Everything happens for a reason…

I wasn’t planning to write this, but I feel like I have to. It’ll be short, but I want to reflect on this in years to come. My life right now would be very different if things turned out the way I thought they would. I wouldn’t be in Cape Town, I wouldn’t have met my better half and I probably would be stressing about how I would cope if things ended up the way I thought they would. I mean, I am only 22… I couldn’t handle all that responsibility. I wouldn’t be working in my dream job right now, I wouldn’t be exploring the world. I would just be at home, trying to figure out how I would cope with all that financial responsibility and stresses that come with it.

I guess this post is somewhat of a rant, but also to let people know that everything does happen for a reason. People may walk out of your life and sometimes it’s a bloody good thing that it happens. It may not initially feel like it, but it is. Trust me, I wanted to give up. I spent days trying to figure out why things happened but looking back, I am so grateful that they did. I don’t have to deal with all those unnecessary stresses. I am able to be a normal 20-something year old. I am able to fall in love. I am able to explore. And most of all, I am able to be me.

 

#6- My Life as a PPC Intern

So some of you who know me personally know that I have been working for a month (actually, tomorrow is my 1 Month workaversary!). I was fortunate enough to get a job shortly after moving down to Cape Town! This also happens to be one of my goals for 2017 that I can now happily tick off the list.

 

Firstly, I should probably explain what PPC is…

So PPC stands for Pay Per Click. To make it easy to understand, it consists of all those adverts that you see on Google when you search for something and on Facebook when you see the word “sponsored.” There is obviously more to it, but that’s just the beginning. There is a lot more to it, and honestly, I find it pretty fun.

So how did I get this job?

Long story cut short, I have been eyeing the company I work for, for a few years. Firstly, they are really cool and modern, and secondly, it’s an educational company-meaning although I work in the marketing sector, I still get exposure to the wonderful world of education and I am allowed to better myself by doing the courses they offer.

Prior to my interview, I had to create a short little video with my reasons for wanting to work here, what I would bring to the company and talk a little bit about myself, my likes, interests and dislikes. Shortly after making that video, I received a call asking me to come in for the interview. I was nervous (as one usually is), not only because interviews can be scary, but I really wanted this job.

The interview itself was pretty cool. They were really friendly, and in all honesty, they asked me pretty random questions such as “which Disney princess would you be?” and a lot of other random ones. Needless to say, I felt at home in no time.

I knew the interview went great, and within less than 24 hours, I found out I got the job! Amazing, right? 😀 I immediately accepted their request and soon got sent a ton of documents to fill in online regarding my employment.

After eagerly waiting for nearly a month (note: I found out I got the job on April 10th and started on May 2nd), I finally started working. On my first day, I was shown around the office and found out that we have a barista at work who makes amazing coffee. If that wasn’t cool enough, the food area at work has a ton of vegan food! And honestly, that’s just the start of it… we get free fruit at work and there is a gym here too. Basically, being at work is pretty fun as we aren’t just machines who work, we also make time to have fun.

Now if my first day wasn’t beyond awesome, my first Friday got better. Why? The company I work for signed a massive partnership and that obviously meant that the company is growing and us interns have a great chance of eventually being employed full time somewhere. The following Friday was equally as cool… To celebrate this partnership, they threw a party at work with a ton of food and entertainment. Needless to say, it was pretty enjoyable.

Of course, work isn’t all fun and games. For the past month, I have received constant training with regards to PPC and the various platforms that I have to use. Thankfully, I do know how to use most of them as I have been experimenting on them prior to me working here due to me trying to boost my previous blog.

What’s also really awesome is that we have a personal trainer at gym who guides us with workouts once a week. Actually, as I am writing this, my legs are weak from my workout.

I feel really blessed to work for such a lovely company. And I know it will only get better from here. Fingers crossed I get employed full time soon! 😀

#5- We are parents… fur parents

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I know that I have been MIA for a long time, and I do apologize… However, I have a perfectly good reason for it… We became parents… fur parents to an adorable little cat two weeks ago. And I started working…

So Charlie and I were talking about getting a cat for a while now. Although it was somewhat a spontaneous decision, we decided to get one and let me just add, it was not an easy journey… but more on that later.

