The Changing Of The Group

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This blog entry about the events of Tuesday, March 23, 2004 was originally posted on March 24, 2004.

DAY 157:  I always wondered about Eve, Ingmar, Joanne, Dave and Karen, the young twenty-something employees of The Backpack.  They’d make good friends with travelers — only to have them leave 2-3 days later.  How tiring it must be for the regular employees to go through transient friends so rapidly I thought — that is, until I became a regular myself (waiting for my bank card) and realized that it’s just something you get used to.

The Argentines Eduardo and George left for the airport even before I woke up.  Kate the Irish Long Islander left for Buenos Aires as well soon after.  Later on that day, Danit left on a flight for Jo’burg, en route to Israel.  For about the fourth time since I arrived in Cape Town, another group had been disbanded.


I WAS FEELING CONFIDENT to go it alone and walk the streets of Cape Town again.  I strolled crosstown to the waterfront to stretch my legs and get my hair cut at an old-fashioned barber shop.  I went price shopping for a new camera to replace the one that had been taken from me at knifepoint.  In the end, I ended up getting a similar little Sony digital spy camera and memory stick for about $450 (USD) at Cameraland, the store that everyone seemed to recommend to me. 

The rest of the day was another lazy one as I continued to wait for my replacement bank cards to arrive.  Despite the fact that it was a bright sunny day clear enough to see the top of Table Mountain from the back courtyard (picture above), I had limited cash to spend and just spent the afternoon in and around the backpackers and the nearby strip mall, mailing stuff home, Blogging and sorting out my insurance claims.  I bumped into Eve, San Diego Sean and Jed throughout the day — they all seemed to be having way more productive days than I was having.  I finished reading Dude, Where’s My Country? by the pool and then made curried mushrooms over ramen noodles for dinner.

Exciting stuff, huh?

An elderly man named David from Manchester, U.K. noticed my Michael Moore book on the table — it served as an ice breaker for conversation.  From us two chatting in the living room, a new social group emerged to fill the void from earlier that day:  Veevek, the British-Canadian who, at age 25, had been more places and done more things (i.e. married and divorced) than the average person; Irish Sean, who was still around for the week; and newcomer Lisa from Leeds, U.K.  There was also some other girl who had just arrived, but she was more interested in watching Sex and the City on SABC3 than what we were saying.  Irish Sean, Lisa and I moved onto the hostel bar where Sean was generous enough to buy drinks for us.  That’s where I ended the night, just one night after I had been there with different social circle. 

My bank said my replacement card would arrive in about three days; that was just enough time for another group of friends to come and go.






Next entry: A Day At The Office

Previous entry: Back On The Streets




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Comments for “The Changing Of The Group”

  • COCKGOBBLERS!  I’ve just been told that my insurance will NOT cover my theft.  They only cover medical expenses and lost items IF IT’S AN AIRLINE’S FAULT (you need to prove you went through their channels first).

    Posted by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)  on  03/24  at  05:39 AM


  • HANALEI:  Thanks for the donation!  Your address has been added to the postcard mailing list…

    Posted by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)  on  03/24  at  05:40 AM


  • curried mushrooms over ramen noodles… so when are you entering into the iron chef ramen noodle battle?

    Posted by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)  on  03/24  at  07:29 AM


  • Markyt: secret ingredient list ? ..
    - ostrich (wrangle your own)
    - shark (bite first before they do)
    - spam (closest thing to Saimin)
    - & the punkass little boy who help aided the mugging

    Posted by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)  on  03/24  at  09:33 AM


  • SIM: don’t forget MARMITE!!!

    Posted by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)  on  03/24  at  09:50 AM


  • Is Marmite close to what Vegemite is?

    Posted by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)  on  03/24  at  10:21 AM


  • Erik - that totally bites about the insurance.

    Everyone - jump on over to Paypal and send Erik some dough.  You pay for a movie and other entertainment.  $450 for a new camera plus $250 stolen… man, that’s like 2 months in India.  Your donation will keep the blog going longer! 

    Yeah, like the other reader (sorry I forget who it was!) I too am doing the PBS drive thing.

    Posted by Liz  on  03/24  at  11:05 AM


  • DTELLA:  THANKS for the donation!  Yes, I am eating things other than ramen noodles… tonight I splurged on a big platter of sashimi…

    Posted by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)  on  03/24  at  02:19 PM


  • ALICE:  THANKS for the donation!  If I see those guys (dogs) again, I’ll definitely try and kick them in the nuts…

    LIZ:  Your PBS pledge drive tactics are working!  Thanks!

    Posted by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)  on  03/24  at  02:20 PM


  • SIM:  From what I’ve learned, NEVER say that Marmite and Vegemite are similar, especially in front of a Brit or Aussie!

    Posted by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)  on  03/24  at  02:21 PM


  • ALL:  THANKS SO MUCH FOR YOUR SUPPORT GUYS!  Honestly, it is DEFINITELY putting me back on my feet.  I’m glad you enjoyed the “Cute Baby Animals At Knifepoint” as much as I did!

