Cape Town, South Africa

South Africa, particularly Cape Town, is perhaps the second most beautiful place I’ve been (New Zealand takes first). It’s as if you took the Alps and smashed them down into an expansive white beach, and took the weather of the Pacific Northwest and paired it with the vineyards and rolling hills of Napa Valley or Tuscany.

My passport was stolen in a shopping center in the harbor, which made for a hectic yet successful visit to the United States embassy for a temporary passport. Later, I went out for drinks with two others and grabbed the tab. I was confused by the rand-to-dollar exchange rate and left a $270 tip, which I’m sure the waitress appreciated.

I made the realization in the middle of the night and woke up in my bed sweating, mostly because I wasn’t quite sure how many extra zeroes I added, and there was a distinct possibility that I’d left a $2700 tip. At noon the next day I walked into the lounge and the waitress from the night before waved at me almost feverishly. She had the receipt in hand.

On one hand I felt bad for taking back a massively attractive tip, yet on the other I felt that it was a tiny bit excessive for the $30 tab. I made a compromise and left her $40, mostly because firstly, she was beautiful, and secondly, her Afrikaans accent made my knees waver.