About a month ago, we saw a beautiful grey cat named Pearl on an animal shelter site. She looked amazing with a soft grey coat and big green eyes. She reminded us a lot of Talking Tom (more on that later!)

 

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We immediately sent through our application that Friday and on Monday, they did a home inspection and we were approved! We were over the moon with excitement, but that was sadly, short lived. We had to get permission from our body corporate to allow us to have a cat since they generally do not allow pets in the building. We sent out an email and are still awaiting a response from them… since they obviously do not see our request as a matter of urgency, we went forward and adopted Pearl… It has been 3 weeks since we sent out our email and have investigated the laws that are in place regarding getting a pet in a sectional title. Basically, whether they reply or not, we can have a cat since there is no valid reason they can reject our cat now :D… The joys of knowing your rights!

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We got Pearl on the 20th of April. Being doting parents-to-be, we got literally whatever we thought she would need… from a cat bed, to cat toys, varieties of cat foods, a cat scratching pad, a litter box, a blanket and even a collar… Despite having our own cats back home, she is our first ‘child’ together.

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We decided to rename Pearl to Tomi.  Long story cut short, she reminds us of Talking Tom and Charlie’s cousin always pronounces Tommy in a cool way, so we named her after the way he pronounces that name.

When we went to collect her, we were told that she is not a huge fan of being picked up and doesn’t really enjoy cuddles. However, in the past two weeks, she has grown to beg… and I mean beg for constant cuddles, snuggles and she is almost always in our arms.

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Another reason why we give her so much love is due to the fact that if we did not adopt her, she would not be here right now… they were going to put her down today since she is a little older (she is about 2).

The day we got her, she immediately adapted by making the main bedroom bed her bed and by making the main bathroom her bathroom. She is quite a princess.

In the past two weeks, her personality is really starting to show… she is highly independent… she is perfectly fine taking care of herself throughout the day. She also is not afraid to ask for what she wants… let’s just say, she demands cuddles from us and demands play time every night. Recently, her mischievous side is coming out… she keeps climbing on the headboard and jumping on us and she has random bursts of energy.

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We are truly in love with her. She acts like our baby and we treat her like he is our child. Our home feels complete. We are definitely not ready to have children anytime soon but having a cat as a child is truly an amazing feeling. Our parents act like doting grandparents.

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We are planning to get another cat in a few months to a year… just depending on where we are at the time and if we can handle another cat. For now, one is good enough but we definitely want to expand our little family in the next year.

I am thankful every single day to have Tomi in our lives. She adds that little sparkle that our home needed. She is super loyal, caring and loving and she has brought us even closer.

 

#4 Killarney International Race Track- 21.03.2017

Here is a video with all the footage I took that day as well as the pictures I took:

For those of you who know me, you will know that I have always loved cars. It’s hard to explain exactly why, but cars have always fascinated me, and thankfully, I have a boyfriend who enjoys cars just as much as I do.

Charlie’s one friend, Charles told us about an event happening at the Killarney International Race Track, and we just had to check it out. Sadly, we don’t have a race car in Cape Town yet (hopefully we will soon!), so we just took Charlie’s Cape Town Car (Volvo V40) with.

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The Killarney International Raceway is located in Milnerton, Cape Town. The Killarney International Raceway was used since the late 1940s, and held its first International Grand Prix in December of 1960. I have been to a couple of tracks around the country, but I have to say, this one has to be one of my favorites.

We woke up rather early that morning at around 6:30 and rushed to get ready. We were out of the house by 7:30 before driving to Century City where we were going to meet Charles. It was already scorching hot outside (the car showed that it was 25 Celsius) Neither of us had eaten and were somewhat hungry. I opted for muesli and yogurt and Charlie opted for a chicken pie. We quickly devoured our breakfast. While eating, Charles messaged Charlie saying that we had to wear long shirts. Obviously, we did not think about that as it was so hot. Thankfully, Charles brought along two extra long shirts for us to wear. We were soon on our way to the track and the excitement kicked in.

