Looking for coffee

Last night we saw a magnificent production of Woolf’s Orlando. It was wonderful, not just because it was impossible to tell between the text itself and Stella F. delivering it. In fact it was the kind of theatre the critics in London would rave about. Here it was received as just ‘more really good theatre’: the Outpost has a long and solid tradition in theatre. Jod told me last week that, until ten years ago, it was actually the only means of entertainment (besides eating, drinking and cabarets — on which in a later post). It certainly shows. A demanding text (well, for me, at least: I never went past page 1 of ‘To the Lighthouse’ or page 3 of ‘Mrs Dalloway’) was turned into a one-woman enchantment of a play. I wish I knew more about theatre, so that I could convey my Delight in a more elaborate fashion.

Then we drove around aimlessly. It was around 11 pm, so unless we wanted to drink heavily or eat heavily (and given we have no relatives here to visit, as that’s what people also do on a Saturday night in the Outpost), there was naught to do on a Saturday night, so we kept on driving. We went through the beautiful neighbourhood of Enclave, a former village with beautiful olden sandstone houses and even more beautiful small gardens. We eventually found a 24-hour cornershop (misleadingly known as ‘kiosks’ here), browsed magazines (a man making funny grunting noises while selecting his readings scared me away from the well-stocked porn section) and bought a cookbook (come over for a pie!) and a bar of chocolate. We had a cup of tea with the latter item, at home.

The last two days were cool: the temperature ‘dropped’ to 18 C today. Hence around lunch time we set off to walk. It is usually hard to walk, because of the stifling humid heat among other things, so we grabbed the opportunity. We strolled to the Central Square (which is not a square, but a stretch of street and pavements) and browsed the compatrido newspapers. They were all boring today. One of them gave away the Piano Teacher on DVD, of Eloise Jelinek fame. Huppert: urgh; labia mutilation: argh. Another one had an analysis of why compatridos (not just bad bad Americans) may sometimes be wrong and do wrong. How odd. Or stimulating (haha). We decided to skip the Sunday papers then and look for a place to have a coffee. After we sauntered through narrow and broader streets (eerily De Chirico-esque in their lighting and emptiness), we despaired. Everything we had in mind was very closed. We finally realised that our choices were limited to four trendy cafes and two touristy ones. Or Starbucks, too far away without a car. So we returned home. To more work to do. Really heavy. Really knowing it is us, not the Outpost. We ask for too much. People keep telling us. We just do not understand.

But it’s not like we do not try.

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