof, where crocs are a way of life

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