Thus endeth my first day on E2. Wrote two nodes and already one is nuked and the other is a -7. Maybe this won't be treated the same way.

I went to pick up my husband from work and we saw and heard several fire trucks zoom by. So much noise. And THEN we came home to a bunch of morons shooting off fireworks! It's not exactly the Fourth of July. PopeFelix yelled out that it was December 22nd, and I followed with "Jesus Christ! It's after midnight!"

Now there's just the faint noise of the upstairs neighbor's speakers. Aaah, 1:11 am...

Sunday starts, I guess, around 11ish on Saturday night. I look up from web-surfing, and realise that I could start packing now. I change clothes and throw a few things in a bag, put some cold juice in a cooler box, and am on the road before midnight. Five minutes later I realise that I have left something behind so I turn back. I am on the road again just after midnight, driving out of town to the Alien Safari.

I find the party easily enough; find a good place to park with only a few false turns. It’s a clearing in the brush, full of oddly dressed people, some with deadlocks, some with short hair, some with new clean clothes, some crusty. The clearing is surrounded by fluorescent totem poles and paintings, and filled with the 4-4 chaos of the music. It is loud. The familiar smell of dust, incense and marijuana. There are quite a few stalls, most selling vegetarian food or tie-died clothes. There is, in fact, an actual VW bus with a peace sign sticker on the window at one of them.

I don't see too mnay people obviously on drugs (dope doesn't count), but there are a few writhing in Ecstacy or staring into the space of thier trip.

It’s all so familiar to me. I describe it to you, but to me it's a normal party, basically.

Despite my fears of an expensive party in a dustbowl with poor DJs, none of that came to pass.

I dance a bit, and take a look around. On one side, layers of images are projected onto the billowing fabric. The projection equipment is mounted on top of a VW bus, and the projectionist is standing with his head poking through the sunroof, bearded and smoking a cigarette. I can see how a lot of his techniques work: slides and those liquid hippie-toys. But I can’t work out how some of the images are done – looks most like 3-second animations, looped and spliced. Then I see a second person sitting in the passenger seat of the bus. He has a laptop computer. I chat with him. The machine is a mac, running flash animations of pictures that he draw and scanned, on split screen, and has a control-program on the LCD that schedules the graphics. Cool. In my day, of course, I did it the hard way and coded the animations from scratch on the DirectX API.

I remember for a bit the part that I don’t like about these parties. To much sitting around, cold bored and alone, whilst noise and people mill around. But then all life’s like that. I try to hold onto the good memories of this scene, and not I remind myself to hold onto this too – the dreariness that accompanies it.

I try to find the car again, and have to retrace my steps to the dance floor before I get it right. This place is a trackless maze – clumps of trees, paths, or what looks like paths, everywhere, soft sand and dead branches on the dry earth.

Over the ridge where that cars are, I can see to the south the twinkling lights of Cape Town, home to four million people, under the vast calm mesa of Table Mountain. Very few of them are even aware of the existence of this scene.

It gets a little colder, I am in a vest and long sleeve cotton top. I go and find the chai stall. The people being it are English, I can hear it. They speak in a dialect of English that drops off the end of most words. He asks me if my chai is “Aw roi” by which I think he means is it “all right”. On of the men, oriental, has in addition to the numerous tatoos that are common, rings in his ears - not through the earlobe, but within it. The rings are at least a two centimeters in diameter. That takes time and stretching.

Once the chai is cool enough to be drinkable, it is good. We talk a bit. The woman has a plain but open and honest face. I ask her why an English person would want to earn Rands (The SA currency is nearly valueless compared to the English). To travel she replies. She said she started travelling four years ago, by driving overland from London to Delhi. Each place they work enough to move on. It sounds like a great life, but I couldn’t do it. The man says they have come down from the Solipse party – that was six months ago, in Zambia. Chai and dancing keeps me warm enough.

There are a lot of tourists here – not just the usual holidaymakers from Joburg. I hear German and other languages. This is good. Cape Town people can be insular and pretentious.

There are so many reasons why outdoor parties are better than clubs. The sound is so much clearer. The air is always fresh, despite the best attempts of smokers of cigarettes and chillums. There is space to wave your arms around when you dance. If you want to leave the dancefloor, just walk off in almost any direction. And if you are male, the world is your urinal. Just duck behind a bush.

Dawn started earlier than I expected, but then this is within a day or two off midsummer. The lightening of the sky in the east gradually eats all the stars, and the rosy fingers reach out. There are few places I’d rather be on a Sunday morning than here, watching gloom resolve into forms, forms slowly acquire shades, shades get colour, all people dancing to this noise.

