I have arrived (safely) in South Africa on a national holiday, Women's Day, which I thought was a rather good sign for me, the occasional rabid feminist. From what I could gather from the cab driver, it appears that Women's Day is the South African version of Mother's Day where husbands and children should take care of the women they know and buy them stuff. The day also turns out to be loaded with irony; I unexpectedly got my period as soon as I landed, and will be camping in Kruger Park for the next two nights. Plus, thought the hostel I'm staying in is nice, they don't provide towels, which was a surprise to me for reasons that seem rather presumptuous now. So, Women's Day became a trip to the mall, just like Mother's Day in the U.S., with the hope that some store is open. Thankfully, some fancy linen store was, and I have paid more for a towel here than I ever would back home. And then impulsively bought other items, like an alarm clock, back-up disposable camera (the battery has been dying inconveniently in mine), and of course, a book (by J. M. Coetzee).
I don't think I'll have much Internet access over the next 2-3 days, so I might have to wait until I get to India to upload photos. But thank you all for reading. It's a bit weird writing without knowing exactly who is reading this (other than my parents, who are consistent beyond measure), so thanks to everyone who has been posting and emailing me, as well.