So I have determined that my punishment for not blogging should be execution via burning at the stake. I haven’t written a blog since April and not posted since March. Yes, I am aware I have offended every blogging god that exists.

However, I must give something in my own defense. April was the craziest month ever. I went on two trips, had so much school work due and was up and down the emotional scale I felt like a yo-yo. So one blog would have been 2 sentences long and happy and the next 3 sentences and you have been calling to make sure I didn’t throw myself in South African traffic.

Karen and I are sitting in the common room of our house, the top half of the door is open, farm-style, and the weather is great, sunny and nicely warm/cool. It’s May and winter technically starts next month but it’s still in the 70s during the day and the 50s at night. So, I think that whole winter thing ain’t happening.

It’s exam time and we really don’t have anything else to do but study and eat. We went to the movies last night and saw Date Night– it was funny and a nice HUGE slice of American culture and humour. The boat part was funny.

Final exams are a big deal here. They are worth 50% of your mark and they have a full four weeks for exams and if you fail, they have another few weeks of retakes. It’s crazy. I took my political science final on friday and I wrote almost 15 pages for three hours. My hand still hurts. I can’t imagine taking my history exam next week.

It’s weird to think that I am leaving in 25 days, give or take. I feel as though I just got here and just got settled in, but at the same time I feel as though I have been here for ages and I can’t wait to leave. It’s a very conflicting feeling and a little stressful, to be honest.

I love living in House 8 and living in South Africa, despite everything that frustrates me. I don’t like Pretoria at all, however. This city is so segregated, so uniform commercialism, no vibrancy or creativity. It drains you. It’s not a very welcoming city from the standpoint of the way the city is laid out, the way people travel and interact with each other…basically everything.

For example, this city is extremely hostile to pedestrians. Not just crossing the street, but its layout. The sidewalks here are not wide enough or even present enough and sidewalk etiquette is awful. No one moves aside if they are taking up the sidewalk standing or walking, nor do they acknowledge if you do or in any other circumstance. There are hardly any open spaces: squares, parks or even storefronts. Cross walks are disregarded by drivers and half the lights for pedestrians don’t work. It amazes me that in such a large city where the majority of people  lack cars, that everything relating to pedestrians is so bad.
Heleen and I decided that this city is terribly uncreative and frankly quite gross. And by living here, one becomes uncreative and gross. We make stop motion movies on the weekends, have movie parties, and do spontaneous pilates sessions to combat this. But Pretoria does make you appreciate the rest of South Africa so much more.