I didn't see half the people that I expected to meet here, but I did see Roger, Evan and Vana in the morning.

I leave around 8:30 am. Some friends are coming through at 10:30, but I want to sleep.

Well, I'm just sitting here at work, and it's really slow. I've been talking a bit in the catbox, and reading various articles on the guts of the telephone system. I may node something based on what I've read, and I may not. I dunno.

What I really should be doing right now is coding. My nifty perl mail checking program has all the features I want in it coded and working. I'm even using it on a day-to-day basis in my job. However, I haven't put in any of the idiot-proofing that I want to. I also need to work on how the output of certain commands is displayed. I just don't feel like coding right now, is all.

Hlynna did her first three w/us last night. As she says in her entry to the daylog, "already one is nuked and the other is a -7." The one at -7 has since been deleted. She got pissed about that, a bit. She got even more pissed when an editor used Klaproth to tell her she had "an obsession with her weight." I didn't see the /msg, so I don't know if said editor signed it or not. I'm told that most editors do sign their messages through Klaproth, but I got the impression from Hlynna that it was unsigned. I really hope that I can convince her not to abandon E2 over this, because I think she can make a valuable contribution to the nodegel.

So here it 2nd ever daylog. Probably not my last, though I seldom feel like noding one. And WHEN I feel like a noding a daylog, there is a reason for it. It is something I do NOT want to forget, so that even if it fades from my memory, I will always have a way to look back, and remember.

Here it starts...

It had already been a week since I'd last sawn Amanda. Amanda, the pretty American exchange student who came from Seattle, liked Rock music and thought it was so cool to have someone here in Germany who she could talk to in her home language. We'd met 3 times already...well, 4, counting the first time we met, at this Punk music gig in the local Jugendzentrum. After that followed a night in a "Grunge-Disco" in Darmstadt, then a couple cups of coffee a couple days later and then watching Pulp Fiction and The Usual Suspects at my house while my Mom and sister were in Scotland for the weekend.

It sounds like I had it made, eh?

Well, you don't know me. In all that time we spent doing stuff, not ONCE did I touch her. SHE was the once who touched my knee, laughed at a joke and gave me a playful shove. But did I do anything? No. I was too afraid to make a first move, too damned scared to even hint that I was interested. And so the weeks went by, until yesterday.

I asked her if she wanted to go ice skating with me and my "crew". She said yes. I shaved, brushed my teeth, styled my hair, threw a caffeine pill. Zipped over to my friend Timon's house. We were running late, but eventually we got outside and jumped into Timon's car. Then the door wouldn't close. The clock was ticking. We finally took his Mom's minivan. Still, yet again, Fate was somehow against us, the windshield almost completely iced over, the road also.
But we made it to Amanda's place, 20-25 minutes late. My heart jumped as I saw her, still there. But once again, nothing seemed to work. The road being a virtual lane of ice, we couldn't make it to Frankfurt. So we went to our favorite pool bar. And that is when the evening turned for the better.

Sure, my heart was hammering and I had the constant feeling of being very pukesick, but we played a couple of good games (we guys lost, damn). Now, some things, like Amanda buttoning down her shirt somewhat, or her supposedly jealous look as Timon's ex-girlfriend came up to me and gave me some tips on the next shot were things I heard of afterward. Maybe she just overheard the "tips" the girl had gave me, which, in fact, were actually tips on what "moves" I should make next, if you catch my drift. In any case, I finally pushed myself to strategically place an arm behind her headrest on the bench we were sitting on. SHE DID NOT MIND. You must understand, gentle noder, this was an outright shock to me. "This kind of thing works?", was the first thing that went through my mind. Had I been so inept at reading her body language? Had she wanted this all along? Human warmth? MY human warmth?

Now, this was of course on a Sunday, though everyone had Christmas break anyway, but Amanda didn't want to get home all to late. But before we drove everyone, including her, home, we hit our local tavern, the "Klamotte" for an hour or so. A cozy place, relatively cheap, lot's of people you know. And so here we spent the better part of the hour talking about our parents, drugs, music...

Finally, though, it was time for her to go. We dropped off everyone else, first. During this time, we cozied up a little on the back seat..., not what you think. Just sitting there, close to each other, my arm around her. But still, a wonderful feeling, something I wouldn't trade for the world. Did we kiss that night? No. It didn't seem right, too much people, not enough privacy. But that didn't matter to me, not at all. Even after two hours, after hanging out at Timon's for a while, I still fairly bounced home.

And here it ends...

I'm seeing her next weekend.

Update: I DIDN'T see her the next weekend. She didn't have time.

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