Tuesday, 19 April 2011

Catch-ups again

I've been planning to blog every day, but something gets in the way, whether it's power failures, rush jobs, clients who behave badly or just the inability to remember hat I wanted to say.

So here's a quick run-down of what I planned to post about:

The weekend, which was sublime. It was our turn to host supper club on Friday and I was pretty chuffed with my menu. B is pregnant (SO happy for her - they've been trying for ages) and her favourite food is Chinese, so I decided in celebration to do a vaguely Asian menu.

As snacks I had set out a plate of chips and a selection of biscuits with three dips - humus, cream cheese topped with sweet chili sauce and red onion marmalade. Then for starters I did a spicy sweetcorn and bean sprout soup. For mains we had a big green salad (with avo, fresh lettuce and pak choi from the garden, baby corn, tomatoes, green apple, cheese, spring onions and pepper croutons) with spicy roast chicken, sticky jasmine rice and black bean vegetable stirfry. Dessert was a cream cheese tart topped with passion fruit pulp, fresh raspberries and gooseberries. I should post the recipe. It's quite nice. Later we had filter coffee with some dinky little chocolate Easter eggs.

We get along so well with the two couples and we really enjoyed the evening. TSC hadn't felt like entertaining beforehand, but when we fell into bed after midnight, he said how glad he was that we have such great friends.

On Saturday, after his optometrist appointment, we spent the day with my folks. We had lunch at Grand Central Cafe at Melrose Arch (divine bacon and avo burger!) and then the matinee show of Mummenschanz, which was just magical. I love theatre.

On Sunday it was the Chinese Grand Prix and there wasn't a single lap without intense action. My nerves! It was a stunning race and the fact that my favourite driver, Lewis Hanilton, finished first, just made it even better.

We also went to see Just Go With It. I'm not really an Adam Sandler fan. I was surprised by how many laugh-out-loud really funny bits there were, but there was still too much far-fetched nonsense and joking about pooh and fat people for my liking.

My passport

We're supposed to be heading off this Thursday to visit my in-laws on their farm in Namibia. I quickly checked my passport on Friday night, only to discover that it expired in January. SO Monday was spent at the Department of Home Affairs in Randburg, trying to apply for a new passport and get a temporary one in time to travel this week.

What a pain.

I arrived there at 10am. The power was out, so there was nothing they could help me with. Most people in the queue, including me, decided to wait it out. Thankfully the electricity came back on after about 20min. Then I waited to submit my application. I was surprised by how quickly the queue moved. Next I queued to pay for my passport (R400) and temporary passport (R180). So bleak that I didn't renew my passport last year - it would have cost me far less with the 2010 fees (R180 for a passport) and without the need for a temporary one.

Then I got my fingerprints done. Then I got the live capture image done. All of this took about 2hr 15min. THEN... The stupid woman in the live capture section put my application forms in the wrong pile. She did the same with the guy in front of me and the guy behind me in the queue. We waited 1hr 15min for our temporary passports to be processed, whereas people who arrived an hour later than us whose forms were put in the right box (while stupid lady was on lunch) received theirs within about 15min.

We kept asking why it was taking so long and were given the usual attitude of "I'm a government bureaucrat and I'll take as long as I want". Thankfully there was one sensible woman there who saw us waiting and waiting. She went and found out what was going on and pushed for them to hurry up.

Eventually, after three and a half hours, I had my passport. Phew!

There was more, but this post is too long already. Another time then.


Kris said...

I'm glad you got the passport.... what a nightmare!

phillygirl said...

Sigh, I am so annoyed about the Passport price-hikes. I have to get a new one when I get back from my trip ... although mine only expires in 2015, it'll be full!

Did you have to hand in your old passport?

Tamara said...

Kris: Makes two of us. Glad it's done!

Phillygirl: No, didn't have to hand it in, which is cool - get to keep all my stamps :-) GLad to get rid of my 10-year old photo though!

Helen said...

that's really irritating, mine expires in a few months... although I will be prepared to pay to get rid of my moody 16-year-old-scowling picture!

Damaria Senne said...

The descriptions of the food you lay out to entertain always makes me drool. You're soo creative with menus. And I love avo with everything. Thank God I don't live in a country where's its an expensive delicacy!

I also need to sort out my passport ( it expired and I've been wanting to go to Mozambique for a holiday and to visit my friends). I found out only a week before price hike and was soo annoyed with myself for procrastinating on getting a new one.

Enjoy your hols and visit with family.

Shayne said...

OMW - your food sounds absolutely divine! Yum yum yum.

Now i'm craving a bacon and avo burger. Which, btw, I had at Primi a couple of weeks ago. Can you believe they charged me R15 for 4 slices of avo!!! I was horrified. So don't ever have one there see?

And thank you again, for my wonderful surprise parcel. YOu seriously made me day. xx

Louisa said...

Yumm...that food sounds delicious! I'm kind of hungry now after just reading that.

R400 for a passport now?! I better check mine to see how much time I've got left on it too, and get one for Nicola - although I suppose it can wait since we're not planning any outside trips anytime soon.

Angel said...

Ah. The joy of South African public servants.