High cost of living in the US compared to South Africa…”You’ve Got a Friend”…That is, “Little” certainly does…Pig paradise in the park…

Little told his friend that the “pickins” were good at this house so they both climbed the six steps up to the veranda to the front door.  I was in the shower and missed the fun event. Tom tossed pellets to the ground that motivated them to climb down.

“Sighting of the Day in the Bush”

The Big Daddies didn’t seem as interested in the lucerne as the female kudus but this one managed a few mouthsful.

Yesterday’s trip to Komatipoort went well. The visit with the dentist, Dr. Luzann, went better than expected and once my dental work is completed over the next month, I’ll share details here.

“Pigs on the porch,”  Pigs in the pond,” and Pigs in a pile,”  It’s “Pig Paradise in the Park.”
Coincidentally Gerhard also had a dentist appointment with Dr. Luzann yesterday, a few hours after mine ended. He was thrilled with his cleaning and of course, the reasonable cost of ZAR 388 (US $27) compared to the typical ZAR 2876 ($200) cost for the same service in the US.  
“Little” was checking out what the kudus were eating.

After his appointment ended, he and Rita headed to Ngwenya where we met up with them for drinks on the veranda followed by the buffet dinner in the dining room. As always the conversation was superb, the drinks refreshing, and the food, although the same items each Thursday, was consistently good.

We’re always surprised by the reasonable cost for such a meal with drinks, tax, and tips. Mine and Tom’s total was only ZAR 325 (US $22.60).  At Jabula Lodge and Restaurant, which we consider a much better restaurant, it’s usually twice the amount but well worth the added expense.

At this point, we’ve been dining out twice a week, once at Ngwenya and once at Jabula. When we considered the combined weekly total it runs about ZAR 935 (US $65) averaging at ZAR 467 (US $32.50). This is at least half as much as similar meals at a restaurant in the US, if not more.

Tom didn’t feed him on the veranda but I surely would have.  Little is my favorite warthog.

Once again, when we arrive in the US in 115 days, dining out for each meal, we’ll be shocked by the high prices, not only for restaurants, accommodations, and rental cars but for all other incidental costs. It’s the nature of the beast.

And, speaking of “the beast”…Tom had me in stitches this morning when he showed me the above photo he’d taken only moments earlier when I was in the shower. Seeing the photo reminded me of James Taylor’s popular song from 1971, “You’ve Got a Friend.” Click here to listen!

Piglets in a pile.

Apparently, Little, our favorite warthog had “told” a friend our house was a good place to visit. But, not only the garden of our bush house but also, the veranda which requires only a few gingerly executed steps on slippery tiles to reach.  

They both embarked on the adventure and arrived without incident, shocking Tom in the process when he spotted the two pigs on the porch  We couldn’t help but laugh over the irony of the situation.

A male ostrich’s flattened feathers during the downpour several days ago.

What’s particularly funny is that animals are just like us, or shall I say, we’re just like them? They’re nothing like a good friend (s) and we, like Little, have been blessed to have many friends in Marloth Park and other parts of the world as our years-long journey continues.

Tonight, we’ll dine in, spending most of the evening on the veranda, at least until the insects bombard us.  Every moment we spend whether it’s “Just the Two of Us” (click here for that song) or with wildlife or human friends, we feel fortunate during this very special time in our lives.

May you feel fortunate as well. Happy day!

Photo from one year ago today, December 14, 2017:

Punta Arenas, Chile would have been a great port of call to visit but bad weather prevented the necessary use of the tenders. We sailed away. For more details, please click here.

The movie, Casablanca…We watched it last night…Another movie for our area…As Time Goes By…The equinox…

Every moviegoer worldwide is familiar with this poster of one of the most popular movies of all time.

While spending last summer in Italy, we watched the movie, “Under the Tuscan Sun.” In the fall, while living in Kenya, we watched the movie, “Out of Africa,” some of which were filmed in the Maasai Mara where we went on safari.

Last night, we watched one of my favorite movies, “Casablanca,” which Tom had never seen in its entirety.

Play this video to hear the movie’s theme song, “As Time Goes By.”

In each case of watching these three movies, we found ourselves giggling over phrases, scenery, customs, and local architecture, all of which we’ve become familiar with after a period of time in each local.

Rick’s Café Americain actually still exists in Casablanca. 

We downloaded “Casablanca” from Graboid in a digitally re-mastered version which was as clear as it could have been but was still in black and white. Normally, I don’t prefer watching movies in black and white.  Although, Tom doesn’t seem to mind, especially since he’s used to watching war footage. Last night, in a matter of minutes, I forgot it was in black and white and for perhaps my 10th viewing of the movie, I loved it more than ever. 

This line, “Here’s looking at you, kid,” was actually spoken by Rick, four times in the movie.

Although neither Humphrey Bogart or Ingrid Bergman won an Academy Award for their roles in the movie (he was nominated but didn’t) the movie won for Best Picture.

How ironic that we watched this famous Moroccan movie while living in Morocco? How ironic that many aspects of the movie were familiar to us after such a short time here? Of course, there is no doubt the movie was “Americanized” when it was made. How could it not be when it was made entirely in the US?

Police Captain, Louis Renault, was played by Claude Rains.

Once again, we were disappointed to discover that the entire movie was filmed in a studio in Hollywood when so much of the scenery looked authentic. That’s the way of movie making when today many scenes and actions generated by the use of computers, as will be the case, more and more going forward.

The line most people recite from the movie is “Play it again, Sam”which was never once stated during the movie. The actual lines spoken by Rick was, “You know what I want to hear. You played it for her, you can play it for me.” When Ilsa wanted Sam to play the song, she actually said, “Play it once Sam, for old  times sake.”

Movies such as “Casablanca” will slip further and further into the memories of old timers, such as us, as we rapidly move into an age of technology beyond our wildest imaginations only a decade ago. 

Years after its release the movie was “colorized.”  We preferred watching it in its original black and white.

In any case, we both lost ourselves as we watched the movie, chuckling from time to time from aspects familiar to our current daily lives to humorous playful moments contained in the story. At times, we had tears in our eyes and at other times, our hearts were warmed so much that an involuntary “aaaahhhh” slipped from our mouths.

This mosque was shown during the movie, but could have been any mosque here in Marrakech, except for the ocean in the distance. Marrakech is a few hours from Casablanca, which is located on the ocean and is a substantial shipping port in northern Africa.

Then, it was over. We looked at each other and smiled, happy to have seen this together at last. More than anything, we were happy for the experience of sharing a favorite movie. Above all, we were reminded of how happy we are to be sharing this varied life, making our own “movie” of our lives as the scenery really does continue to change and is authentic as it can be.

All scenes in the movie were filmed on the studio lot except for this seen filmed at the Van Nuys Airport in California.

Note: We’ve rescheduled our sightseeing day for Monday. Today, and over the weekend, we’ll be out and about searching for more great photo ops to share with our readers each day. Have a lovely first day of spring for those of you above the equator and lovely first day of fall for those of you below the equator!

Yesterday, both above and below the equator had equal amounts of daylight. Yesterday was the day of the equinox.

Go figure! Who would have thought of this in our old lives? (Oddly, Tom did)!