    It’s been a CRAZY day trying to track down my bank card—it’s in DHL limbo— but If I rush around tomorrow, everything will finally return to normalcy… just in time for me to be in the NIZ for possibly a week in Namibia.

    I’ll try and log on with an update, but you’ve been warned…

    THANKS AGAIN FOR THE OVERWHELMING SUPPORT!  I’d give you all PBS tote bags or Ken Burns’ videos if I had them!

    Posted by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)  on  03/24  at  02:27 PM


  • ERIK: normalcy might have to come later…

    check ur email about the plane ticket ordeal….

    Posted by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)  on  03/24  at  04:32 PM


  • You deserve our support - you keep us travling from our desks. And we NEED that.

    Posted by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)  on  03/24  at  06:11 PM


  • UGH.  I’m STILL here in Cape Town… long (and boring) story behind it all.  I won’t leave South Africa until Sunday morning now… 

    My flights moving out of Namibia on the other hand are another story—it is still in process at the time of this writing…

    I feel like I’m in the movie “Quick Change.”

    Posted by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)  on  03/25  at  09:33 AM


  • DARCY:  THANKS for the donation!  Seriously, every little bit helps!  You rock!

    Posted by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)  on  03/25  at  09:38 AM


  • ERIK: amex 50 dollar refund came…i’ll deposit it for you on monday…

    Posted by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)  on  03/25  at  10:55 AM


  • Dang dude, that sucks that you cannot get your money. Oh well. Keep on Keepin’ on, pal…good times definitely lay ahead anyway!!

    I most def know what you mean about seeing peeps come and go…such is the backpacker lifestyle, eh?

    Word Life!!

    Tally Ho,

    Moman!!

    Posted by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)  on  03/25  at  06:41 PM


  • Hi Erik I just posted and then couldn’t find my post.  Just came across your site. I love it! I’m leaving for my own RTW trip in June and my itinerary looks a LOT like your “plan” except i’m going the other way - africa first! I’ll definately be reading your posts regularly! Happy travels! -Michelle

    Posted by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)  on  03/26  at  11:39 PM


  • MICHELLE:  Hey there and welcome!  Let me know whereabouts you are and maybe we can meet up…

    Posted by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)  on  03/27  at  03:17 AM


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This blog post is one of over 500 travel dispatches from the trip blog, "The Global Trip 2004: Sixteen Months Around The World (Or Until Money Runs Out, Whichever Comes First)," originally hosted by BootsnAll.com. It chronicled a trip around the world from October 2003 to March 2005, which encompassed travel through thirty-seven countries in North America, South America, Africa, Europe, and Asia. It was this blog that "started it all," where Erik evolved and honed his style of travel blogging — it starts to come into focus around the time he arrives in Africa.

Praised and recommended by USA Today, RickSteves.com, and readers of BootsnAll and Lonely Planet's Thorn Tree, The Global Trip blog was selected by the editors of PC Magazine for the "Top 100 Sites You Didn't Know You Couldn't Live Without" (in the travel category) in 2005.


Next entry:
A Day At The Office

Previous entry:
Back On The Streets




THE GLOBAL TRIP GLOSSARY

Confused at some of the jargon that's developed with this blog and its readers over the years? Here's what they mean:

BFFN: acronym for "Best Friend For Now"; a friend made on the road, who will share travel experiences for the time being, only to part ways and lose touch with

The Big Trip: the original sixteen month around-the-world trip that started it all, spanning 37 countries in 5 continents over 503 days (October 2003–March 2005)

NIZ: acronym for "No Internet Zone"; a place where there is little to no Internet access, thus preventing dispatches from being posted.

SBR: acronym for "Silent Blog Reader"; a person who has regularly followed The Global Trip blog for years without ever commenting or making his/her presence known to the rest of the reading community. (Breaking this silence by commenting is encouraged.)

Stupid o'clock: any time of the early morning that you have to wake up to catch a train, bus, plane, or tour. Usually any time before 6 a.m. is automatically “stupid o’clock.”

The Trinidad Show: a nickname of The Global Trip blog, used particularly by travelers that have been written about, who are self-aware that they have become "characters" in a long-running story — like characters in the Jim Carrey movie, The Truman Show.

WHMMR: acronym for "Western Hemisphere Monday Morning Rush"; an unofficial deadline to get new content up by a Monday morning, in time for readers in the western hemisphere (i.e. the majority North American audience) heading back to their computers.

1981ers: people born after 1981. Originally, this was to designate groups of young backpackers fresh out of school, many of which were loud, boorish and/or annoying. However, time has passed and 1981ers have matured and have been quite pleasant to travel with. The term still refers to young annoying backpackers, regardless of year — I guess you could call them "1991ers" in 2013 — young, entitled millennials on the road these days, essentially.




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