day 2: on independence day

IMG_4372So today, we go into Durban town, where let’s not dance around the point here, I am most interested in the food. The curry specifically. We go to a rinky-dinkity shop dressed up as a passable fast food joint in a food court in a mall that this shop clearly does not belong in (not amongst the KFCs and McDonalds and Burger Kings that scream food court at least.) We order garlic naan, butter naan, lamb buriyani, and a lamb karahi that I will be talking about till the end of all lamb karahis. Because this curry is seriously something else. The kind of breakfast/lunch (I think we call that brunch) that I will be talking about for ages – except that I can’t talk and pass out in the car instead because I have eaten so much that I am in physical pain.

So friends, the lesson? Durban curry, Indian made, except not actually because this is a Pakistani joint run by non-Pakistanis in the middle of a mall that it so clearly does not belong in… but really when do the details matter? FOCUS PEOPLE.

The point? The food.

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Is A-M-A-Z-I-N-G.

I like to think the picture sums it up, I mean for your sake I do.

Anyways, beyond that, Durban has the kind of lollipop in the sky sun that I could stare at for ages and tiny pretty colored houses stacked on hills that I just adore. It is warm here, much warmer than in Cape Town or Stellenbosch – the kind of warm that reminds me of Sri Lanka, especially as we drive through sugar cane fields that are just like the tea plantations in Nuwara Eliya.

There is a large Indian population here (hence the curry), what remains of two different migrations, the first under the British who imported Indians as indentured servants to work the sugar fields and the second, a mix of educated folks and businessmen who settled here for a better life. Durban itself is not quite so safe so we skip the more cultural bits of town – I am told my security is key.

They cannot lose the American import in Durban.

Beyond that, we walk the promenade. See the beach. (It reminds me of Virginia beach except the water is actually blue.) And I stare mesmerized for a while as the surfers ride in on the waves. I think it must feel like flying. A new item for the bucket list.

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And with that we leave Durban. En route to Underberg through Pietermaritzburg and getting closer to Lesotho (this neat country INSIDE of South Africa that literally seems to sit on top of a mountain.) This American import was genius enough to leave her passport at home so there will be no new country visiting this go around but there will be border-getting-close-to which if you’re like me, is near good enough :)

The drive is filled with good conversation, me trying to read, and re-passing out from Indian food-overfill, caramel cupcakes we buy from Woolworths because, I mean, we do have to mark July 4th some way (Gerritt sings the Spangled Banner to appease me on this note, because I insist independence day is a holiday to mark after all.) We end up in a rondaval (nifty new word I’ve picked up for a decked-out-hut.) The drive there is treacherous but I will spare you the details, mostly because my mother is probably reading this right about now and is already hyperventilating at the thought of me alone in the backwoods of South Africa.

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Our neighbors are Americans from Boston (Boston! Americuh!) and we pass Boston on the way here and there is quiet out here that I need and mountains to fall into and a sun that sets early and dogs that chase me and music and more Indian food (leftovers, I promise) and a fire, a fire for me to sit by. And the promise of smores on a fourth of July with Americans who find themselves a continent away. Just like me. I’d say this has been a rather productive lazy friday, if you know what I mean :)

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Till tomorrow, friends.

xo Inesha

 

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