Wednesday, March 6, 2013


During the course of my stay in Cape Town, we dined twice at a lovely Mexican restaurant called El Burro.  the food was delicious and the service was excellent!  The lovely young ladies serving, could all have passed as Mexican and in the evenings wore Mexican style dresses.  We were there with friends and family of my hostess, and it was interesting to see that goat was on the menu, and even more interesting to see, when discussing it elsewhere, how many people actually eat goat and think it is as normal as I think it is not.


On Sunday we took a drive up to Hermanus going there via Sir Lowry's Pass and coming back along the coast. We met up with friends, had drinks on their veranda and  then went out for lunch at a lovely little restaurant called the Bistro.  It's not authentically French and was made obvious by the signs on the loos and the menu.  The owner has tried to keep a French feel and it is lovely.  Some of us had the salmon fishcakes, which although tasty, those of us who had them came away hungry.  Some ordered the cheese platter and a rather disappointing platter arrived, plain and boring!! The chicken salad and the chicken sandwich were said to be good.


The Undertaker

When a local resident passes on in Fraserburg, one gets an all-in-one deal with regards to the burial.  The undertaker is also the ‘hearse’ driver, he delivers the sermon, and for a mere sum of R1500.00, one gets the hire of the church and a coffin thrown in too.  The undertaker has informed us that people seek him out from far and wide as his services are quite simply the best.  Hmm. So what role does the Dominee or Pastor play in all this?  It doesn’t end there, the undertaker also digs the sewerage pit for the town and he too is the local handyman.  That’s what I call broad spectrum business.

The undertaker’s hearse consists of his old bakkie with a canopy on the back.  He often discusses the fact that he would love to own a real hearse, but that it would be way too expensive. He’s done his homework and they range between R200 000 and R400 000, more than the cost of some houses in this town.  One day a very smart, brand new Toyota hearse appeared in town.  People rushed over to the undertaker to ask if he had seen it.  Yes, he’d seen it, he said, but even if he could afford it, it really wouldn’t be much good to him as it would not be suitable for carting sand and building materials.

On a particular day we were standing discussing the weather, when a gentleman approached and informed the undertaker that there had been another death in the old age home and could he please go and collect the body.  “Ag nee! (Oh no!)” was the response, “I’ve just loaded sand and now I must go and clean the bakkie out again!”

With the town being as small as it is, and the fact that I could do with losing a pound or fifty, I had decided to purchase a bicycle with a basket on the front to do my chores.

Once the bicycle arrived it took me two days to pluck up the courage to get on and ride it, without falling off.  Amazingly I somehow managed to stay on.  I needed to go and see a local resident about my collecting stone from his property for the building of my garden walls.  This was to be my first ride, with a mission.  Off I went and all my staff were trying terribly hard to see what I was up to, without making it too obvious that they were looking, for I had threatened them with their lives should they dare to laugh.  Of course they were already hysterical, totally unable to contain themselves.

I headed off uncertainly and made it to my destination without incident.  On the way, I rode past the old age home, where there was yet another funeral in progress.  The local ‘hearse’ was parked in the driveway, the coffin in the back, in the full Karoo sun on a scorching hot summer’s day.  I could not help but wonder how long it had been there or for how much longer it would be. 

After negotiating with the gentleman, a matter which took a great deal of time, I hopped back on my bicycle to make the return trip home.  I had not gone but a few meters, when I heard an unusual noise and noticed that I could no longer pedal.  Looking down I saw the chain had snapped in half and was now lying in the middle of the road.  So off I climbed, picked up the oily chain, and proceeded to push my bike all the way home. 

On passing by the old age home once more, there lay the coffin, still baking in its oven.  By the time the body got to its final resting place, I was sure it was well done.

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