Saturday, 31 December 2022

December 31, 2022, New Year’s Eve, Vancouver, $35.00 Chair

I have noticed and I’ve been reminded that I have not included a picture of the infamous $35.00 chair we purchased in Cape Town, my bad. Thank you folks for your follow up and interest, so here is a bit more of the story.

The store is named Bo-Kaap Bazaar on Wale Street in the Bo Kaap district of Cape Town. Would I recommend this shop, absolutely. This family owned shop has everything African over its two floors, I could have spent a lot more time here and could have spend a lot more money. Lol.

We originally went into the shop looking for a fridge magnet (of which they have many) but also what attracted us to the store was the wonderful display of products outside, we needed to take a look inside - the “chair’ did catch my eye on the way in. I am including more pictures of the inside of the store than I did not have on the original posting from Cape Town. Now don’t get me wrong I still believe that the South African Trading Port in the V&A to be the best stocked store of everything African as that store goes over some 4 floors including a Museum on the top floor but their prices are fixed, I believe their prices are fair but they are fixed. The Bo-Kaap Bazaar is more of a traditional negotiating style store. The same type of chair at the SA Trading Post probably would have been another $10.00 dollars but that said, the chair is a one off, there is no other chair like it on the planet - so pretty special and was one of those, meant to be happenings.

I was in the store the longest just because of the wow factor and the owner did ask me if anything interests me, I said yes, just about everything, “you have an amazing store” but I am limited by my luggage room and that by now we had already purchased about 6 masks (see Maputo, Mozambique blog post at the woodworkers market), so “no” but thank you. Well, then I said, “a chair out front caught my eye, I’m just curious as to how much that sells for”, “let’s have a look”, he says. He quoted me $100.00 USD, my original though was, good way too much and besides I would have to figure out how to get it home, I just said, “thanks, I was just curious”. He of course wanted to begin the negotiating game but I wasn’t going to take part. I purchased the fridge magnet and we were on our way. This is where Albert comes into the picture as he says to me “are you interested in the chair because I can see what I can do about the price”, I said that I was somewhat interested but my concern was getting it home but go for it because I know that he likes to negotiate, so have some fun. Jan, Kate and I begin walking down the street.

A few minutes and a block later, Albert says to me that he told the shop owner that we were from Canada and would he accept Canadian dollars, he apparently agreed and through some back and forth they came up with $50.00 Canadian. I told Albert that I only had USD on me but thought about it again and said, thanks but I’m good, still not sure how to get it home. Then about ten minutes later, and I’m not sure if this happens to you but the gears are working and the thoughts start floating in my head, well the chair does come apart and it does look pretty cool - we had just been on a safari and the elephant was the last animal we saw, I wonder how much it weighs…. etc…, “Hey Albert”, I say, “you get him down to $30 USD and he’s got a deal”. Albert in his excitement says, “okay, but stay here about a block a way I’ll go and talk to the owner”. Five minutes goes by and we start making our way back towards the store but as mentioned in the blog, there he is with Albert, with a skip in his step and the chair under his arm coming down the street towards us. I’m thinking this is hilarious, here we are standing on a street corner in the middle of the Bo-Kapp district negotiating this chair. Albert turns the bargaining over to us, he wants $40 USD, I look at Albert then him and I say that I was interested in it at $30 USD, what happened, Albert then says “would you take $35 USD, he reluctantly agrees, now its my turn, I say okay for the additional $5 USD I agree and he hands me the chair, wow, a lot heavier than I thought it was going to be, which is good because its solid. And there you go the deal is done…

The chair is originally from a clan or tribe in Zimbabwe not sure of the age but must be a least 50 years old. These chairs were and are used as a quick set up for travellers at the fireside and they are also called birthing chairs. I thank Albert for his work on this purchase, I am indeed happy to have purchased it. I originally was going to take some duty free liquor home but for the weight substitute, the chair replaced that weight portion. Our suitcases both came in at 50 pounds a piece, so all good there. 

Thank you again for joining us along this journey, we really appreciate your comments and emails. This blog did originally start as just a diary for our travels but has now developed into a combination of our travel diary and public blog offering not only details of our travels but also some tips and tricks for our readers that follow along with us. It is hard to believe that we are so close to 100,000 page view mark. Thank you all for your interest in our travels, please feel free to say hello if you see us on a dam ship or other travels. 

One more footnote, I was sitting in the back of the Main Show Lounge oh, about a month ago, when I noticed a guest on her iPad, I happened to see what she was scrolling and it was our blog. Now if that didn’t give me the warm and fuzzies… 

Happy New Year! We wish you nothing but health and happiness for 2023. Safe travels to you all and yes I will be posting our big travel surprise within the next few weeks…

Our final pics of 2022, hope you enjoy…

Quote of the day,” I have wandered all my life, and I have travelled; the difference between the two is this, that we wander for distraction, but we travel for fulfillment.” - Hilaire Belloc

And here she is, the $35.00, Priceless Chair

Jan with Kate and Albert, the negotiator - taken in the Bo-Kaap District. 

Wednesday, 28 December 2022

December 27, 2022, Vancouver, BC, Canada - Part 5

Well 80 days behind us you could imagine that even a summary would have 5 parts. Thanks for joining in the experience…

Africa sail away, pictured here with Florin

Stage manager, Emma and band bassist, Molly at sail away sunset

Closing the cruise out with the BB King band

Playwright Albert and wife Kate performing his play, “Words Matter”

Our most excellent cabin stewards, Wandi and Ketut

The wrap up, pictured here with Captain Smit. 

One last Canaletto dinner with the wonderful, Jearmelyn 

Time for a good ole Barn dance

The final Sunday brunch aboard the Zaandam with cruise friends. 

The winner of the crew talent show , Plang from Thailand 

Our fridge magnet collection from this cruise. 

Our excellent dining room waiters, Ghilbert and Riswanto

Time to say goodbye.

The craziness of getting home, TSA line up in Denver

Snowy Vancouver 

The sky train ride home. 

Our first sunset coming home. 

Our luggage arrived the next day, almost beating us home.

December 27, 2022, Vancouver, BC, Canada - Part 4

The summary in pictures continues with Part 4

Pink flamingos of Walvis Bay, Namibia 

Dune number 7

Namibia resort run by Rene and her husband 

Enrichment speaker, Olga.

We are now Emerald Shellbacks 

Welcome to Angola 

Beers before the attempted fleecing

The Iron Pakace

We thank Joanna and Mitch for a wonderful dinner. 

Our sun…

Abidjan, Ivory Coast was not prepared for us..

Orange party night.

Goree island in Senegal. The slave house

The Door of No Return

It is a beautiful island 

Ron, Food and Beverage Manager, and his Christmas village creation. 

Gala Pinnacle dinner in the specialty restaurant with birthday boy, Albert and Kate

Welcome to Cape Verdi

Event planner Mitch at sunset. 

Mindelo sail away party.