As we approached the track, I could hear some cars revving. Funny enough, I am able to tell which brand of car it is just by hearing it these days. I could hear a couple of Subaru’s in the distance which only got me more excited. For those of you who don’t know, Charlie has a Subaru STI and we have gone on countless long drives with it. Sadly, the car has been in for a while as there are some problems that are expensive to fix…

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We soon found parking and registered for the event. Unsure of how good the drivers were, Charlie put himself as a level 1- beginners driver… I laughed at that as I knew he would soon realize that he definitely would not fit in that group. We decided to get helmets as it was protocol to wear them while driving. I must say, I like the fact that they forced us to wear helmets as I have seen some rather gruesome accidents happen.

We soon got a briefing about what each group was allowed to do and the rules for the track. Since Group 3- advanced drivers was allowed to go first, we decided to look at the cars that were parked in the parking area. From Audis to BMWs to Nissans to Porches, you name it and they were there. Someone even had one of my dream cars- the Mercedes Benz AMG GT.

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While looking at the cars, we got called up to do a quick service check. I honestly love how much effort they put into the event. After a rather quick, yet thorough service check, we were allowed on the track. By that time, we were over the moon with excitement, and at the same time, covered in sweat. It was around 32 degrees at that time, and wearing long sleeves was certainly not fun. After going on the track for a good 10 minutes, we had to go off the track in order to allow another group on. We allowed ourselves to get familiar with the tracks and know where every corner was. We did realize that we were in the wrong group and got another sticker which allowed us to participate in the intermediate drivers category. Upon getting the new sticker, group 2 was allowed on and we went back on the track again. By this time, we knew when we had to break or execrate. Charlie managed to top 176km/h in the V40, which is rather impressive considering the car was not built for a track. In Charlie’s Scooby, we have topped 225km/h, so 176km/h seems a little slow to me these days. But nonetheless, it was still really fun.

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Our Scooby 

We soon had to get off the track again and decided to take some pictures of the cars that were in the parking lot. There were two VW Citi R’s which are rather expensive due to the rarity of them. As well as one of the original ‘racing’ Audis. Needless to say, it was a car lovers dream that day.

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Feeling rather dehydrated, we decided to take some more pictures of the cars and get something to drink. The restaurant had run out of bottled water so we simply opted for Sprite. After drinking our Sprite and taking more pictures, we decided to go on the track again. Halfway through our designated time, Charlie decided to take Charles’ car for a drive just to see how it felt. They basically begged me to take pictures of them driving so I stayed out for that leg of the track. Charlie managed to top 176km/h again.

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During the last hour of the event, they allowed cars from all groups to drive around without any rules. It was rather funny seeing how different drivers from different groups would drive. The advanced drivers would drift on the track, and the beginners drivers would continue driving rather carefully.

As we were about to go, two of Charles’ friends came as they wanted to go somewhere else and take some videos of cars driving on some nice open road. Charlie and I agreed to go, and I honestly don’t regret it. By now, it was 41 Celsius outside and we were basically dead-tired. However, driving in the countryside was rather satisfying. We soon found some dirt road which was basically paradise for the guys… Let’s put it like this, dirt roads = the perfect opportunity to test your car’s ability. The guys all began doing donuts on the sand, which was rather fun to see and be apart of. The one guy, Steven and I were the designated videographers and photographers that day and spent most of the time recording Charlie, Charles and Philip doing donuts on the sand.

 

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It was getting rather late and we decided to head back home. It was a rather tiring day after all. I would have to say, my highlight of the day was going on the track again. I have not been no a track for around a year, so going back on the track was quite fun, to say the least.

 

#3- The Cape Carnival- 18 March 2017

As you may have seen in last week’s post, I attended the Simon’s Town Navy Festival and it was nothing short of amazing. After a fun-filled day and a hideous tan on my shoulders and upper arms, Charlie and I were feeling rather exhausted and were contemplating whether or not we should go to the Cape Carnival. There is always next year, right? However, after eating a rather hearty burrito dinner, we decided we should go as we did promise a friend of ours that we would go with her.

