Much ado about very little

Well, so far the ‘Durban experience’ has been a total washout.

Day 1:  The African Art Centre wasn’t where it was supposed to be.  After searching a street both ways (took me an hour to find any street numbers) someone told me it had moved over a year ago.  I did find it by happenstance the next day, but . . .

The Durban Art Gallery at City Hall – 3 of 4 galleries closed for renovation.  And they don’t even tell you until you walk up the 2 long flights of stairs.

The BAC Centre – in the midst of winding down.  It took me 2 hrs to find it, as you have to cross the railway tracks and then find your way along a fenced area – and each person I spoke to gave me different directions.  Only one craft shop and one studio of artists, and the cafe at which I hoped to hear some music and have some of their famous bread pudding was gone and a beer bar is there now.

Day 2: The Kwa Muhle (Apartheid) Museum is closed, no one knows why or for how long.

The Botanical Gardens were nice, though very poorly kept up.  Durban residents say that all the city’s money is going to change street names right now.  That’s their priority.  But there was a fairly nice display of orchids, a great fern garden, and a “sensory garden” where they have a map at the entrance of things to smell, touch, hear etc.  Saw some neat birds and a mom monkey with her baby on her lap, grooming him.  Some of the trees there are pretty amazing too, but what I liked best was all the wedding parties that were  there getting photos.  The wedding outfits were really colourful, and the little flower girls were just too cute for words.

The iscathemiya music I’d come to Durban especially to hear didn’t get heard.  No one seemed to be able to find it, even the licensed guides.  Dan Patlansky was here somewhere in town starting his tour for his new album, and couldn’t find him either.  There doesn’t seem to be a paper here like NOW that lists all the happenings, and no on seems to know where anything is if you ask about a theatre or other venue.

The one music festival I could find was at some dam way out of town and it would have cost a packet to get me there and the music featured wasn’t especially appealing,  so I’m feeling quite grumpy today.  It seems as if nothing much I came here for actually got done, but I walked and walked until my legs were falling off trying to find stuff.

Not to mention that it has rained almost all week (I’m *really* grumpy) and even if it wasn’t actually raining, it was threatening and no sun – just grey and dismal, which I hear is very unlike Durban.  BAH!!

I have to be at the bus station at 6 a.m. tomorrow to pick up my ticket for my 7 a.m. trip to Grahamstown.  Had to go with City-to-City bus as Greyhound and Translux were both full.  I didn’t know it was a holiday here with lots of travel going on.  AND I didn’t know that the trip to Grahamstown takes over 12 hours.

The urge to just pack up and come home is almost overwhelming.  I know though that if I do, I’ll always wonder what else I might have experienced that would be wonderful, so I’ll stay and finish what I started.  Just have to hang in and see what happens next.

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1 Comment »

  1. Victoria said

    hi granny m its toria im at home how is it in africa i hope your having funn happy birth day i love you and ill comment u back bye

    Hi Toria:

    Africa is pretty great!! I hope you are having as much fun as I am, and that school is going well.
    I’ll be home in time for your birthday, so I’ll see you then, if not before.
    Love you,
    ~granny m

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