A room is a room (and a toilet is a toilet)

14 May

Not quite Caro’s holiday


If there is one single truth about travel, it is this: Plans are only there to be laughed at in retrospect.

Take this weekend.

Here was the plan:

“Our first romantic weekend away. Lots of good wine, and even more good food. Dawntime kisses and sunlit mountains. A room with a view.”

Here was reality:

Arrive in Cape Town to mild complaints of nausea. Which I proceed to ignore, as Andrew, despite all his winning qualities, is the biggest hypochondriac this side of the moon.

‘No,’ I think, happily breathing in the rent-a-car fumes, ‘we’re in Cape Town. The sky is blue, the day is fresh. This is going to be the best weekend of my life.

Not quite.

The nausea was real. And soon joined by cramps, fever, exhaustion and grumpiness…

Let’s take that plan and see how the Universe had fun with it.

Element 1: Romance

Romcom expectation: Andrew-and-Caro, strolling down the picturesque main road in Franschoek. Quirky cafés, mountain views by candlelight. Perfect hair. Whiter teeth than I really have.

Reality: Valoid. Immodium. Buscopan. The only romantic thing about this weekend is the knowledge that I love my man enough to not insist on separate toilet facilities.

Element 2: Being away

Romcom expectation: All is new. Caro and Andrew break away from the bustling tourists and discover what will become their very own secret place. It’s a garden. Or a view. Or a fountain.

It’s different to any garden, view, or fountain back home because it is here, in the place they first visited Together.

Reality: It’s all the same. After all, a bed is a bed and a toilet a toilet.

Element 3: Good wine

Romcom expectation: Giddily hopping from farm to farm, we are a perfect, sophisticated couple. We are dressed in Polo and nod knowingly when tasting caramel chardonnays and cherry-velvet reds. We find it difficult to distinguish Graham Beck from JC le Roux, but keep this to ourselves.

Reality: No wine – just whine. When a man is sick, the woman is constantly reminded.

Element 4: Good food

Romcom expectation: No budget constraints. No diet constraints. No appetite constraints. If Franschoek really does have the best food in all the land, we shall taste it. All of it.

Reality: It’s no fun to eat out alone, so I don’t. Instead, in our country’s culinary capital, it’s bad pizza and garage food. Oh – and a sandwich from Bicccs. Which is way better in Pretoria.

Element 5: Dawntime kisses

Romcom expectation: Pretty self-explanatory.

Reality: Pretty much the opposite.

Element 6: Sunlit mountains and a room with a view.

Romcom expectation: Big bay windows. A giant king-sized bed. Goose down. The best view in town, to be enjoyed over warm butter croissants and a snuggle.

Reality: Small dingy window. Two single beds. Goose down (at least). No view – even of town. Just some wall ivy and a yapping dog.

All in all, not exactly the type of experience I’m happy to pay this kind of money for.

Even so – fact of Life learned and confirmed:

Despite attending some in-town events and doing some in-town shopping, and despite seeing the mountains and the beauty and the bustle,  all I really wanted was my guy.

 I think what Life was teaching me is that Love isn’t perfection. And it isn’t supposed to be. Love is finding that someone who, despite him being ill and grumpy and you being uppity and annoyed, you want nothing more than just to be together.

Reality is better than the Romcom expectation, after all.



2 Responses to “A room is a room (and a toilet is a toilet)”

  1. bronxboy55 May 29, 2012 at 4:24 pm #

    Very nice. That’s a lucky guy you have there. One question, though, and I’m almost afraid to ask: What’s garage food?

    • caroerasmus June 1, 2012 at 10:52 am #

      Typically bad pies and a packet of chips – anything you can buy at the Fuel Station’s convenience store ;). Here in SA, we refer to stations as garages and traffic lights as robots 😛

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