Before getting started on Parliament (which we toured today), I’ll explain the poetry. Yes, mom POETRY!! A group of us students decided to walk over to the Waterfront shopping center (it’s one of the places we feel safest walking to and walking around!). I also needed to get more cell phone minutes (YOU HEARD ME! I have 200 minutes for who you!!) We got some lunch there, I got Subway J yes, Subway, for R19, that’s less than $2 US dollars!!! Usually my Subway is twice that! Anyways, we ate and decided to walk around. There are literally so many stores at the Waterfront and we had yet to discover some of the store upstairs. We wandered into bookstores, walked past Armani, Hugo Boss, Burberry (the fancy stores) and I discovered a store called…. POETRY! I spotted the scarves in the display window before I read the name!! But Poetry is like a little Anthropologie mixed with Eileen Fisher. (Perfect for you and me, mother!) I walked around that store like nobodies business. I kind of felt bad because I could have spent hours in there, but the rest of the group was with me. Buuuuut, I bought myself a sweater! For $40 US dollars, which is not bad at all. It is a mint/teal green, long-sleeved, button down cardigan with little tiny holes in the front. It’s so me! They had an excellent sale room that I want to go back and look around some more. I think my roommates and I might go back this weekend to the waterfront and possibly split up for a little while. Then I’ll spend all my time at Poetry!!!!!
On to bigger things, we got the chance to visit Parliament today! What I didn’t know, is that South Africa’s government is divided into three areas (like the US’) but each branch is located in different cities. In US everything is in D.C., but in South Africa, Parliament is in Cape Town (that’s the main branch), their Executive branch is in Bloemfontein, and their Judicial/high court (like our Supreme Court) is in Pretoria. We toured Parliament with our guide who showed us the inside of some of the courtrooms where Parliament meets. They call them Assembly Chambers. It was really cool! The building was beautiful and very close to Table Mountain (one of the 7 Wonders of the World!). The streets were cobblestoned and the surrounding buildings were very pretty. Our guide explained where different members sit during hearings, which was interesting, and more history about Parliament. Apparently, Parliament might be moved to Pretoria in the distant future. If you think about it, it doesn’t really make sense to have three separate but united branches of government in very separate locations, especially when many officials must be in attendance in each branch. That’s a lot of travel time. Sounds like how things are kind of done in D.C. I also learned that the South African constitution is considered one of the most liberal constitutions in the entire world. There is a lot on no discrimination against race, religion, sexual orientation, you name it. However, it’s often times difficult to implement all of those, as it takes lots of time. I’m usually not one for government, but learning about South Africa’s governmental system is very interesting, especially when you’re living right down the street from Parliament!