As a kid, I frequently heard my mom talk about the Cape Carnival and how amazing it was. However, it always happens during New Year and before moving down here, I have only been to Cape Town twice: once in July 2007 and once in June 2015. From the looks of it, the Cape Carnival that my mom spoke about isn’t the exact same as the one I attended as this one started in 2010-during the World Cup in South Africa.

The Cape Carnival is an annual event in Cape Town that attracts thousands of visitors. They have various floats every year centered around a certain theme. The theme for 2017 was AMAZA- Ocean Odyssey. I thought the theme was rather appropriate considering we are near the ocean.

We arrived on Main Road, Green Point shortly before 8pm and it was rather chaotic. The event started by 3pm, but we were still in Simon’s Town then. I guess we did miss most of the good stuff, but there is always next year. Being from Johannesburg, I was rather paranoid about being mugged at any second but soon lowered my guard slightly and tried to enjoy the fun.

As we walked towards the actual parade, I saw a whole group of sexy firemen with chiseled abs, and women almost throwing themselves at them. There was one guy who was soon lubed up with baby oil by two women… Needless to say, the crowd went wild. I even heard one elderly woman say “If I die tonight, at least I will die happy” after seeing his six-pack.  We continued walking through the crowd and saw two aliens on stilts. The green men moved so easily through the streets. I was once again lost in my thoughts as I even struggle to walk in heels sometimes! We continued walking through the crowd and saw a man singing high up on the float he was on with two mermaid women with nipple tassels movings their bodies to the sound of the music… it was definitely the adult version of The Little Mermaid!

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There were a couple of other floats that I cannot exactly describe. The one reminded me of a sea urchin of sorts and the other, well it reminded me of Ursula from The Little Mermaid. Nonetheless, the floats were beautiful.

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Since it was dark, and we were by a highway, Charlie and I decided to experiment with long exposures when cars were driving past… We forgot our tripods at home, which made it rather difficult but I am proud of the shots I got!

 

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We soon went back to our friend’s place and just hung around for a little bit and experimented with long exposures from her balcony as it overlooked the CBD.

That Saturday was rather eventful, but nonetheless, really fun. I cannot wait for the carnival next year as we will definitely go early then.

 

#2 Simon’s Town Navy Festival- 18.03.2017

Can you believe it? I have already been in Cape Town for two weeks, and in all honesty, it has been really busy!

One of my first adventures here was attending the Simon’s Town Navy Festival.

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For those of you who do not know, Simon’s Town is a town around 45 minutes away from Cape Town CBD, which happens to be hope to the Navy as well as penguins (yes, penguins). The town is named after Simon van der Stel- a governor to the Cape Colony. The navy base itself started towards the end of the 1800s. I guess it is pretty cool to think that the navy base of South Africa has around 150 years of history associated with it. And in all honesty, you can feel it when you enter Simon’s Town. However, the first established South African Navy Force was established in 1922.  What is rather interesting, and makes Simon’s Town close to my heart is that two of my uncles worked on various ships and submarines during the 1970s and 1980s in Simon’s Town. I guess it is rather cool knowing some of my family made history, right?

Our journey started around 11AM on Saturday morning. The crisp Capetonian air was blowing through the open windows of our car. The sun was rather bright but still tolerable. The sound of the latest David Maxim Micic album was playing in the car. Around 10 minutes away from Simon’s Town, we pulled over on the side of the road to a sun-kissed lady selling pomegranates. We ended up getting seven large pomegranates for R50 ($4). We soon made our way on the final leg of the journey and were met with a rather large amount of traffic. In all honesty, I did expect some traffic, but I did underestimate the extent of the traffic.

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Now, Simon’s Town is a rather small town, with a population estimate of around 6600… and the town is rather old (with loads of buildings being built in the late 1800s and early 1900s). This only meant one thing… parking was almost impossible to find. After driving around for close to 45 minutes, we noticed a large open field that they had just turned into a parking area for people attending the event… thankfully. We soon parked and went through a rather hectic security check… I’m talking about our bags getting scanned and going through a metal detector… but I guess rather safe than sorry, right?

Once we had passed security checks, we were in the actual military base. The mountains surrounding us on one side and loads of stone and brick buildings filling the space in front of us. The navy staff were making their rounds and seeing them in their uniform reminded me of watching some old school war movies, which I absolutely love.

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The first stop of the day was the signage shop, where we met a rather interesting man who does all the signage for the South African Navy. His passion for art was rather evident with all the drawings he did. He took us on a slight private tour and showed us a massive painting of a ship on water that he managed to complete in four days… yes, four. I think we were the only people fortunate enough to see that painting.

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We soon made our way to the museum which was located about half a kilometer from the signage shop. In the museum, we saw loads of old antique phones, keys, and parts of various military equipment and machines… Needless to say, it was rather fascinating to see how much effort the South African Navy has put in over the past 95 years.

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We then made our way to the Rigging Section, which I did not find all too interesting as it just focused on various ties and ropes, which I have almost no knowledge on. However, outside was a scuba diver practice area, which was shaped like a submarine. Both young and old were intrigued by the divers inside.

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We were soon feeling rather peckish and decided to get something to eat. However, I was more intrigued by the submarines located in the water. Growing up, I always saw submarines as being rather tiny… I guess you could say that Smart cars were the equivalent of what I imagined submarines to be. However, they are significantly larger. The public was allowed to go into the submarines but the queues were insane.

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After finding some food and drinks, we walked around and saw the tug boats, where members of the public were allowed to go for a free ride. As terrible as this may sound, they were loaded rather full (at least that is how it looked), which only reminded me of one thing… refugee ships…

We soon realized that we were not going to be able to go on the tug boats or submarines and made our way to more stalls where we found Pop-pop- which are these little balls that both Charlie and I grew up with… you throw them on the ground and they make a noise, but we had a ball of a time playing with them.

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The next area we explored was the gun area, where various weapons were made. Although this part did not have lots, it was still rather interesting.

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We continued walking around and went to what looked like a high school career week where the public was informed about various military and navy career paths that they could potentially follow.

By the time we were done with this area, we saw that the air show had begun. I absolutely love airshows and this lead to us trying our best to capture pictures of the wonderful plane formations in the sky. Sadly, the show was rather short (fair enough, it is not an airshow). But it was enjoyable nonetheless.

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We continued walking around and met a wonderful lady in the South African Navy known as Leché. We ended up having a whole photoshoot with her and became friends with her. Needless to say, I am happy with that.

After taking some more photos, this random family came up to us and asked us to take photos of them. While we took photos of them, more members joined. The one lady (who I am assuming is a single mother) was trying to convince Charlie that he was the father of her child… It was rather amusing but slightly confusing.

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We soon decided to head back as it was getting late and we wanted to eat dinner before continuing our second adventure of the day- The Cape Carnival (the post will be available to read next Monday!)

All in all, it was a rather wonderful and interesting day. My ultimate highlight would have to have been being able to feel that military/navy feel and feeling as if I was in a WW1 or WW2 movie. I cannot wait to attend the event next year again as I missed some events that I was really looking forward to.

And as for the penguins I mentioned earlier on, it is by Boulders Beach-a penguin colony in South Africa. In fact, Charlie and I went to Boulders Beach in February. I’ll post about that some other time probably.

#1- Introducing myself

Well, hello there, world…

 

My name is Eleni, although I go by ‘Eli’ (pronounced like Ellie) these days. I am a recent honors graduate who moved less than a week ago from Johannesburg to Cape Town. I used to blog (some of you may recognize me) but then life got in the way and I had to let that blog go :(. However, I am back… I am not 100% sure of the direction of this blog just yet, but it will be largely based on photography, adventures I go on (more often than not with my boyfriend) as well as my life as a recent graduate. Oh, and I’ll probably also blog about food from time to time ;).

I’ll probably post one post a week unless something really cool happens.

That’s all for now!

 

xo

 

Eleni.